There is a new rave in the Nigeria footwear industry, and Bata seems to be at the center of it all. For those who probably mistook Bata for either a Yoruba venture or an Igbo business, you might need to sit down for some shocking revelations and hopefully you will get a paradigm shift at the end of this article. Moreover, it is not new to the Nigeria market.
You might probably be amazed that the Canadian multinational footwear and fashion accessory manufacturer and retailer, Bata, has been in the Nigerian scene since 1932. Bata also pioneered projects that developed the Nigerian shoe industry.
On the shores of Zlín Czechoslovakia in August 24, 1894, Thomas Bata established the shoe factory that, within a decade, became a leading shoe manufacturing company in Europe. Bata Shoe Company’s dominance then and now is associated to their smart entrepreneurship, mechanization and competitive pricing.
Following the global economic slump that arose after World War 1 in 1914, the company experienced some challenges due to the instability – currency devaluation and massive unemployment – in the new country. Because of this, there was less purchase of products, which led to a cut back in production. Unshaken by this setback, Thomas Bata came up with a new strategy to tackle this economic crisis by drastically reducing the prices of all the shoes.
As expected consumers responded speedily to the price drop which increased demands for Bata shoes. This saw the closure of many rival shoe manufacturers, in 1923 and 1925, who could no longer meet up the demands that came with the crises. While this was happening, Bata gained more grounds and relevance.
With this successful outcome, the company purchased several hectares to build a factory town, known as “Bataville”. Within the location, the company had grouped tanneries, a brickyard, a chemical factory, a mechanical equipment plant and repair shop, workshops for the production of rubber, a paper pulp and cardboard factory, a fabric factory, a shoe-shine factory, a power plant and farming activities to carter for food and energy needs.
Despite the death of Thomas Bata, the founder, in 1932, the company waxed stronger, increased the quality of shoes and remained a leader in the shoe manufacturing industry. This growth did not end in Czechoslovakia, it also expanded and built factories in other countries – Poland, Latvia, Romania, Switzerland, France, etc.
In 1964, the Bata Company moved their headquarters to Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In 1965, it moved again into an ultra-modern building, the Bata International Centre. The building, located on Wynford Drive, in suburban North York, Ontario, Canada, was designed by architect John B. Parkin.
Nigeria was also in the plan. The company graced the Nigerian soil since 1932, became a major trader and manufacturer in 1964 popularly known as Bata Trading Company and subsequently in 1998 changed to Bata Nigeria PLC. The company spearheaded the development and modernization of shoe manufacturing in Nigeria and maintained tanneries for the processing of leather and allied products such as wet blue. It also instigated the model for local tanneries that were designed in line with the socio-cultural structure of many third world countries and ethnic groups across continents like Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Unfortunately, due to unfavourable business policies, the company exited the Nigerian market in the 80s. These policies affected the company’s operations and made it less effective. Even after its exit, Bata Shoes Company had left an unbeatable legacy and a gap that no other shoe manufacturer could replace.
However, the company recently announced its comeback to the Nigerian market, with a one million naira launch for a factory complex in Abuja. The company’s Nigerian stakeholders are leading the project that is scheduled to start operations in June. They believe this would tackle problems related to shoe importation in Nigeria.
To grow as a dynamic, innovative and market driven domestic manufacturer and distributor, with footwear as our core business, while maintaining a commitment to the country, culture and environment in which we operate.
To be successful as the most dynamic, flexible and market responsive organization, with footwear as its core business.
Asides giving the shoe manufacturing industry in Nigeria a facelift, Bata looks forward to reducing the unemployment rate in the country by training and employing 128 youths from Nigeria. These set of qualified individuals will be responsible for managing the production in the factory. Based on the quality Bata has been known for, Nigerians can be assured that the brand will continue to deliver exceptional products and in turn give them value for their money.
