The pioneer of personal computing had become a fading corporate giant, increasingly poorly placed to compete against nimble competitors. They needed a brand system that was always Microsoft, but that was flexible enough to elevate a handful of power brands within the portfolio.
Microsoft were a siloed organization, communications were inconsistent, experiences felt disconnected and the masterbrand was under-leveraged. There was a a massive opportunity to breathe new life into the expression.
To live up to this ambition to be “One Microsoft”, we renewed the propositions and purposes for the key players in the portfolio.
Windows was the obvious place to start, since for its billions of users, it’s synonymous with Microsoft. Windows 8 represented a bold change to the ubiquitous operating system. Its modern aesthetic and fierce reduction of elements serve up a surprising perspective. It was confident and completely engineered around what mattered to users, so we reflected this in the identity.
After Windows, we explored Office, Skype (a long-term partner of ours), and the Microsoft store experience. We created and launched the Surface brand, taking the company successfully into hardware.
We brought each brand to life through a set of robust identity systems we called the Brand OS. Working across product and store experience simultaneously, we developed expressions that were unique, but closely related to one another.
Our work spanned every possible touchpoint. We developed the end-to-end experience, including naming, architecture, digital, print, packaging, retail, non-traditional, motion, sonic and product.
In the process, we created tools that saved money and time, and ultimately delivered more brand consistency around the world. Immersive training brought the new brand to life for key stakeholders within each business unit.
“One Microsoft” is now recognizable no matter the product and has laid the groundwork for generations of products to come. It’s also had a significant impact on the value of the brand.