This is the third in what has now become a series of posts looking at how Microsoft appears to be rebranding itself.
Part 1: Microsoft is in the midst of massive rebrand, more than Metro – I look at new logos that appearing for Microsoft’s various brands
Part 2: More on the rebranding of Microsoft – Following the announcement of Surface it looks like Microsoft is changing the company logo and distancing the “Microsoft” name
In this article I look briefly at the new Windows Phone logo and how Microsoft plans to advertise its brands and not itself.
On Wednesday Microsoft announced Windows Phone 8 at the Windows Phone Summit and whilst not really showing much of a new brand there is evidence that Windows Phone is being rebranded. This will bring it inline with the new Windows brand and the other brand at Microsoft. As seen on the image below the Start button on the phone is now the same as the new Windows logo.
I don’t think Microsoft ever showed the new branding for Windows Phone 8 so all I have to go on the new Start button icon but I think we can be pretty sure that the branding will be the same. I do wonder though if the brand will hang more around the logo than the name, if Windows 8 proves popular then Microsoft will want the “halo effect” of the logo to get more people to buy Windows Phones too.
It now looks like Windows, Windows Phone, Office and Visual Studio are all being rebranded to offer a unified brand design, this is excellent.
The next piece of information backs up the conclusion I came to in Part 2 in that Microsoft is now planning to market its brands rather than utilise the company’s name. I pointed out that the new logos don’t feature the name “Microsoft” anywhere and this seems to be part of the broad plan for marketing Microsoft in the future.
Long Zheng has shared a video in which Mel Carson of Microsoft Advertising interviews Chris Capossela, Chief Marketing Officer of Microsoft about how Microsoft is planning to market itself in the future. The whole video is worth watching but there was one part that stood out to me in regards to Microsoft’s rebranding (emphasise mine).
Mel Carson: How do you start at the beginning of the year and think “how are we going to mesh all these [products] together and market it under that one brand”?
Chris Capossela: Well you know that Microsoft is made up 8 different business group and its a huge variety of audiences. We market to developers how build great apps for our platforms, we market to marketers who spend advertising dollars on our big platforms, we market to consumers who buy Xboxes and Office […] and we market to enterprises who’ll bet their entire company’s infrastructure on Windows Server and SQL Server. So there’s not one big mega plan, we’re not actually marketing Microsoft, we’re marketing these individual solutions to these different constituencies.
This certainly sounds to me like Microsoft wants to market the separate brands without putting “Microsoft” front and centre of the marketing. This should prove to be a good strategy for the consumer market where Microsoft is perhaps not nearly as cool as Apple but there will still be a barrier convincing people that the new Windows is indeed new and that’s its “cool”.
Have you seen anything else that backs up this idea of a unified branding design for Microsoft’s products and that the Microsoft name will be taking a back seat going forwards?