Aligning your company’s branding and positioning with Microsoft

imageA common question I hear from partners is about demonstrating their relationship with Microsoft to customers. Most often, the request is related to the partner using the Microsoft logo, Microsoft product logos, and Microsoft services logos in its sales and marketing materials.

In general, the Microsoft logo and our product logos are not intended for third-party use, even by Microsoft partners. But there are still ways you can tell customers that your solutions are based on Microsoft products and technologies, and let them know you are a member of the Microsoft Partner Network.

In this post, you’ll find guidance and resources that will help you showcase your company’s expertise, differentiate your business, and connect with new and existing customers.

Brand and trademark basics for partners

The Microsoft corporate brand, and its product brands, like Windows, Office 365, Azure, SharePoint, Skype, etc., are trademarks, and they are valuable Microsoft assets. The trademarks cover the Microsoft name and logo as well as the names and logos for Microsoft software, product, and service names. It’s important to know how you may—and may not—use Microsoft trademark and brand assets in positioning and marketing your company and solutions.

Guidelines specifically for the Microsoft corporate logo are published here. On the General Microsoft Trademark Guidelines web page, you’ll find detailed information about referring to Microsoft trademarks correctly on your properties, including:

  • Your web site
  • Your domain name
  • Your social media account names
  • Your products and apps
  • Your product packaging and manuals
  • Your promotional and advertising collateral and materials

If you have a question about using Microsoft trademarks as a partner, please ask it in the Partner Membership forum in the Partner Support Community.

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How to showcase your capabilities, solutions, and MPN membership

Here are four ways you can demonstrate your capabilities, solutions, and membership in the Microsoft Partner Network.

1.  Market your Microsoft competency with your custom logo to differentiate your business and demonstrate your expertise

imageIf your company has attained one or more Microsoft competencies, your Microsoft Partner Network benefits include a customized logo that let you align to the Microsoft brand, promote your status as a Microsoft partner, and showcase your company’s areas of expertise.

Your logo is specific to your competency achievement—sign in to Logo Builder to create and download your custom logo in the formats you need, then incorporate your company’s competency  into your sales and marketing materials to highlight the competencies you’ve earned and differentiate your business.

2.  List your company on Microsoft Pinpoint to market and sell your technology and cloud solutions

imageMicrosoft Pinpoint is an open marketplace that allows Microsoft partners and developers to promote and sell Microsoft technology and Cloud solutions to customers, amplifying your pipeline of qualified leads:

  • Easily promote and sell apps and technology solutions with access to over 5 million visits per year
  • Maximize your exposure and increase visibility through integration with, Microsoft products, and Microsoft customer campaigns
  • Extend your reach with global access including availability of the marketplace in 40 languages

Sign in to the Partner Center to get started.

3.  Use the Smart Partner Marketing website, ModernBiz campaigns, and Partner Marketing Center resources and materials to connect with your customers

Market your business and solutions with customizable campaigns and event planning resources, and add Microsoft content to your website.

More sales and marketing resources

4.  Promote your team’s Microsoft technical certifications and accreditations to showcase your expertise

Even if your company does not have a Microsoft competency, you have probably made investments in your sales, marketing, and technical personnel to ensure they have the necessary Microsoft product knowledge and expertise to build, sell, and implement your solutions and address customer needs. Technical certifications and sales accreditations can help your company demonstrate expertise and stand out from competitors.

To find training for your team that aligns to products and competencies, explore the new Partner University and the Microsoft partner learning paths. Upcoming live (in-person and online) training opportunities are listed in the US partner training Hot Sheet.

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