We hope this article has enlightened you in some way. We would love to read your comments, if you do not mind sharing.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Do you need help in structuring your business? We are an email away at firstname.lastname@example.org
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After several months of deliberations and restructuring, the long awaited merger between Access Bank and Diamond Bank finally came to an official conclusion on April 1st, 2019. This merger is by far one of the most remarkable mergers in Nigeria’s banking history and has placed Access Bank as the largest retail bank in Africa by customer base. Access Bank stated that the new brand which is recorded to have over 27000 staff spread across 592 branches in 12 countries distributed in 3 continents with over 29 million customers, has always been part of its vision.
Following the successful merger between the banks, the values of the both Access Bank and Diamond Bank were combined to create a new visual identity. The CEO, Herbert Wigwe, emphasised that the brand’s new identity is built on the long lasting philosophy with the vision to be the world’s most respected African bank.
Explaining the inspiration behind the new logo, it was revealed that the emblem is a fusion of both banks’ corporate values. While Access Bank has been attested for being fast, recognised and trusted globally, Diamond Bank is known for its youthfulness, vibrancy and humanness. In their words;
“The new visual identity fuses together the best of Access Bank and Diamond Bank. It builds on the layers of meaning that were built into two iconic brands. Diamond bank’s was youthful, vibrant, and human. Access Banks’s was trusted, global, and fast. Bringing them together to capture the strength created through the merger meant drawing from the essence of each logo but refreshing them to create a sense of energy and forward momentum”
Despite being a blend of both banks, the new brand is designed to have refreshing attributes of its own. “Bringing them together to capture the strength created through the merger meant drawing from the essence of each logo but refreshing them to create a sense of energy and forward momentum.”
In the new logo, the diamond shape was retained but with new features added to it. The diamond shape is embedded in three chevrons that is maze-like which is meant to give direction or access to customers. “The diamond shape is fused into the three chevrons, which radiate in all directions to create layers around a core.”
The new logo is designed in two colours- a dominance of the well-known orange colour which will be used in corporate application in order to retain the sense of familiarity among Access Bank’s customers while the diamond colour palette will be used in its retail application to ensure continuity for retail customers.
“The retention of the access typeface, colour and font is complemented by the orange logo, which draws from the colour palettes of both banks”.
SLOGAN AND IMPACT
Accompanied with the new logo is the new tag line, “Access. More than Banking”. They refer this slogan as their philosophy and a promise they will work to keep.
Having being in the picture for over two decades, Access Bank is confident about the impact they’ve made so far. Their brand’s history serves as an assurance to both Access and Diamond Bank’s customers that they would be able to keep and succeed their promise. Narrating their impact journey, they said;
“Almost 20 years ago Access Bank set out to change the face of banking in Nigeria. Its goal was to lift the continent of Africa through what it called sustainable banking, showing individuals and businesses across the country that ethical business was good business.
“Providing African businesses with access to intra Africa trade and global markets. Giving budding entrepreneurs the tools to build a business.
“Offering families the opportunity to realise their dreams. Across the country, another entrepreneur was also building a bank, with a dream that went beyond banking.”
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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At the sight of clustered school kids in the peak of an afternoon or at the close of school, there is high degree of certainty that an ice cream vendor on a bicycle is available making a good sale of different Fan Milk products. On the menu of many adults who are health conscious but still crave for sweetness, Fan Milk is usually their preferred yoghurt brand. Its variety of products are also listed as one of the most patronised in any dairy outlet.
Since its emergence in the dairy market, there is no doubt that Fan Milk has made tremendous impact in the lives of its consumers and the society. Most often than not, it is considered as one of the most influential brands in its industry which is an attestable fact largely. Interestingly, Fan Milk has gained a large customer base with little or no adverts and has remained a threat to other dairy manufacturers in Nigeria. Today, our review explores the brand delighting the taste buds of many across the country.
It would come as a shock to most consumers that their favourite dairy manufacturer, Fan Milk PLC, has been churning out its products since1963. Though founded by a Danish merchant and industrialist Erik Emborg, the business has always been Nigerian based with the first factory established in Ibadan and a distribution centre in Lagos. The company made its major sales through bicycle vendors who got their supplies from smaller depots. During its early days, the factory depended on imported milk powder to produce it fresh milk and subsequently focused on white milk, chocolate milk, cottage cheese and set yoghurt as its product range.
