Manufacturing Marketing – The Importance of Branding

In a recent article, the National Association of Manufacturers reported on manufacturing statistics. Emphasized were the merits of pursuing a career in the industry.

Some highlights of the post included:

  • There are currently 12.3 million manufacturing workers in the United States.
  • The average annual salary for manufacturers comes in at $79,553 — above the national average for all industries at $64,204.
  • 92 percent of manufacturers are eligible for employer-provided health care benefits.

These impressive statistics were in stark contrast to a recent survey by SME, a nonprofit organization promoting manufacturing technology. The survey painted a bleak picture of the opinions parents have of the manufacturing industry when considering it as a career path for their children.

Revealed were the following sentiments:

  • Upwards of 20 percent of surveyed parents perceived manufacturing as an outdated and/or dirty work environment.
  • Half of all survey takers did not view manufacturing as an exciting, challenging, or engaging profession.
  • Nearly 25 percent of parents surveyed did not believe that manufacturing is a well-paying profession.

Comparing the two sets of statistics, it is clear that parents have skewed outlooks of the manufacturing industry. Considering that the industry expects to face a two million skilled worker shortage over the next decade, promoting knowledge and gaining industry buy-in from parents could well be an important first step in developing a new generation of manufacturing workers.

Jeffrey Klause, CEO of SME, explains, “Manufacturing today is an advanced, high-value industry that represents innovation and technology. The [SME] survey results demonstrate that we need to show that manufacturing careers can be exciting, stimulating, and very rewarding.”

To combat the outdated perceptions described above, savvy manufacturing companies have developed strategic branding campaigns to appeal to both parents and younger generations.

Take General Electric (GE) for example. Its recent commercials feature insightful conversations about career paths available to graduating students. They tackle old stereotypes head-on: a college graduate explains to his confused parents, “Yes, GE makes powerful machines, but I’ll be writing the code that will allow those machines to share information with each other.” Important message.


In addition to its inspired commercials, GE’s emojiscience.com site targets engagement from a younger demographic. It’s obvious the organization has heard the need for marketing and branding evolution, and is investing in its future generation of employees.

Elliance is passionate about the manufacturing industry, and has partnered with manufacturers Aerotech, Miller Welding, Sophisticated Alloys, and more. Contact us for more information regarding manufacturing marketing.

Manufacturing Industry Statistics