The Power of Differentiation: It’s Time IT Resellers Leveraged Brand-Building Strategies

By Nathan Selby, Head of Client Services at Active Profile.

  • 3 months ago Posted in

Within the last few years, the IT reselling landscape - and the entire world - witnessed a seismic shift, largely driven by a supercharged surge in pandemic-driven remote working. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, resellers moved at pace to support businesses in their overnight move to smart working. And it came as no shock to see that many of these businesses were ill-prepared for such huge and irrecoverable changes.

A major result of this? Sales of solutions such as Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace sky-rocketed at a rate we’d never seen before.

A shifting focus

Jump ahead to 2023, and there’s been another crucial shift of focus. Now, the widespread utilisation of vendor solutions for the day-to-day running of many businesses has pushed the development of in-house products and services firmly into the spotlight. Resellers are investing more than ever when it comes to crafting new solutions for customers - either building on top of existing vendor products or creating their very own intellectual property. But with so much careful planning and key resources being ploughed into these smart solutions, are resellers neglecting to nail their brand awareness strategies when it comes to taking these products and services to market? And without an established and unique brand voice, how do resellers hope to cut through their noisy, oversaturated marketplaces?

The answer is brand-building

It’s no surprise to hear that the IT reseller landscape has always been a fiercely competitive one. In a pre-COVID world, businesses often stuck to the same old trusty IT partner. One that was probably local, with office visits from human experts to troubleshoot techy problems in person. This emphasis on geographical convenience was often a clincher when it came to building business rapports with IT partners. However, the past three years has seen many of those constraining relationships melt away, as borderless trading and remote working became the norm, and businesses begin to explore which vendor actually suits their requirements best, not simply their location.

A massive consequence of this, however, is that end-user businesses have been swamped with samey messages from countless IT resellers – very few with any real differentiation or distinctiveness. It’s this sense of brand uniqueness that will allow certain resellers to stand out from the crowd and shine brighter in a marketplace saturated with dull, generic messaging and branding.

So, with this in mind, it’s time for businesses in this space to leverage bold brand awareness like never before.

A strategic approach, not a superficial one

One of the biggest pitfalls when it comes to brand-building is strategic thinking (or rather, the lack of it…) Many resellers looking to enhance their brand can become fixated on simply churning out superficial top-of-funnel awareness ads. This is not content strategy, it’s simply content. For outputs to become the building blocks of brand awareness that resonates – a more laser focused approach is needed. Before resellers produce anything, they must first start with a plan. Asking: what is the business goal? Is it to scale? Is it to take a new solution to market? Is it to appeal to a new audience?

Only when resellers have considered their why can they think about the how. This is how a strategic mindset is developed – and ultimately, will prove to be the key to establishing a brand voice capable of cutting through the noise to generate those all-important leads.

Content with intent: A game-changer for resellers

In a market flooded with 40,920 IT resellers across the UK alone, the importance of creating content with a purpose cannot be overstated. The age of simply creating dull, generic blogs is over. Resellers must instead embrace a bespoke approach that resonates with their target audience, offering valuable insights and solutions that address their pain points and business challenges. Calls to action must be strong, and angles must be genuinely intriguing and insightful.

The power of a full-funnel approach

A holistic marketing strategy that encompasses each stage of the buyer's journey is also pivotal for resellers aiming to establish an engaging brand presence that stands out from the crowd. By integrating a full-funnel approach that caters to awareness, consideration, and decision-making - resellers can effectively engage with potential customers at every touchpoint, fostering a deeper connection and driving those all-important conversions at the end point.

The age of data capture and marketing experiments

Today, data is the driving force behind successful marketing and brand building. It's all about collecting the right info. For resellers, this means understanding what their customers want and need. By capturing data smartly, they can build trust and tailor their approach to each client, in more accurate ways than ever before. Trying out new marketing ideas, such as growth experiments, is a particularly powerful way to get key insights they can really work with. These experiments allow resellers to test which marketing and brand awareness approaches work and which ones fail, so they can keep on improving and tweaking their brand messaging and presence, for it to land perfectly with the right audience, at the right time. By tapping into the world of data and marketing experiments, resellers have a golden opportunity to really get to know their customers and make savvier choices that will ultimately lead to growth and success.

In a nutshell…

So, as the tech vendor space continues to evolve, and more players enter the arena – it’s becoming increasingly clear that adopting a bold and strategic approach to brand awareness is undoubtedly one of the main cornerstones of enduring success in the IT reselling sphere.

With the right elements of brand messaging nailed down, IT resellers can quickly begin to carve a unique identity for themselves, fostering stronger connections with their target audience and even establishing themselves as industry leaders. According to research by Active Profile, one in two resellers are now already focusing on brand building activities in 2023. So, if you haven’t already – it’s time to start building.

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