In a bid to increase its customer satisfaction, in the 1970s, Fan Milk introduced other products such as yoghurt drink, ice-lollies, ice cream and a new packaging technology, Tetra Pak. The company experienced a good financial outcome and recognition due to the success of the new products in the market. To gain more grounds, the company commissioned its second dairy factory in 1981 in Kano and has since then spread to different parts of the country with many depots and outlets to its name. This strategic move increased both its customer base and visibility in the country.
Despite being a Nigerian based company, 96% of Fan Milk’s shares were owned by the foreign partner. Following a decree, The Nigeria Enterprises Promotion Decree, made by the government in the late 1970s, the company opened its investment platform to more Nigerians. As a result, Nigerians acquired 60% shares in the company.
The1980s and 1990s came with some bumps such as the export restrictions, economic difficulties, devaluations and shortages of fuel thereby reducing the company’s speed and influence. Rather than dwell on the setbacks, in 1998, the company began to seek ways to remedy the situation. With the collaboration of the foreign partner and the Industrialization Fund for Developing Countries (Denmark) an agreement was reached which was to infuse more capital to enable the company restructure its finances, refurbish cold rooms, and increase the number of depots. Within that same period, the company introduced Fan Dango, a fruit drink which made irresistible waves in the market. Due to the expansion and rehabilitation programme, the company was again back on track.
Following its desire to improve and reach more customers within the length and breadth of the country, Fan Milk PLC looks forward to introducing a better distribution system that will convert depots to mini distribution centres (MDCs) and franchise outlets. The new product delivery system is called Last Mile Distribution (LMD) and will focus on delivering products ordered via the hotline or online portals to customers in their shops.
Fan Milk has also expanded to other countries in Africa like Ghana, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire. As part of its brand impact, the company has employed over 800 workers and has empowered thousands of bicycle vendors and other agents.
It sees a clear vision for itself thus:
“To be the number one producer and marketer of frozen dairy products in Nigeria.”
The company mission statement is stated as follows,
“It is our mission to be a leading manufacturer and marketer of healthy, nutritious and safe frozen dairy and non-frozen dairy food products at affordable prices to the benefit of all stakeholders.”
The company is driven by the following core values;
- Professional Management
- Financial Suitability
- Corporate Citizenship
For its brand success, the company leverages two market approaches:
- Quality products with emphasises on the health benefits.
- Broad distribution chain that covers every kind of consumer regardless of their status and age.
From our research, we accredit the brand’s success to its consistency regardless of the changing times and its distribution approach. With these, Fan Milk has made itself one of the most successful dairy brands Nigeria has ever known.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Would you like to build a sustainable brand? We are here to help. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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A major problem business owners have with branding is that they delay the need for it. “I will start the business first and brand it later”, they say. But that’s like brushing your teeth without toothpaste and licking toothpaste later to make up. I know that illustration is a bit too extreme so don’t try to wrap your head around it.
Anyway, practically speaking, when branding is shoved aside or kept at the bottom of the to-do list in business that could be classified as one of the most unwise business decisions. For anyone venturing into the competitive world of business, the first thing on your mind should be how to stand out from others who have been there. This is not to exaggerate but no business would stand out without slight touches of branding.
No matter how basic, branding should be an intricate part of your business plan. For example, when thinking of your business name, also ask yourself if it will make a good brand name. Consider how the name will flow on marketing materials, souvenirs, stationery, and so on. It can be that basic and simple, even though branding runs much deeper than visual identity and communications.
Though branding is a broad topic and sometimes seen as complicated, it is still doable and never farfetched. I’ve observed that some people try to avoid it with lots of excuses to give, from limited resources to lack of time. In fact once a conversation about branding is stirred they literally begin to enumerate all the challenges that would prevent them from taking actions towards branding their business.
You may not have the funds, time or requisite knowledge to effect a full scale branding from the onset, but you should think ahead and lay the right foundation that you can build on later. I think it all begins from our understanding of what branding really is and that is why I urge you to learn more about the subject, by any means possible.
