If marketers encourage their clients to focus on benefits over features, where do manufacturers fit in to this?
Manufacturers often struggle to find a means to market what they do in ways that will be attractive and compelling. They may feel their work is too specialised or even too matter-of-fact.
As award-winning industrial photographer*, Adrian Waine, from Photography for Industry explains, this is where images can help tell the story behind a product or a process, creating a unique narrative for it, to appeal to customers.
What Goes Into a Kitchen Worktop?
“You might be well aware of the benefits of a solid stone kitchen worktop. Granite, marble and quartz all have inherent qualities that are both practical and aesthetic. But what can make natural stone surfaces more interesting to a customer?”
The answer is to highlight the processes that go into creating these worktops.
“I photographed the tooling involved in cutting stone for high-end kitchen worktops, which was based on compressed air.”
Picture: A kitchen worktop being cut and shaped using water power. Shot commissioned by Atlas Copco Compressors at Natural Stone Surfaces, Buxton. Adrian Waine won the EEF Manufacturing Photographer of 2017 with this shot.
There are two sides to this narrative. There is the work that goes into producing the finished product, and there is also how the tools themselves operate to produce the end result.
“The photographs are multi-purpose. They appear in brochures and other literature and at trade shows and exhibitions. They also appear widely online too, helping to get posts and articles noticed and clicked on. These images tell the story of the product and the process, in a concise, dynamic fashion.”
Increasingly, brands use processes to sell products as much as they do perceived benefits.
“Customers crave authenticity, and seeing what goes into the finished product can resonate powerfully. This also works well for manufacturers as it allows them to highlight what they do, and what they specialise in.”
Another aspect of this exposure is quality control.
“Manufacturers have to be able to demonstrate the rigorousness of their applications in ensuring quality at each stage of the production process, and with a dynamic, visual record, they can use this to market their services as well as their products”
In fact, for many niche, specialist manufacturers it is becoming a case of the product and service becoming one thing.
Transparency is a key part of customer service, and customer service is more and more heavily involved in manufacturing, and how manufacturers can add value to their products.
“If you want to convey clarity to your customers, photography is an excellent medium because along with this it also can add an important aesthetic element.”
Manufacturing is not static, but involves a world that is constantly in motion. Industrial photography can capture this sense of kinetic energy.
“The process is the story behind the product, and photography can convey this in a way that distils all that energy into a single image, or a sequence of images”
What manufacturers should consider is how they can use this to market themselves and their capabilities.
“Don’t treat photography as an afterthought, but rather make it central to your marketing strategy,” Adrian concludes.
Use the power of photography to transform people’s perceptions about your business and its potential value to them by:
- Calling Photography for Industry on 0151 356 3855 or 07981 653512
- Visiting photographyforindustry.com
*Adrian Waine won EEF’s Manufacturing Photography competition in 2017 and 2018