A growing number of consumers are actively buying locally-made products, whether from a desire to support British jobs or to reduce the environmental impact that comes with buying new items. Many are even prepared to pay a premium for British-made goods with the ethically-appealing belief that UK workers are treated more fairly than those potentially working in sweatshops.
Whatever the reasons, a growing number of brands are bringing manufacturing back to the UK, and are profiting from it, despite the higher outlay when compared to manufacturing overseas.With more and more UK businesses realising the benefits of manufacturing in Britain, here are six ways you can get your British-made wares into the hands of consumers:
1. Start with your labelling
Made in Britain, and union flag labels, are highly regarded both at home and abroad, so place them loud and proud when designing your packaging. Recent research found that products labelled ‘Made in Britain’ sell for up to 7% more in new and emerging markets than products without a country of origin on the label, while customers in eight key export markets were more likely to buy a product when they saw it sporting the union flag.
It’s important to note this before you go adding any credentials to your products; it is the ‘Made in Britain’ and union flag labels specifically which are perceived to be the best quality ahead of products made in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
2. Tell your story
If a customer is interested that your products are made in Britain, chances are they’d also like to know why. In an increasingly sceptical and savvy world, the more transparent you are, the more your customers will trust you. For example, clothing company Born talks about its pride in not being a ‘British’ brand whose products are actually made in another country. From garment design and sourcing materials to knitting, stitching and finishing, Born tells customers how it manufactures every single product element in Britain and gives its customers a compelling reason to buy its products.
Figure out what makes your supply chain special and find creative ways to put it pride of place anywhere you can, from your ‘About’ page and your blog to the footer of your press releases.
3. Pitch your products to Brit-friendly retailers
A quick Google or Twitter search will bring up a number of British-friendly retail outlets who will help market your products for you.
‘Things British’, for example, supports British brands through shared retail space in its physical shops. With flexible space options there are no long-term contracts, and sales reports can be sent daily, weekly or monthly.
Others, like ‘From Britain with Love’, handpick beautiful UK-made items and offer all manner of marketing support via their shop, directory and online magazine as well as external promotions, competitions, newsletters, reader offers and event sponsorship.
And for brands with a green emphasis, websites like Big Green Smile even provide the country of origin as a criterion for customers who are concerned about their carbon footprint:
4. Support campaigns and listing websites
Backing campaigns that promote British manufacturing can give your brand invaluable exposure to consumers who are specifically looking for your USP.
For example, the Made in Britain campaign helps shoppers identify British-made products by giving appropriate brands exposure on the site as well access to branding materials and exclusive opportunities.
Similar to the Made in Britain campaign, listings websites like Still Made in Britain and Make it British are solely dedicated to promoting British-manufactured products.
Take some time to write a thoughtful piece on what makes your brand special to catch the attention of passing traffic such as British beekeepers Filberts of Dorset have:
Working with campaigns and listings websites not only gives you access to their website, social media and email audiences, but it also gives you access to unique offers and opportunities you may not have otherwise heard about.
5. Keep a lookout for opportunities
Journalists will occasionally want to feature British-made products and brands in round-ups or articles, so you need to be there ready and waiting for these gold dust opportunities.
There are of course dedicated hashtags for this on Twitter like #journorequest and #prrequest, but monitoring these general requests and sifting through the spam posts can become tiresome.
Instead, sign up to tailored journalist request services such as ResponseSource; a source of many high-quality coverage opportunities which also offers a press release wire.
You should also take a proactive approach with journalists and consider investing in a highly accurate and up-to-date media database such as Gorkana, which also offers global media and social media monitoring, as well as bespoke analysis, to give you the data that’s most important to your business. Overhauling your media relations tools can be overwhelming, so consider covering the initial expense with an earnings-based business cash advance so you can keep control of your cash flow while you focus on reaching out to new audiences.
6. Optimise your social media
Twitter is a fantastic place for British brands, campaigns and listings websites to be found.
Make sure that the bios for your social media accounts are succinct and describe what you offer with your main keywords in mind, as shown in the examples below:
Participating in conversations is best practice on platforms like Twitter where the Made in Britain campaign’s #madeinbritainhour conversation would be an ideal place to start. In contrast, Facebook is a highly visual platform and, with its ever-changing algorithms, should be used natively rather than via a third-party app to maximise your chances of appearing organically in users’ feeds.
Instagram also demands high quality imagery to catch users’ attention. This network also allows for long captions and many brands use this for ‘micro blogging’. There is also the ability to use up to 30 hashtags to attract people with all kinds of related interests (if you’re going to max these out, put them separately in a comment below). Not only can posts get picked up in live feeds by using relevant keywords and hashtags, but most social media networks now give you access to your analytics data so you can identify your most popular posts in terms of engagement and clickthrough rate, allowing you to replicate what works and drop what doesn’t.