One thing you should understand is that branding affects every aspect of your business – visual identity, product development, customer experience, employee relations, organizational structure, office administration, marketing communications, and so on. You cannot afford to take it for granted if you really desire to grow a sustainable business.
When you lay a good foundation, you stand a better chance to survive the challenges that come your way. A whole lot of setbacks in business can actually be prevented from the beginning if the right branding strategies are employed. Wait no longer, now is the best time to start branding your business.
Written by Maple Dappa
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If asked to narrate the history of your brand, would you be able to walk prospects through your timeline without skipping a vital detail? Have you ever really taken quality time to ponder on your brand’s story? Do you have an archive dedicated to keeping record of your brand’s progress? There are numerous questions pertaining to proper documentation of an organisation’s history that most founders hardly consider.
In researching different brands for our weekly ‘brand review’ column, we discovered a trait common among over 70% Nigerian based brands, poor documentation of their history. While surfing most of their websites for relevant information related to the general structure of their organisation – brand history, core values, vision and mission statements, brand culture, etc – we found too little or no helpful information. Some business owners may consider the information as private and never see the need to share with outsiders, maybe they fear being copied by opponents, or they simply lack the skill of tracking progress.
In contrast to this norm, we also observed a common practice among most foreign-based companies with branches all over the world; they have a keen interest in history. They could dedicate a whole page on their website to their company’s journey that they update regularly whenever the company accomplishes a milestone. Occasionally they boast of their history being their heritage and often urge prospective clients to study their different timelines in order to get a clearer prospective of the company.
Asides this historical approach by great brands being beneficial to strangers, staff are daily reminded of the company’s history as well. They believe having a firm understanding of the past would inform present decisions that would in turn reform the organisation’s future. To them, every milestone is a dot that connects and leads them to their desired future.
The basic essence of creating an accessible rich historical archive for your company is to gain more connection. The more people, both customers and staff, understand and connect with your brand’s story, it makes it more likely for them to stick around much longer. Studies have shown that most brands with in-depth history tend to last longer as they continue to strive to live up the legacy left by their founders. These companies seek different avenues to introduce an innovative idea as a means of staying relevant.
Apple Incorporation is a perfect example of a company with a detailed historic background which is cherished by every employee. From when it was founded in 1976, by Steve Jobs and his partner Steve Wozniak, the company continues to thrive in the world of technology. Despite the death of its founder, Steve, the company with relentless effort towards innovation runs with the same vision but with an improved and modern sight.
When you begin to see your business as an entity of its own, that its progress needs to be recorded per milestone, you evolve your business into one that should indeed be taken seriously. It is not enough to wish for a brand that will outlive you; you must make steps towards documenting every stage of the business with new improvements, as this would eventually form the company’s legacy over time. Start writing your history today!
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
We would love to help you document your history and craft a story for your brand! Send us email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Universal Parcel Service is unarguably one of the world’s most remarkable package delivery company. Asides being one of the oldest package delivery and supply chain management companies known all over the world, its logo has continued to give the brand a bold and unconquerable face.
Though UPS has always kept its logo simple, it has never fallen short of communicating the company’s values to the customers. From the delivery trucks to each parcel delivered, the UPS logo leaves its stamp in the memories of people. The logo has added to the global recognition the brand enjoys.
The UPS logo has so far experienced four transformations since it was designed over a century ago. At every point in time, as the company evolved with different market strategies, it ensured the logo evolved with it.
The first UPS logo was created the same period in 1916 when the company was established. The logo had distinguishing features such as an eagle carrying a parcel with its claws and the famous bronze shield. To further define the brand’s values, the words ‘Safe, Swift, Sure’ were written on the sides of the package. This logo symbolized the brand’s strength as regards its service. In no time, it became the company’s identity.
Even though the first logo was remarkable, UPS needed something that would align with its growth. With this in mind, the company redesigned its logo in 1937 to match the company’s new goal. This logo has the letter UPS written on it but the bronze shield was retained. Following this change, the company’s slogan was changed to “The Delivery System for Stores of Quality” in order to get the target customers.
