I am a few days late on this, but last week after using the same logo for the past 25 years, well Microsoft has a new logo that more closely mimics the Windows brand.
The Microsoft brand is about much more than logos or product names. We are lucky to play a role in the lives of more than a billion people every day. The ways people experience our products are our most important “brand impressions.” That’s why the new Microsoft logo takes its inspiration from our product design principles while drawing upon the heritage of our brand values, fonts and colors.
Maybe one of the biggest blunders in the history of American business was when former Pepsi executive John Sculley and the Apple board of directors fired Steve Jobs . The ensuing nose-dive almost put Apple out of business. The decision put Apple years and years behind the likes of Microsoft. Now back in charge of Apple Jobs has moved Apple past Microsoft as the most valuable tech company in the world. So on the 25th anniversary of that debacle, the Daily Beast interviewed Scully and a few former board members to see what they thought. Some of their comments show that they still don’t get it:
Board member Arthur Rock, a venture capitalist who helped found Intel, among other outfits, dubbed Jobs and his co-founder Steve Wozniak as “very unappealing people” in the early days. “Jobs came into the office, as he does now, dressed in Levi’s, but at that time that wasn’t quite the thing to do” [....] “I’m not sure, but it may have been a while since he had a bath.”
Crisp recalled how undisciplined Jobs and the original Apple crew could be—enough so that they didn’t shrink at defacing the home of David Rockefeller. [....] He says Rockefeller told him the following day that he enjoyed the party with Jobs and other top Apple managers, but added, “Next year, ask them not to put logos on the mirrors in the lavatory.” Some of the Apple faithful, it seems, had come armed with stickers of the company’s multicolored emblem.
I have no doubt the author cherry picked these quotes to make these folks look clueless. But I found so surprising is I can’t see any regret in the actions they took (outside of Scully). It is kind of staggering actually.
On the June 7 episode of The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, Microsoft’s search engine—whoops, “search delivery system” Bing—had one of the better in-show promotions I’ve seen in a long time. Basically each time Stephen Colbert said “Bing” Microsoft would donate $2,500 to cleanup and relief efforts in the Gulf Coast. Stephen—and guests James Carville and Jonathan Alter—did so approximately 40 times, amounting to a $100,000 donation to the Gulf of America Fund, a partnership between the host and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation.
A Microsoft Spokesperson told Marketing News Daily:
We’re always looking for ways to promote Bing to build brand awareness. We approached Colbert about the idea and worked with the show to make it happen. We thought it would be an innovative branded entertainment campaign, where we could do something good at the same time. We gave Colbert all leeway to execute the promotion. Colbert and his writers had all final say regarding when, where and how Bing was mentioned during the show—and getting zinged by Colbert is a rite of passage as far as we’re concerned.
And Stephen did mock them a few times, including when the said, Bing is a great Web site for doing Internet searches. I know that because I Googled it.” But to a large extent that is what made this promotion so successful. The Colbert Report might have the best writers on television and almost every time “Bing” was said it was funny and not forced. Plus, The Colbert Report hits what I can only assume is Microsoft’s core target audience. Young adults, 18-32.