Why Does Manufacturing Have Such a Bad Reputation?


A 2012 study, commissioned by the US tools manufacturer, Kennametal, concluded that a staggering 71 percent of Americans would not recommend a career in manufacturing to their children. Two of the reasons they gave concerned safety and the lack of available jobs. In fact, according to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, since the end of the Great Recession, manufacturers have hired more than 800,000 workers who account for 9% of the workforce. Over the period from 1997 to 2012, labour productivity growth in manufacturing—3.3% per year—was a third higher than the rest of the US economy. Furthermore, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis and Bureau of Labour Statistics states that in 2015, the average manufacturing worker in the United States earned $81,289 annually, including pay and benefits compared to the average worker in all nonfarm industries, who earned $63,830.

When the impact of manufacturing on a country’s economy is taken into account you would be forgiven for assuming that manufacturing occupies the top tier of the business podium and this is without mentioning that in the US, it employs 36% of the nation’s scientists and engineers, the largest share of any industry. So why does manufacturing have an image problem?

The public’s perception of a company or an industry is based largely on the story it tells about itself. Storytelling is at the root of a plethora of marketing techniques that elevate the status of a business or an industry to a point where it inspires the desire to be associated with that business or industry. Storytelling establishes a business as a trusted source of reliable and useful information and ultimately opens it up to a wider audience creating a broader pool of potential new customers.

It works like this:

Stories sell. They sell because they evoke emotions and emotions engage us because they make us feel things. Those feelings shape us, motivate us and influence us. Ultimately, stories keep the audience glued to the storyteller. Do not only think Sheherazade! Think of the very inspiring ‘Just do it’ Nike adverts or the very funny ‘Should have gone to SpecSavers’ campaign, which had people comparing how many of the different episodes they had seen.

But is it relevant to manufacturing businesses?

With ceaseless competition and attention-seeking manoeuvres, does having a corporate story make a difference to a manufacturing business? Simply put, every business needs a story to make it stick out or at the very least to share with its customers the knowledge that your values are aligned, that you are there to engage with them in a long term relationship and that their opinion counts. Dynamic and modern webpages, social media interactions, blogs, landing pages, accountable statistics to monitor exactly which part of the storytelling is waning or thriving, all of these techniques are part and parcel of storytelling in business.

Saba Consultants will develop content that reflects your company’s human element. We will produce simple, sincere and interesting aspects of what you do so that existing and prospective customers are engaged, entertained and informed by your brand and therefore want to be further associated with it.

A customer’s willingness to be associated with a brand is how that brand becomes iconic in its field.

Saba Consultants have the authoring and production skills and tools to put your content, your company and especially your manufacturing brand at the forefront of the industry.

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