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Top 5 Manufacturing Brands to Watch in 2021
What makes a great manufacturer? Is it manufacturing the best products? Is it an ability to forge strong, lasting relationships with wholesalers, distributors, retailers and the rest of the supply chain? Or is it building a strong brand identity that resonates with their customers and partners?
The answer is, in fact, all of these things. From fantastic products to unique, attention-grabbing marketing strategies, we’ve given our rundown of the top 5 manufacturers to watch in 2021.
Skeleton Technologies: charged up for a bright 2021
Estonia-born Skeleton Technologies has given the ultracapacitor industry a shock to the system. It’s raised over 90 million euros to develop its special ultracapacitors, and has even received funding from the German Government to help fully automate manufacturing in its Grossröhrsdorf-based facility.
In a nutshell, ultracapacitors are beefed up batteries that offer high power density, longer lifespan and faster charging. Skeleton's ultracapacitors are made with patented Curved Graphene, which apparently gives them four times the amount of power density and energy density ten times higher than current ultracapacitors.
Key takeaway: What is it about your product that will have procurement managers picking up the phone? For Skeleton, it’s taking a new approach to an existing product, and making that the centrepiece of its content, social and website.
Herrco Cosmetics: Beauty is in the eye of the customer
‘We strive not to be the biggest, but to be the best’ – a refreshingly honest take from family-run manufacturer Herrco Cosmetics. Herrco helps businesses at every stage of their beauty and cosmetics production, from sourcing ingredients to filling, labelling and distributing products.
We love the way Herrco presents itself, from its sleek, welcoming website to its informative and impactful social media. Take, for example, this infographic showcasing some of the company’s achievements in 2020/2021 – an easy to read, eye-catching way to inspire trust in the business while adding personality.
Key takeaway: Just because you are a manufacturer doesn’t mean you have to be boring. Think about how you can add personality to your brand with eye-catching, visually appealing content, so that people (and it is people you are trying to draw in) stand up and take notice.
Dogtooth: A berry good product
Dogtooth is manufacturing and supplying its AI robotic harvesters to fill recruitment gaps at modern soft fruit farms. The company says that immense steps forward in machine learning and computer vision are powering their robots, which can autonomously navigate crop rows, find, grade and pick fruit – all without squashing them.
The thought of little robots milling about and picking fruit (as opposed to becoming sentient and murdering us all) is a sweet one. But what we really love about Dogtooth is how it shows berry farmers that it understands their pain points, and highlights what its product will do to help. The robots for example can pick throughout the day, carry on going at night when temperatures are lower to maximise fruit shelf life and even collect data that could boost fruit yields in the future.
Key takeaway: When promoting a product, don’t just shout about the product itself. Make it clear to the customer that you understand their issue, and then explain how your product can help. Only then will your marketing strategy yield fruit.
Gousto: Giving customers a taste of the future
Great product? Fantastic marketing? An innovative manufacturing approach? Gousto certainly has all the ingredients of a manufacturer to watch.
Gousto uses AI in personalisation (giving customers their dream menu each week) and to forecast what customers are likely to order, cutting down on food delivery times and food waste. But it also uses AI in its factories to determine both how factories are laid out and how boxes are routed through them, analysing billions of possible combinations to find the most efficient method.
According to this LinkedIn post, the approach has meant the company was able to double its throughput and increase factory staff salaries by 15% in 2018 – a fantastic advert for customers and a showcase to other manufacturers of the power of technology.
Key takeaway: In a hyper-competitive market, Gousto makes a name for itself by shouting about how it tackles operations differently. Telling stories about your brand instead of just going on about your product will make you so much more appealing and trustworthy to your customers.
Precision Shaped Wire: Giving back to help shape the community
Here’s a manufacturer with something to celebrate – not only is UK-based Precision Shaped Wire (PSW) celebrating its 15th year of service, but it’s just been given a £1m investment by its parent company to expand its services and push its sales numbers to new heights.
PSW might not be as big as some of the other companies on this list, but what struck us was the company’s commitment to wider community-led initiatives. The custom-shaped wire manufacturer will mark its 15th birthday by taking part in ‘Wired for Good’ – a campaign to boost support for local charities and see new commitments to becoming carbon neutral.
This will involve teaming up with local organisations focusing on things like woodland creation and solar/wind power so it can offset its manufacturing and delivery emissions.
Key takeaway: The best manufacturers go above and beyond their remit to influence greater change in the world, whether that’s through charitable investments or by committing to green carbon goals.
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