{Replica} Career choice Employer branding and image campaign of the craft: Sunk marketing millions?

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The craftsmanship is important, but especially among new entrants his image is bad. The only question is whether appropriate advertising campaigns really change that or whether the money is not tapped.

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.


Craft: Bad image, good chances!

The craft is one of the branches with optimal future prospects. With 4,8 million employees and around 500 billion in sales, the craft sector is a key pillar of the German economy and society each year. And it is one of the sectors in Germany where jobs are created even in difficult economic conditions.

But unfortunately, the crafts are also plaguing newcomers - certainly a reason why the opportunities in the craft are so good. Because handicraft does not have a hip, chic image and therefore very few young people want to take up such a profession. A Forsa survey found that the importance of craft in society, especially among young people, is underestimated.

Does the craft need an image campaign?

For this reason, the German Handwerkskammertag (DHKT), the umbrella organization of the 53 Handwerkskammern, has launched a five-year campaign to demonstrate how our life looks without the trades.

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The aim of the communication offensive is to clarify the economic and social importance of the craft and to get young people interested in training there. The claim “The craft. The economic power. Next door." should demonstrate the size, innovative strength, diversity and realism of the craft and give the industry a more modern image. The makers want to inspire young people in particular, so that they can choose one of the 151 apprenticeship trades.

Tradition vs. Globalization and mass products

Of course, in times of globalization craftsmen have to defend themselves against industrial mass production on the one hand, and against cheaper competition and moonlighting on the other. And yet: The craft is one of the sectors with optimal future prospects.

Clearly, it would be wrong to deny that especially small and medium-sized tradesmen have the biggest problems with government burdens and the restraint of banks, as they often have to invest in advance and invest in their work.

Crafts are created in the trade

But craftsmanship is one of the sectors in Germany where jobs are created even in a difficult economic climate. Anyone who speaks with craft businesses will quickly notice that people are desperately looking for employees.

The reason is plausible: More and more customers want individual manual work instead of mass production, guaranteed quality instead of cheap offers, which are not to be trusted and serious advice instead of moonlighting. The customers have realized that with a cheap-mindset mentality, although cheap services, but also achieve low quality.

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Distrust of low-cost suppliers

This is shown by numerous discussions that are conducted on the Internet on platforms where you can auction off craftsmanship - that is, the craftsman who makes the cheapest offer wins the auction.

The offer is by no means as popular as you should think, on the contrary, many users distrust the cheap offers and ask for uncertainty because they believe that the result can only be bad at cheap offers.

Exactly this new quality awareness is an expression of a changing customer attitude: In the future, it will not be just about getting things quickly at a cheap price, but good performance - and that may also cost something. Especially in bad times, the desire for something special always grows.

How craftsmen profit from luxury

Swatch is a trend and thus a successful example of the success of the watchmaking trade: from the plastic watch to the luxury object. It all started with colorful plastic fun clocks. In the meantime, the Swatch Group operates its profits increasingly in high-priced watches:

Especially luxury brands such as Breguet, Omega, Glashütte and Certina are the holding company's growth drivers. Despite the financial crisis and rising raw material prices, Swatch expects sales in the luxury segment to increase in the future.

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Custom handmade rather than mass-produced: 4 points how the crafting can score

There are a total of 4 areas, as the craft can score:

1. Sustainability and quality are in demand

And even more: for more and more customers, it is not only the pure work result that counts, but also the ideal value and the sustainable benefit that they have from a service. And these are exactly the ones who are financially strong and who therefore have long-term customer loyalty Sense power.

The craft industry in particular has excellent prospects for this changing customer aspect due to its image: Craft trades in Germany can look back on centuries of history and the founding of a tradesman's work usually requires a demanding qualification path up to the master.

Therefore, craft is commonly associated with quality, durability and tradition. And that is exactly what many people are concerned about, as a survey by GfK Roper Consulting among 31.000 people in 25 countries worldwide shows: More than two thirds (69%) of those surveyed consider it at least “important” to give traditions a decisive place in their lives .

2. The trend is towards the regional

At the same time, the small craftsman from the neighborhood is considered by many to be a trustworthy cheap service provider from abroad - simply because many people have discovered a kind of new homeland connection and are therefore increasingly willing to buy services and products in regional markets. According to a recent Forsa survey, 60% of Germans state that they want to pay more attention to regional origins when shopping in the future.

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The reason for this trend is a perceived homelessness and location independence in an accelerated environment; The increasingly hectic way of life leads to an intensified yearning for the simple and the real. As paradoxical as that may sound: precisely because today we live in a highly technical, extremely mobile world, we love handmade furniture made of natural wood or would like to eat local baked goods, even if we have to have them sent to us.

Regionality is thus a construction and a horizon of expectation charged with sentimentality, which transports strong emotional values. This emotional quality has been served by the food and hospitality industry but is beginning to spread to many other markets; Above all, however, this benefits craft and manufac- tured consumer goods. Internet has made a decisive contribution to the recent comeback of the regional, which makes it possible to source domestic products even if you are sitting at the other end of Germany.

As an Allensbach survey has shown, around half of Germans prefer regional products. And especially for consumers with high net household incomes (4.000 Euro and more), regional products are a new form of luxury: 41% of high-earners prefer exquisite products from their homeland and obviously pay a higher price for them.

3. Repair and service is “in”

Another trend that benefits the craft industry is that we are increasingly moving away from a throwaway society towards a recycling society. In times of tight budgets on the one hand and growing environmental awareness on the other hand, there is a worldwide trend that is increasingly coming to fruition in Germany too: namely repairing, repairing, re-naturing. Customers who spend a lot of money on a piece of furniture do not necessarily want to throw it away if it has scratches or signs of use, but rather have it repaired. And even the expensive evening dress does not have to be thrown away, because one has taken off a dress size; there are change cutters for that.

