I recently returned from Olathe, Kansas, where we were filming a mini-documentary for Custom Storefronts, a company that manufactures the storefronts for brands we’re all familiar with.
We spent a day filming the work they do with wood, metal, and glass, and interviewing some of their employees, for what will become a short video piece on quality workmanship.
It’s an approachable way for viewers to learn more about what this company does, by wrapping the video in a quality and format all of us, regardless of occupation, appreciate.
In the past year, we have done more than our usual share of work with manufacturing companies.
Video & Manufacturing
In the past year, we have done more than our usual share of work with manufacturing companies. For us, it’s a great way to get outside the Capital Beltway and the Greater Washington D.C. area, and our usual lineup of talking heads, to spend some time with the good people in this country who actually make things.
Things you can see and touch. Things that people use every day.
For manufacturers, I think the sector is beginning to see that video is the perfect medium for highlighting the work they do.
The ability to walk viewers through the production process, show machinery at work, and hear from the men and women who invest so much of their intelligence, effort, and passion into their work, makes for especially compelling video.The ability to walk viewers through the production process, show machinery at work, and hear from the men and women who invest so much of their intelligence, effort, and passion into their work, makes for especially compelling video. Click To Tweet
American Competitiveness on Display
Regardless of how you come down on the Trump trade tariffs, there’s no arguing with the increasingly competitive nature of American manufacturing.
Foreign competition is tough.
Video gives American manufacturers the ability to elevate their offerings above spec sheets and price quotes, by providing a glimpse into how they do what they do.
It’s reassuring to know that the manufacturers you’re working with hire only the best, invest in technology, obsess about safety, and really sweat the details when it comes to delivering the products you want, at quality levels that you demand.
Being able to see what goes into a Tory Burch, a Lululemon, a Versace, or a Nike storefront gives you new insight into the lengths to which these brands must go, to stay competitive themselves.
During our stay at Custom Storefronts, I was dazzled by the intricacy of the work they do, and the commitment to craftsmanship that runs through the whole process.
When our documentary is published, I hope it captures at least some of that attention to detail, focus, and underlying craftsmanship.
With any luck, our documentary will encourage other brands to explore what Custom Storefronts has to offer.
Use Video to Involve Customers in the Manufacturing Process
Shortly after we returned from Kansas, I was recounting for a marketing consultant friend of mine, my recent trip. Turns out, he represents a manufacturer in Colorado who is also using video in an innovative way.
Xylem Design, of Ft. Collins Colorado, builds an array of products that are used to display retail goods in storefronts, at trade shows, at art museums, and elsewhere.
The company makes it a practice to send their sales reps, and other employees, down onto the factory floor to shoot quick videos of customers’ products in various stages of the manufacturing process.
The videos are then sent to customers to convey a sense of excitement and anticipation for the arrival of the products they ordered.
And, their customers love it!
As seen in the above example, the customer gets:
- To see their product coming off the factory floor
- A nice ‘thank you’ from the sales rep
- And, perhaps most interesting, a request that they send in a photo or video of their product in action, after receiving it.
It’s a great way to touch base with the customer, reassure them that their product is on the way, and remind them that Xylem Design remains focused on how their product will ultimately be used by the customer to accomplish whatever it is they hope to accomplish.
Manufacturers who haven’t yet begun to use video should consider how they might use it to give themselves a competitive edge, by using it to highlight what makes them unique.
Take advantage of the visual aspects of your business to provide a platform for talking about what makes you special.
Then choose the video formats that work best for you.
Documentary videos are nice things to have, but there are easier, much less expensive options too.
Whatever video formats you choose, they’re sure to help you bring to life what you do, how it distinguishes you in the market, and what customers and prospects have to gain by working with you.