In 1961, a new logo emerged which was designed by Paul Rand. The logo had a package tied with a string above the UPS shield. The aim of the logo was to highlight that the company’s core service was package delivery.
The logo was reviewed again in 2003 and this time the shield was recreated to give a pleasant look. The new logo was designed with the colour brown and was accompanied with a new slogan, “What can brown do for you?”
This logo was designed by FutureBrand, a brand consulting firm. The new logo was used on delivery trucks and had a new font called UPS Sans.
Brown has remained the colour that has distinguished the company since 1916. For UPS, the brown colour means elegance and professionalism, which also hides dirt on uniforms and delivery vehicles. UPS uses two shades of brown that are their registered trademarks. They are both used for their vehicles or clothing.
Though there has been some proposals and research to change their famous chocolate brown colour, no other colour has been able to meet the company’s standard. Rather than change their primary colour, chocolate brown, the company adds brighter colours to it like red, blue and green to form a sort of colour palette. While they add these other colours, they also try to maintain the brand’s original identity.
The simplicity of the UPS logo has beaten the idea of sophistication. While some brands seek to create abstract designs, UPS focused more on the message each logo passed to their potential clients. It has remained consistent with the shield identity that has also increased its popularity. With its simple but yet powerful logo, UPS continues to stand out.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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If you have a flair for creams then at some point, you must have tried a Nivea product or even if you are not a cream fan, we can bet you must have seen a Nivea commercial televised on your screen or a billboard with NIVEA boldly printed on it or even an online advert.
For over 130years, the brand has consistently spread its fragrance through different products. Though a German based company, Beiersdorf, which is behind the famous product NIVEA has established itself in the Nigerian cosmetic industry. Today we examine how NIVEA which started in a small scientific laboratory exploded to almost every part of the world.
NIVEA, which is the trademark for one of Beiersdorf’s popular cosmetics brand, was derived from the Latin word “nix, nivis” meaning “snow-white”. The brand was birthed from quality research, and a great deal of creativity and a good business sense.
The brand’s success story traces back to the Pharmacist, Paul C. Beiersdorf, who first invented the coated plaster in his small laboratory in Hamburg in 1882. Subsequently, after his invention, Beiersdorf started the company and till date the company bears his name.
The company experienced a change of ownership in 1890 when Dr. Oscar Troplowitz took over from Paul C. Beiersdorf. Troplowitz expanded the company and further developed the water-in-oil emulsifier as a skin cream with Eucerit which was the basis for Eucerin and later became NIVEA.
In 1911, Dr. Oscar Troplowitz produced the first NIVEA Creme with the help of chemist Dr. Isaac Lifschütz and dermatologist Prof. Dr. Paul Gerson Unna. The skin cream was a stable oil-and-water. In 1914 the company operated the business in over 34 countries and as a result it gained global popularity.
In 1918 when Dr. Oscar Troplowitz and his brother-in-law and partner Dr. Otto Hanns Mankiewicz died, the company’s trademark was changed severally until June 1, 1922 when it finally settled for P. Beiersdorf & Co. AG corporation.
After its first commercial in 1920 with “Eulalias Verjüngung” (“Eulalia’s rejuvenation”) which was shown in a German movie theatre, NIVEA got more spotlight on it. The aim was to convince prospective customers of the effectiveness of the snow-white skin cream.
Though the NIVEA brand had existed and made itself visible in the Nigerian market for over fifty years, it was not until 2017 the company Beiersdorf officially announced its arrival in Nigeria. Believing that the Nigerian soil had become fertile enough, the company invested N7 billion in the economy and described it as the right place for investment.
It was also forecasted that by 2050, Nigeria will become the 14th largest market in the world. The company assured its Nigerian customers more quality products and more innovative brands. Since then, the brand has continued to thrive and keep to its promises.
