Brand essence

Empowering people and organisations to achieve more.

Brand values

Innovation, achievement, empowerment.

Brand character

Powerful, confident, reliable, for everybody, corporate.

Dominating archetype
EVIDENCE
Comments
1

Microsoft is perceived as the behemoth of the tech industry – partially because of its actual size, partially as a result of its previous positioning and messaging. Microsoft for many years had been a textbook example of a brand based on the Ruler archetype, communicating its leadership, power and ubiquity. This legacy is still very strong; however, since the appointment of the new CEO, Satya Nadella in 2014 some big changes can be noticed.

2

The new Microsoft mission: “Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more”[1] has strong elements of the Hero archetype: empowerment and achievement. Microsoft’s recent communication already embraces the new mission – it focuses on how people can achieve more with Microsoft (e.g. Microsoft Band main message: “Live healthier and achieve more”[2] or #DoMore brand activation on Instagram[3]).

3

Microsoft declares that it will now put a stronger emphasis on emotional communication, and focus less on product features. Kathleen Hall, VP, Global Advertising and Media at Microsoft told Marketing Week: “We used to fall in love with our own stuff sometimes and talk about features without talking about what it means to people and that is a lesson that we have learned. (…) You can expect a more emotional approach and to be about our consumers and what they do with our products and not about us and the shiny things we make.[4]

4

Microsoft also changed its tone of voice – from a serious, corporate language often filled with jargon, to a tone of voice that is closer to the one applied by Google: warmer and more human. However, they haven’t given up on the corporate wording completely, one example being Microsoft Dynamics: “Microsoft Dynamics business solutions energize and empower customer engagement with real-time information and collaboration. (…) technology plays an important role and enables individuals to drive their vision while also helping organisations to manage their end-to-end business processes.[5]

5

Unlike Google, which decided to launch a house of brands architecture under the Alphabet corporate brand, Microsoft wants to focus on strengthening the overarching Microsoft brand and move its products closer to it. Microsoft believes that the fact, that people don’t associate some famous products with Microsoft, is a problem they need to solve. Tim O’Brien, General Manager of Global Communications at Microsoft’ in the interview with Communicate shared his concerns: “There is a community of people that are rabid about Xbox or Skype but they don’t understand that they’re Microsoft. That’s a bigger issue.[6]

Tagline
Most important campaigns

1. Windows 10 “Students Kelsee and Nkeiru” (2016)

2. “Introducing Microsoft Surface Studio” (2016)

3. Microsoft Devices “Do Great Things” (2015)

4. “Don’t Get Scroogled By Microsoft” (2013)

 

Official brand statement:

We believe in what people make possible. Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.[7]

Interesting facts:

Between 2012 and 2014 Microsoft ran a campaign attacking Google products (Gmail, Android, Chromebook etc.[8]). The campaign was called “Scroogled”[9] – its URL: scroogled.com is still active and redirects people to whymicrosoft.com.[10]

Must-reads

1. Interview with Tim O’Brien, General Manager of Global Communications about the evolution of Microsoft’s brand strategy
“The Evolution of Microsoft’s Brand Strategy”, Communicate, Nov 2015, http://communicateonline.me/digital/the-evolution-of-microsofts-brand-strategy/

2. Forbes on changes in Microsoft’s strategy
M. Lopez, “7 Reasons To Give Microsoft’s Strategy Another Look”, Forbes, Apr 2016, http://www.forbes.com/sites/maribellopez/2016/04/19/7-reasons-to-give-microsofts-strategy-another-look/#638f23226726  

3. About Microsoft’s campaign promoting women inventors
D. Gianatasio, “Ad of the Day: Microsoft Teaches Kids About Brilliant Female Inventors for Women’s Day”, Adweek, Mar 2016, http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/ad-day-microsoft-teaches-kids-about-brilliant-female-inventors-womens-day-170049

Sources:
SIMILAR BRANDS

Want to hear more?

Sign up here for our weekly

BrandStruck Express News.

Check the newly added brand strategy case studies and get our latest blog post.