Microsoft is a well-known brand for both young and old people. It’s one of the most diverse businesses in the world with a wide variety of software packages, hardware, operating systems and electronics. Microsoft is also among the companies with the highest stock market prices of all times which should come as no surprise. Since its founding in 1975, this software company is already worth US$1 billion.
The diverse range of computer-related products and services enables every person and organization on our planet to achieve more. This is the mission the company has been striving for since the beginning.
Respect, honesty and transparency are therefore extremely important. These corporate principles sustain Microsoft's community and serve as a reminder of how the company handles its staff, customers and partners. Every employee contributes to the company's culture and values. In other words, they are truthful, ethical and dependable and they accept full responsibility for all their decisions, actions and their results.
A sustainable image
There's no planet B. If we want to save our planet we need to use natural resources sustainably and switch to renewable energy. Technology plays a crucial role in this process. Data helps us to achieve these green ambitions. Microsoft is a huge player in energy consumption which comes with a lot of responsibility.
That’s why Microsoft launched a carbon initiative with the intention of being carbon neutral by the end of the decade. Microsoft has developed four guiding principles to help them achieve their goals:
- Microsoft wants to collect environmental data from around the world and aggregate it into a new, Planetary computer.
- They want to inspire partners and customers from all over the world. The Planetary computer will help their partners and customers make environmental decisions and organizational activities.
- Microsoft is committed to making their voice heard on issues related to ecosystems. They will support public policy initiatives and measure and manage ecosystems at the global and national level.
- Microsoft wants to take responsibility for their carbon footprint. They want to protect more land than they use by 2025.
Microsoft is combining its expertise and technology to help the world become a little greener once more. We at Merchandise Essentials also want to have a positive short- and long-term effect on our planet. As a result we only collaborate with companies that conform to the highest ethical standards.
Of course you'll need environmental friendly goods if you're running an ethical and sustainable company! We, like Microsoft, want to make the environment a little greener and treat people and our planet with dignity.
The final brand match
You could spend hours trying to list all of Microsoft's goods. The brand seems to have it all! Only the company's own clothing line is still missing. We thoroughly studied this software company and developed a fictitious concept that accurately reflects Microsoft's values and branding.
If we want to launch a collection for a business, it's obvious that the clothing must be compatible with the brand. First we looked at who Microsoft is targeting and that group appears to be very large. They target men and women starting from 16 years old. Therefore it was a big challenge for us to create a design that fits all generations and is wearable for both men and women.
What are your thoughts? Is this design trendy enough for millennials while still being classy enough for baby boomers?
We ensured a seamless fit with Microsoft's branding to make the logo easily recognizable. We did extensive research and conformed to all of the guidelines in our design.
Of course, the striking colors from Microsoft's logo should not be absent; otherwise the style would be unrecognizable. As a result we looked up the four Pantone colors used in Microsoft's logo and integrated them into our fictional design.
Did you know that the four colors have specific meanings?
- Red stands for PowerPoint
- Blue stands for Word
- Green stands for Excel
- Yellow stands for Outlook
The collection is undoubtedly compatible with Microsoft's communication because we used the very same Pantone colors. Furthermore the style is instantly recognizable and their brand awareness is boosted by positive brand associations and clear contact.
Of course, the clothing line does not have to be limited to sweaters. Business shirts, T-shirts and laptop bags are all excellent choices for an office ensemble! Or maybe a tracksuit would be useful in the world of work from home, which will continue to be relevant in the future?
Using clothing as a marketing tool
Microsoft is the world's largest software company, so it has a strong image. We thought of different ways to use Microsoft's collection and came to the following three conclusions:
1. Employer branding
Employer branding involves providing and creating an unique work environment for employees. A powerful employer brand attracts potential employees, and some applicants are willing to give up a larger income in return for a workplace with positive employer branding! Therefore it is extremely important that your brand is seen in a positive light.
When employees are satisfied with their workplace, they also reflect this to the outside world. Satisfied employees are true ambassadors for the company! When Microsoft uses merch for its employees, they can show this to the outside world and advertise in this way.
Did you know that at Merchandise Essentials we offer personalized merch boxes? You can just give a cool t-shirt or you can bundle this in a box with plenty of other cool items. Which will have the biggest impact, do you think? Our merch boxes help to offer an even more unique work experience!
2. Incentives for Microsoft implementation partners
Incentives are giveaways that are often given to business partners. They are usually printed with the partner's own slogan or logo in order to advertise and create a relationship with the partner.
With this investment, you reach a huge target group and it also leaves a positive effect. The partner is constantly reminded of your brand, which unconsciously creates a bond. Research shows that 83% of incentives are kept for longer than a year and 79% indicate that they want to do business with the company again after receiving the gift. A true win-win situation!
3. Influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is becoming increasingly important in today's ever-changing online world. Influencers can have an impact on the actions of a specific target group. These influencers are involved on a variety of social media platforms and help to put the brand in the picture. Why is it so critical for companies like Microsoft to use influencers?
First, a brand's earned advertising is growing significantly. Research shows that 92% of consumers trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth or ads from influencers, more than other forms of advertising.
Furthermore, influencers allow you to reach a specific target group that you identify. If you want to promote a product or service through the use of influencers, it is important to choose an influencer who fits in with your company. For Microsoft, real IT geeks are a match made in heaven!
You may think that Microsoft isn't a good place to use influencers, but you'd be wrong! Sometimes, only industries related to fashion or lifestyle are considered appropriate influencer markets, but industries like healthcare, manufacturing, and IT may definitely do so as well. It's just a matter of finding the right influencer for your business.
So, how do you figure out which influencer is the best fit for your company? You can turn to all sorts of tools to find out if that person has a strong follower base, or see what his/her engagement rate is like, but it can be much more efficient than that!
- Start by looking on the influencer's feed. If you want to get started with an IT influencer and you notice that many of his/her followers are interested in IT and post content about it, then you have a match.
- Also, always look for a person who interacts with his/her followers. Engagement is hugely important when choosing an influencer. You can track the engagement rate using this tool.
- Go for no less than real stories when choosing an influencer. Is the influencer creating content for themselves or for their followers? After all, you only want to work with someone who stands for something and has inspiring stories to share.
Perhaps we'll soon see an influencer promoting the new Microsoft clothing collection?
Getting your own clothing line can only be beneficial to your business. Do you want to use merchandise that is fully customized to your brand? Fill in the form below to get in touch with our Merchandise Specialists.