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Monday, April 29, 2013

Microsoft is trying to re-brand itself with insperation from Nike - Just Restart It

The Windows Phone design studio management team recently held a talk about 're-imagining' Microsoft at a design day event in Norway, and it looks like they are going to follow-up the recent re-branding of Windows, Office and the Microsoft logo, it looks like they are going to follow that with re-branding of Bing, Skype, Yammer, and Xbox.

In a 2 year old video of how Microsoft looked to rebrand its key products shown at the design day in Norway, Windows Phone design studio general manager Albert Shum and Todd Simmons, creative director at Wolff Olins; said that the design work for the same Bing logo and what appears to be a future Skype or Yammer brand change. "Other brands are coming along too," they notes before the reveal. "Bing, Skype, Yammer, Xbox…everything is under development as well." The logos fit Microsoft's new approach to design, with a flattened look and colors that align well with other products.

Throughout the presentation, the pair discuss the alignment of design, marketing, product, and brand at Microsoft, and they also reveal some of the influences for the company's new look. "We thought about Nike," says Simmons. "When you experience the Nike brand in whatever form you may experience it, there's always a Nikeness right…you can certainly see it without the logo." Microsoft took an identical approach so products looked similar together, but could be individual with their own brand.

Changing the Windows brand was the key part of Microsoft's "re-imagination" says Simmons. "We also knew we wouldn't be able to change a single thing if weren't able to change Windows." People, reach, and choice were the "three main drivers" to shift from the past and target consumers in a more meaningful way. The project was, and still is, a huge risk for Microsoft. Changing the look and brand of products that over a billion people use is never easy, but Microsoft has focused on design and people to get its message across.

The full video of the Norway talk (45 minutes long) is here: