Managed Storage Services: Branding 101

Managed Storage Services: Branding 101

studentbackupWhat can two former stay-at-home moms and a 38-year-old tech guru teach you about the managed storage market? Plenty. No doubt, many managed service providers are struggling to differentiate in the storage as a service market. Sometimes, all it takes is finding a niche. Such is the case at Studentbackup.com. Here's the story.

First, a little background: Roughly 70 percent of MSPs offer some form of managed storage, according to our ongoing MSPmentor 100 survey, which ends Dec. 11. I think it's safe to say many of those storage services are vanilla offerings that don't stand out in a crowd.

Now, let's look at Studentbackup.com. I learned about the managed storage service the old fashion way: By reading an article about the company in my local newspaper, Newsday. Founded by Maggie Tolkin and Amy Motschwiller, Studentbackup.com leverages the technical talents of Adam Schwam, the story's proverbial tech guru. The service:

"provides students with a secure, fast, and affordable online system for the daily, automated, and unattended offsite backup of their critical data files."
What a simple but compelling idea: Take a commodity service (online backup) then brand and market around a specific market niche (K-12 and college students). The result: Newsday reports that Studentbackup.com has about 50,000 customers across the U.S., generating about $1 million in sales.

Is the backup service managed by another back-end provider? Are the data centers SAS 70 Type II certified? I have no idea. But perhaps that's the point. Studentbackup.com knows its audience and keeps its messaging simple and only talks about one brand: Studentbackup.com.

Assuming the service works as advertise, it's a case study for how MSPs can successfully target branded niches with recurring revenue services.

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