Build a Web Hosting Brand that Sells
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Web hosts must never undervalue their image. Image and brand power are absolutely critical to business, as customers often donít have any other way to initially gauge the value of a web host. Mike McEwan covers a series of things to help create brand recognition in the hosting industry.
Needless to say, there is a lot to be said for any businessís corporate image. Companies like Microsoft and McDonalds rely heavily on their brands helping to sell products. But to you, the web host or reseller, image is ten times more important. The clichť is especially true for you: image is everything.
Microsoft has built their image from strong (or weak, depending on who you ask) software packages that everyone uses at some point. They are so popular that almost everyone who is considering a Microsoft product has already used one. They know the power and ubiquity of the company. McDonalds has built brand recognition through gimmicky television commercials, placing millions of stores all over the world, and pumping the smell of grease and burning fat out to streets of hungry drivers. Obviously, none of this is part of the web hosting world.
To boil things down to the simplest form, all that prospective hosting clients see of your company as a little html and a little Photoshop. You are a webpage, not a human being or a physical store. Web services like hosting are intangible compared to other kinds of services. Users donít get to see the service in shrink wrap, and they often donít get free trials. Customers rely on appearances and reputation to discern which companies will keep their web pages online. If your site looks unprofessional or does not provide what browsers expect, you have lost them already.
Part of the trouble for web hosts who have not built brand recognition is that there is such a high market saturation of hosts. Customers have a million choices, and it can confuse them. Some users care most about the bottom line, and they will experiment with lesser known hosts to get better deals. However, many just want a promise of stability and performance, and they tend to gravitate to the several hosts that have formed a strong brand.
There are a few notable things you can do to assure you are on your way to winning clients. Letís take a look at a few.
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