If you look around, many MSPs today have similar branding. The brands tend to look “techie”, angular, hyper-masculine, and many times—unapproachable. In an effort to say “we’re a technology company,” MSPs could be repelling their target audience. With a few design tricks and a bit of branding magic, you could increase the value of your MSP.
A Cup of Coffee or A Coffee Experience?
How in the world did our culture go from buying a $.50 cup of coffee at the gas station to spending $3 or more on a latte at Starbucks? Do you think you could charge more for your services or, at the very least, attract more leads if you used some of the same design tricks as Starbucks? What if, when a potential lead landed on your website, they felt at ease and confident in you as a service provider? Instead of trying to convince customers that you have the “best coffee in town”, why not create an irresistible experience that your audience gets in line for and tells all their friends about? A brand that your customers can boast about? The right branding can do just that. Here are some tangible ways to improve your brand.
Start With A Great Name
How many MSPs are named versions of “Joe’s IT” or “Virtual Tech” or “IT Business Solutions”? These names tend to blend together and certainly don’t stand out from the crowd. When you are up against other MSPs to win a customer’s business, having a forgettable name will not do you any favors. If your name is generic, consider rebranding with a name that stands out.
At Limetree Labs, we got creative. Our last name is “Lind” which means “Man who lives under the lime tree.” This is technically not the fruit-bearing tree, but we took creative liberties and doubled-down on the lime icon. Now, when our audience thinks of our brand, they associate it with the lime. Limes have nothing to do with IT, but are familiar and easy to remember.
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Use A Simple, Memorable Logo
A logo is a symbol of your brand. How many MSPs throw together a logo in MS Paint? Sure, it’s functional, but how is it helping your brand? It’s similar to potential customers you meet with that argue they don’t need professional IT services because their nephew does their company IT in his “free time.” Invest in a logo and brand guide by working with a professional designer. When implemented the right way, it will pay dividends.
Create Tag Lines and Repeat Them Often
In addition to the visuals, you can use words to help shape your brand. We have a handful of sayings and tag lines we’ve created for Limetree Labs. We use them in everything from sales pitches to ticket responses to social media posts. Instead of asking customers to “submit a ticket,” we’ve created an entire marketing campaign around “Squeeze the Lime.” Our brand icon (the lime) is on all of our customers’ home screens and they simply click the lime icon to submit a ticket. To make it less of a chore, and to help with recall, we say “Squeeze the Lime.” It’s fun, memorable, and helps us train our customers on how to submit a ticket.
Use A Brand Style Guide For Everything
Work with your designer to create a brand style guide. This should be part of your logo and identity creation process. Use the same colors, fonts, and illustration style for all marketing, pitch decks, client communication, brand swag, etc. These are the elements that will form a picture of your company in your audiences’ mind. The consistency and repetition will strengthen your brand and help you stand out from the crowd.
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Branding is More Than Just Visuals
Often times when we think of “brand,” we immediately think of our logo, our colors, etc. While those help create your brand impression and are necessary to create a foundation, your brand is so much more than that. Branding is what your customers say about you when you’re not in the room. Branding is how you make your customers feel. Branding is the type of service delivery you and your team provide.
Starbucks has completely changed the coffee industry by focusing on customer experience. They successfully revolutionized coffee from an inexpensive drink served in a white Styrofoam cup to a luxury beverage whose brand and cup design create all kinds of social signaling. Think about what you can do to create that one-of-a-kind experience for your customers. It will make all the difference.
People Want To Fall In Love With You
How much revenue are you leaving on the table by turning your customers off with bad branding? People respond to a great brand and it makes your company tangible. Help your audience fall in love with you by being approachable, memorable, and irresistibly good looking!