It follows that services and long-term customer loyalty are particularly important in an industry where tradition and quality are so important. Above all, there will be those craftsmen on the market who can win customers with resourceful new ideas, for example by using the Internet in a targeted manner and then binding them with an excellent service. The goal must not be simply to offer handicraft services of any kind, but to develop your own company into a strong brand. To do this, you need to convey a certain attitude to life to your customers with your services. Here, it makes sense to cooperate with other craft sectors in order to jointly offer innovative products under one brand name.

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Example: The brand Armani, originally responsible for clothing, no longer stands for designer clothes, but overall symbolizes a comfortable life in prosperity and also sells accessories, home textiles and furniture.

4. Eco-trend also for the craft

After all, another trend for craftsmen is the marketing argument par excellence: the organic and organic trend. And that intervenes in many craft trades: Example: environmentally friendly and low-emission living:

Craftsmen who specifically specialize in such eco-materials and who have the appropriate specialist knowledge when advising customers can score points - this ranges from building materials to painting the walls to the production of particularly environmentally friendly furniture. And when it comes to textile production as well as bakers and butchers, it makes sense to offer special products with an ecological focus - from low-polluting clothing to organic sausages.

What brings the advertising campaign for 10 millions

All of these aspects should be emphasized as part of an advertising campaign. Unfortunately, the image campaign that the ZDH has started to address especially young people only marginally considers these aspects.

The only question is whether such an expensive (budget: 10 million euros) staged campaign reaches its goal.

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Craft history

Remarkable campaign

The start of the Kampagnet offered a TV commercial and the really good and extraordinary. This was definitely striking: offices, houses, bread crumble to the hands of people to dust and at the end you sit again as in the Stone Age. Motto: See where we would be without crafts! Even with long hair and beard - the hairdressers are also part of the craft.

In addition to the TV commercial, there were nationwide poster and advertisement circuits and a website on handwerk.de, in addition, all craft businesses in Germany as ambassadors of the campaign were equipped with appropriate advertising materials.

Good idea, bad timing!

However, the timing for such a video was extremely bad: At about the same time, an earthquake took place in Haiti. And so complained numerous TV viewers who saw themselves reminded by the crumbling Berlin in the video to the earthquake images - and the broadcast of the video on TV was stopped.

Only: The first of the 10 million may have set the ZDH with the dubious video action already in the sand. All right, but there are still the pictures that should hang everywhere as posters.

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Displeasure instead of enthusiasm

The enthusiastic response to the campaign was missing - no wonder! Instead, there is a lot of malice. So joked Mark Spörrle ZEIT ONLINEthat the campaign is basically an ingenious idea - Instead of craftsmen who do not stick to deadlines and ask for horror prices to tell the customer, what it really looks like without craftsmen: Namely quite Stone Age.

And he also has a plausible explanation for the great Neandertanz, which can be found on the ZDH website: Potential customers can use this to react to their anger. Exactly, that was it ... because I was wondering if anyone actually believes that such nonsense could appeal to young people ... And to be honest, I haven't heard from this campaign in a long time - is it a reach in the toilet?

Defensive and without solution

Wolfgang Müller was criticized that it takes a very long time until the solution is offered - and that the video does show what is not possible without the craft - but that is not a solution, as it is better, offered.

In my opinion, this is also the problem of the whole campaign: It looks quite defensive overall. Instead of focusing on your own strengths and highlighting them, the emphasis is on the negative - for example, if no World Cup without the craft is propagated in press releases. However, this has a sour effect ("People, pay attention to us again"), arrigant ("nothing works without us") and rather destructive ("If you don't pay attention to us, we will destroy everything!").

What is craft - and what is not?

It would be better to address the unique achievements and the creative side of this industry - there are next week just a few ideas!

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The team of flexiblesbuero.com put forward a very different, very interesting point of criticism via Twitter: too many of the examples in the video and also on the posters are not associated with crafts in the true sense of the word, but with machine-made industrial products. Or would you have thought of craftsmanship in space travel or wellness?

Marketing that is embarrassing to the compulsory members

It may be that this was exactly intended to bring awareness of the ZDH, but you should always pick up consumers where they are and not where you would like to be a company or organization. In fact, a return to traditional craftsmanship would have been the better way to do that - and more to come next week.

The fact that this image campaign, which is considered by many critics to be embarrassing, for the artisans themselves is the worst, as shown by the many comments of people who are forced as members of the Chamber of Crafts no matter where their money flows.

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  1. Simone Janson

    Thanks for the info and opinions! The link list I will look at.
    The impression that the craft was more broken than whole, did not arise with me. However, I found that with the late solution as well.
    Yes, it is probably about the craft presenting itself as a “hip” employer in order to target young people. Whereby I was just wondering whether it would be better in such a tradition-steeped industry to proliferate with your own pounds, for example the relatively safe jobs, instead of relying on “hip”.
    But maybe 16-year-olds see it differently?

  2. Wolfgang Müller

    From the point of view of marketing, the following can be said about the campaign:
    Very striking, entertaining and also new picture worlds but also very, very long until the spectator a solution is offered, could imagine that many spectators zap away in the meantime.

    1. The potential customers are not offered any solutions on the contrary, the spot promotes rather the opinion that today's craftsmen make more broken than whole.
    Does “craft” need an image campaign at all or do you want to position yourself as an attractive employer?

  3. Herwig Danzer

    A link collection on the topic can be found in the sustainability blog. Greetings from Unterkrumbach, herwig


    RT @SimoneJanson What do you think of the #image campaign of the #Handwerk? Search opinions, which I then like also blogge:

  5. Simone Janson

    What do you think of the #Image campaign of #Handwerk? Looking for opinions that I like to blog:

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