Whether your MSP business is large, medium-sized, or small, it is still very important for you to build and maintain a strong local brand. The particular reasons may vary in each case but the end result is the same: a strong local brand could play a critical role in the success of your organisation.
Your MSP company may already be a large, well-recognised national brand or even an international brand within its industry. Or, you may run a medium-sized brand looking to achieve national coverage. The small MSP may be looking to expand geographically, perhaps to insulate itself from the vagaries of local economics. In all three cases, it is important to achieve a strong local brand.
Building Brand Identity
Given the degree to which cloud services dominate the MSP business industry today, it is easy for companies to see the online world as their local community, but this risks missing out on the benefits of local brand building. By fostering a strong local brand, your MSP benefits from awareness. That awareness generates strong potential for business from clients outside your normal client base, among the local community.
As local familiarity with your brand grows, your MSP can win new business and do it in the local community, further strengthening your brand and providing huge potential for word-of-mouth to help spread the message. Your local community can become a valuable ally in your sales and marketing efforts.
Leverage Local Branding for Geographical Growth
In ancient Chinese business strategy, one way for small businesses to grow without the danger of going head-to-head against larger, more-powerful competitors, is to focus on smaller, local markets, building a ‘ring of power’ around the larger markets typically favoured by large companies.
By building your local brand, you can give yourself a solid foothold in one local community, and then expand to nearby communities. Having executed a successful local brand-building strategy in one community, you can fall back on corporate ‘muscle memory’ to build your brand in the next community, and so on, going from strength to strength.
Recognition of Expertise
As you build your local brand, you become known locally as an expert in your field. Other authority figures will turn to you for advice and help. Local media will call on you for comment and input, providing your business with valuable opportunities to build your brand, increase local awareness, and bolster your position in the local community as an expert. Your company can foster this effect by creating opportunities to support local business in seminars and workshops.
With the success your company should enjoy from building its local brand, you could end up needing to recruit more staff to support your expansion. With the local recognition of your brand and its authority, greater opportunities to hire talented workers will arise. In turn, the local talent working in your managed service provider will spread the word about their employers. This feedback loop can become very powerful.
Don’t Ignore Online Branding Opportunities
While building your local brand, however, don’t ignore the associated opportunities for online branding. Even if you’re not a small, local business, the skilled application of online branding techniques locally can help give your operation a more local flavour that will make it more attractive to local clients.
The key to this is to ensure you adopt an online marketing and branding strategy that caters for local reach. Ensure your MSP business has a local online presence that works for the local communities’ use of online media. Reputation marketing is extremely important. Don’t see it as a chore; see it as an opportunity to engage with the local community. Not only will it help build your brand identity in the local community, but done effectively, it will guide you towards sales opportunities and help shape the products the community needs.