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What’s the SCOOP – Thought #6 of 8 – Brand on Brand


By Philip Spagnoli Stoten Founder of SCOOP

For decades the EMS industry has boasted about being the biggest brand that you’ve never heard of, the brand behind the brand, the company that you almost certainly have products manufactured by, none of which have their name on them, but things are changing.

Consumers want a more connected experience and the brand behind the brand, or the brand managing the supply chain has a role to play in delivering the brand promise and identity of the OEM. A simple example is the way products are delivered. Consumers expect a fulfillment experience that reflects the brand they bought from. They want good tracking data, reliable delivery scheduling and a service level that reflects the money that they have spent and the brand they have trusted. It isn’t enough to have a great product anymore, you need to have that product made by a good manufacturing partner and delivered by a fulfillment company that upholds the image of the brand.

And rest assured this idea of ‘brand on brand’, or ‘the brand behind the brand’ is very real. If you rely on a manufacturing partner to make your product and fulfill that product globally, they better reflect your brand identity, and, as mentioned a couple of days ago in “thought #4”, your culture. 

The brand you have chosen to manufacture a product for you can have all kinds of implications for how you are perceived by your consumers. Choose the cheapest while ignoring worker rights, inclusion of environmental issues, and you risk being seen as a company that puts profit and shareholders before the stakeholders in your business and the environment so valued by your consumer. Choose a regional manufacturing brand and you could be seen as patriotic and supportive of the national interests, but remember this might not play well in your overseas markets. Choose a global manufacturer with factories in some of the more geopolitical risky regions and you might be seen to be supporting unpopular regimes or, again, putting profit ahead of morals. Yes, it’s a minefield, and you never know where the next explosion will occur.

EMS companies will need to look long and hard at their brands in the coming years. What does their brand promise look like and how are they measuring their performance and delivering on that promise? 

Those more complete manufacturing brands are likely to have a strategy for their brand and that strategy is likely to include many of the elements discussed in this series. They’ll have a sustainability strategy that aligns with their customers and with their stakeholders ideals. They’ll have a strategy around digital transformation and how that impacts their business and that of their customers. And they’ll have a view to culture and how that might match with certain customers, consumers or industries.

The manufacturing brands of the future will want to provide great value to their customers while reflecting their ideals, culture and most definitely their brand and cultural identity.

These blogs are also available in audio form on the “EMS@C-Level” podcast, wherever you get your podcast or at

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