BrandLab workshops is a program for creating brand for products shifting from outsource manufacturing to higher value-added manufacturing.
Lithuanian manufacturers are strong players in the global outsourcing manufacturing market, they have earned a reputation as manufacturers that can offer good value for money. Producing and being a low-cost labor force became a growing challenge for the industry. Effective solution to tackle this problem against rising labor costs is to sell own branded products in foreign markets. Good preparation and effective, targeted brand export strategy allows SMEs to bypass outsourcing manufacturing orders and open doors directly to foreign or e-commerce markets.
Likeable, recognizable and strong brand is one of the greatest assets of a small business, capable of motivating employees, building customer and partner trust, and opening the door to deeper relationships with potential customers.
The goal of the BrandLab workshops is to provide necessary knowledge of brand creation and development, using traditional and digital tools for global or e-commerce markets; to enable participants to create or renew a brand during the program and to prepare a strategic brand development plan. The impact of the program on participants is the growing export volumes.
The total scope of the program is 8 days of workshops and trainings, individual consulting, practical work with program tasks and mentor, presentation of prepared strategic plans in the closing event, it happens every few years.
BrandLab experts’ competence and export strategy building program are key success factors.
A team of 4 experts with competence in the field of strategy building, change management, branding, marketing, e-commerce, communication ensured successful program implantation, program time frame is 2 months of workshops and individual work. Participant SMEs dedicate 2 people for this workshop.
Evidence of success
The result is measured in the terms of export growth, companies which participated in the program in 2015 reported 63 % growth in exports, result was measured a year after completing the program.
Companies reported these positive changes: creating new brands for products, changing company or marketing strategy, growing responsibility for created products with new brands, creating new lines of products, starting selling in e-commerce platforms and finding new market segments.
The main challenge was to involve SMEs management, when management is participating it has authority to make changes fast. A lot of companies do not have their strategy, mission and vision of the company, or it needs to be updated. Based on company strategy team is building brand and export strategy
Potential for learning or transfer
A lot of SMEs have a challenge how to fight increasing labor costs, changes in the world trade, trading through platforms enables companies to be closer to the clients. Using those opportunities companies need to be recognizable and build the trust with clients using branding of products and having clear strategy.
Increasing labor costs, when low cost production is not a solution anymore is very important to all European countries.
Most valuable part of this instrument is BrandLab workshop program, which can serve as a guideline for any country who is facing the same problem in SME’s. It is also very important to find experts in the field of change management, export, e-commerce and branding. Other important aspect of transfer is how to engage the management of the companies and marketing employees into workshops.
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