If there was ever a time to define what you do, why you do it, and who you are as an MSP, that time is now. Even before the pandemic, social distancing and stay-in-place, competition was intensifying and many core IT services were being commoditized. Now? You need a powerful brand that resonates with your target market, because honestly, that’s how you’re going to power your way out of this mess. We’ll talk about some other marketing things later, but for now, let’s focus on the brand.
We each have a unique personality, and your company should be no different. Yes, it’s weird to view a corporate entity through an anthropomorphic lens, but your customers are people, and this is how they’ve grown to view and understand businesses. When you think of Apple, Nike, or ESPN, they all have distinct personas, and how they communicate their products and services consistently align with that persona.
Your MSP may not be Apple, but nonetheless will be viewed by prospective clients. It’s an aspect of your company that makes you distinct from the competition, and easier to remember and understand. In a perfect world, that brand is something only you can offer – so don’t say “friendly service” because anybody can say that. Your brand needs to be distinctive.
Here’s how to approach defining your brand.
Know Your Audience
You wouldn’t talk to your mother the same way you talk to your friends. Likewise, the way you present your company to prospects and customers should be appropriate for them. Ask yourself who your target market is. Sometimes you’ve gone after this market segment intentionally, or perhaps you’ve found that a defined segment of the market has organically gravitated to your business. Whatever the case may be, write down a list of defining demographic and psychographic features. Sometimes it helps to create a character that represents your quintessential client, complete with a name, traits and backstory. Your brand needs to appeal and resonate with this type of person.
Determine Your Unique Value Proposition
The marketplace is crowded and you need to be unique to stand out. Knowing your unique value proposition requires that you understand your competition and how you compare to them. Your unique value could be a specific service you provide, a payment or bundling plan, or perhaps a special way that you deliver service. Whatever the case, it should be the first thing people think of when they think of your company.
Develop a Brand Identity
Your brand identity is the face of your company. It’s the color scheme and visual language that’s used across all your marketing and communication materials. It also includes the tone of voice and language used in your marketing copy and pros. These things should flow from a strong brand statement. Your brand statement is different from a mission or vision, and is something created for internal purposes. As yourself what your company does, how it does it, and why it does it. Choose five characteristics that describe your brand. Lastly, think about the story of your brand. Now distill this into a brand statement.
While defining a brand is often treated as a secondary consideration by companies, given that it’s the first thing prospects and customers pick up on, there’s no doubt it should be one of the first.