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This article was published on July 24, 2012

Here’s how Egnyte can climb its way into becoming a “boardroom” name

Here’s how Egnyte can climb its way into becoming a “boardroom” name
Drew Olanoff
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Drew Olanoff

Drew Olanoff was The Next Web's West Coast Editor. He coined the phrase "Social Good" and invented the "donation by action" model for onlin Drew Olanoff was The Next Web's West Coast Editor. He coined the phrase "Social Good" and invented the "donation by action" model for online charitable movements. He founded #BlameDrewsCancer. You can follow him on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, or email [email protected]

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As part of a consultation series, we are looking at a few companies inside and out, and providing ideas on how to make them better, or more palatable to consumers.

One of the sites that we chose to take a look at is Egnyte, which describes itself as a “HybridCloud” specialist for companies small or large. The idea of Egnyte is that you can share your online and offline files with any device with colleagues and business partners.

A key differentiator for Egnyte is that it’s enterprise-grade, in that it backs up your files securely in the cloud. The company recently secured a $16M round of funding, led by Google Ventures. Its number one priority? Increase awareness of the brand, which is something that we’ll dig into here.

Here’s what Egnyte CEO Vineet Jain said about the task ahead of his team:

There’s been a huge amount of marketing dollars spent by our friends at Box. The number one problem I need to address is that our awareness is still low compared to Box.

Let’s take a look at what Egnyte can do to lift that brand image as well as innovate in the space it plays in.

Brand awareness

“Forget” the competition

Knowing who your competitors are is extremely important, especially when it comes to measuring how your product is doing in its space.

However, the first tip I’d give the company is that it’s probably not wise to discuss competitors in the press unless you’re asked. That quote from Jain above discussed how Box spends its money. I would highly suggest that rather than outwardly discussing what others are doing, discuss what your team wants to do.

The less you talk about competitors, the easier it is for your company to carve out a niche for itself. Nobody wants to be known as “one of those cloud companies”, so Egnyte should start accentuating, subtly, some of the features it offers that competitors don’t.

Get personal

One of the things that companies forget, especially in the enterprise space, is that they’re dealing with people, after all. The example I’ll use for Egnyte is something you’ve probably seen while visiting similar services on the web, it’s not very personal.

As you can see above, Egnyte has a long list of impressive clients. Unfortunately, their highly-talented management team is buried in the bottom links of the site. I firmly believe that a company should “stand” by their clients in every sense. By surfacing the talented folks behind the service, you’re showing potential customers who you really are.

I think that if Egnyte were to highlight its team as well as it does its clients, the brand awareness it could gain is quite significant. Remember, people do business with other people, not logos or taglines.

Bring the cloud to life for everyone

Something for the consumers

The other thing that enterprise companies tend to forget is that consumers are the ones making decisions at companies. These consumers have a life outside of work, as well as other interests. Crazy, I know. It’s possible that not everyone knows all there is to know about the cloud, therefore Egnyte could do a campaign that explains the cloud, and its services, for the “Regular Joe.”

You never know, that Joe could be the one making decisions somewhere down the line at a big name company. By educating everyone, you can also impress the people who matter, the ones making decisions on which cloud company to go with.

Remember, it’s not how technical you are that is impressive, it’s your complete understanding of a vertical as a whole. The hardest thing in the world to do is explain something highly technical in a way that your mom or dad could understand. If Egnyte could do that, they’d be doing a service for everyone.

How about a quiz?

Egnyte does a wonderful job illustrating some of its services by way of diagrams, as seen below:

I think the company could do something really innovative by turning this into a fun and interactive quiz. Take people through your offerings, as well as the history of cloud computing, and then ask them questions on it at the end. If someone feels “educated” they’re more likely to click that big “buy” button.

Broaden your offerings

Even though Egnyte is an enterprise company, perhaps expanding its services to other verticals can help people get on board. Other companies do a wonderful job of offering stripped down cloud backup solutions to get people comfortable with using their product.

Once a consumer gets familiar and comfortable with Egnyte, they could then start recommending the service to the powers that be at their company. The other way to look at this is in this day and age, anyone can become a CEO at any time. Just because someone isn’t looking for a small business service now doesn’t mean they won’t be looking in the next few months.

Get people in the door now, no matter where they are in the pipeline.

With some of these suggestions, Egnyte could really grab hold of the cloud computing space, make itself a household name, and educate the rest of the world, which pays off bigtime in the end.

Make sure to check out the entire Egnyte consulting series, starting with a post from VentureBeat, and then a follow-up via Trend Hunter.

Image: Hugo-photography via Flickr

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