There are more than 300 manufactories in Germany, forming a group of highly specialized, internationally operating small and mid-size companies. By many regarded as so-called “hidden champions”, budgets for communication or marketing efforts were almost non-existent. Further, they lacked any organizational structure in the form of a single association and thus had no political power or lobby. Two manufactory owners approached ORCA Affairs about them being challenged by isolation. We formulated a plan for organizing German Manufactories – aimed at unifying manufactories across different industries with the slogan “Handmade-in-Germany” as their unique selling point. Our plan raised great interest among several manufacturing companies who were convinced of the beneficial synergy effects that would result from a centralized organization.
Since its foundation in 2010, the association is being built up by ORCA Affairs through constant advertising efforts, press work and agenda setting. The focus on manufactories as a special type of German small and mid-sized businesses and their relevance for Germany’s international reputation opened the door for talks to the Department of External Economic Promotion of the German Foreign Office and the Department of Foreign Trade of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs.
The initiative established a single association for German manufactory companies and functions as a lobby representing common political and economic interests. Events such as international press trips and symposia in cooperation with the Federal Foreign Ministry and the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs are being held continuously. Within the four years of its existence, the association has grown from 8 to 23 members and has caught an increasing attention from national and international media.