Becoming a Brand Name
What is branding and what exactly can it do for the business of a Managed Service Provider [ MSP ]? Think of branding as advertising who you are as an MSP and what you can do for clients. MSP’s have a tendency to lose the spotlight to the names of their pfartners and vendors. To survive the competition, it’s important to find ways to stand out in the industry by creating a strong brand name in the technology world.
MSP’s are usually smaller businesses and serve to clients’ businesses that are similar in size. Branding is a smart and strategic way to leverage your company, especially if larger competitors are acting as the shiny object in your clients view from a distance. To brand your business as an MSP, that means you can be positive your name is out there and not being hidden under the marketing cloak of a vender or partner where your message may not be as strong. In addition, your marketing will be even stronger because most MSP’s, for the convenience due to size and manpower, will choose a vendor-produced marketing campaign.
All the same, partners are still important to generating successful business. For an MSP to team up with a partner or vendor makes sense. You can cover more ground with businesses and make a bigger impact. Although, as an MSP, you need to be able to bring something to the table whether it’s an application or service that will make clients turn their heads. For example, PASSPORTAL is considered a leader in password security for IT firms. Think about what services and applications you consider yourself an expert in and market it to potential clients. When discussion revolves around an important topic such as system security for a business, you know potential clients are going to go with an MSP that can prove their services and applications work opposed those that they hope can do the job.
Understandably, you don’t want to eliminate the possibility and potential of a MSP-partner relationship completely, so how do you find the right balance? Make a list of who your best strategic partners are. Strategic partners are the well-known companies (Microsoft, anyone?) who will give credibility to your company name and services. As they are well known names in the industry, if their name is associated with yours, potential clients will view your products and services to be reliable as well. When determining your list of strategic clients, still consider companies that might not have the brand name to attract clients, but can still offer important services such as firewall protection and backup devices and plans that are highly sought after and together can still make a strong impact in providing for businesses.
Now that you have your services and your partners and their services, are they dependable enough to deliver to clients? To make it easier on your clients, combine your partners’ services into your branding campaign. MSP’s can have partners that employ many important systems and services, but their names might not ring any bells in the minds of clients. So market their services opposed to the name (think MSP’s using popular business management forms of autotask systems provided by a partner or vendor) as something you can provide to keep clients productivity up.
Don’t worry, though. Partners will still get the recognition they deserve. It just might not be on the first page of your website. Save that space to market your brand to clients and why they need your services and products. Branding is about making your MSP stand out in the eyes of clients. Don’t lose the time to equally share it with your partners and vendors in the same spot, as they will have a chance somewhere else in your services to be recognized later on. From the services and application that you, the MSP, provide down to the professionalism, talent and knowledge of your employees-what is the best branding strategy for your company?