BRAND CORE VALUES
The company has always been guided by four main core values from the beginning. The brand’s core values has informed the manner the business is being operated, the way employees are being treated and the also the way colleagues associate with each other. The four values are as follows;
One major culture the brand believes in is the importance of showing care. They are concerned about employing a culture which encourages individuals to lead their own unique ideas and convictions and are also inspired to take responsibilities for themselves and their teams. They welcome and promote diversity, which they believe breeds innovation.
The company is run with flat and flexible hierarchy system. They make conscious effort towards honesty, sincerity and straightforwardness in order to ensure everyone knows where they fit in. They try to strike a fair balance between work and life so they embrace teamwork in a means to devise individual solutions.
The brand ties its strategy to “care”. In their words, “For us, “care” is more than just part of our business, it expresses our responsibility to people and the environment. We manufacture high-quality skin care products and have more than 100 years research expertise. Our efforts form part of Beiersdorf’s international sustainability strategy “We care”.”
Being a well-known brand, NIVEA has used its influence to seek for alternative ways to improve the lives of people and the society. The brand continues to support sustainable sourcing which would enable them produce more quality products. They serve as an educative platform to enlighten people health wise.
FEEDBACK FROM CUSTOMERS
Knowing NIVEA as a brand most Nigerians have patronised, we decided to get some feedbacks from some customers;
“Nivea products are affordable. Though I think it doesn’t really last for 48hours as we are made to believe in their adverts, but then I like the fact that there are no harmful chemicals in them. Nice fragrance too,”- Grace
“For me, Nivea roll-on and deodorants are long lasting even beyond 24hrs. Another amazing fact is that they are non-alcoholic and can be used immediately after shaving without the burning/peppery sensation other products give. Unique fragrance I must add. They also have varieties of products one can choose from,”- Oswin
From the feedbacks above, one would observe a high level of consistency and impact the brand has made which can be considered as their strength. With its firm foundation, NIVEA remains a brand that will forever live in the minds of many in years to come.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Do you want to build a business with the right set of values? We can help you get it right at the core. Get started, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Reputation is something that sticks longer with humans and it’s usually difficult to correct whether good or bad. In business, a first mistake could be pardoned and considered an oversight but when it becomes a reoccurring event, it becomes your company’s reputation. Once people get to know your brand for a particular thing, negative or positive, that image stays glued on your business until you’re able to create a stronger impression that is remarkable enough to replace the former. A bad reputation therefore tarnishes the image of your business.
The fact is customers never forget the kind of emotions they felt when they encountered your brand, how fast or slow you delivered, the process in which you got the work done either efficiently or otherwise. If they had a terrible experience caused with your brand, they would always remember.
Following the recent event of the Ethiopian Airlines crash of the Boeing 737 Max 8 jet, we realised the magnitude of a bad reputation. The Boeing 737 brand that had also crashed five months earlier during Lion Air flight generated a lot of bad publicity for the airplane manufacturer, Boeing. Due to the reoccurred misfortune, some countries have grounded the plane, labelled it unsafe and it has already cost the company its shares valuation, which dropped to 13% with the snap of the finger, in the stock market. It is a thing of certainty that people whose families died in the plane crash will always relive the grief anytime they hear Boeing 737. This has automatically put the Boeing brand on the black list of many potential passengers and even shareholders.
From the event, you would deduct that a brand’s reputation creates a certain perception of it among clients, stakeholders and its target market. Unconsciously, the type of reputation you have could stir several emotions in customers who try to patronise you. What they feel becomes what they would associate with your brand and eventually would turn out to be your brand identity.
Companies with bad public image run at loss and never make high sales most of the time. They are usually seen as not being trustworthy or reliable and also lose customer loyalty as time goes by which affects their relevance in the society they operate. It obviously points out that a bad reputation is one of the fastest ways to ruin any business even the greatest of them all.
For any business to thrive in its sector, it must pay attention to the kind of reputation it has earned from when it commenced. People would either connect or disconnect with your brand based on what you have been known for as a company’s reputation always guides the decision of prospective investors or clients.
For the Boeing brand, we think it would take a lot of product re-engineering, rebranding, remodelling and reassurance for it to gain back a good public image. What’s your take, do you think it still has any reputation left to build on?
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Do you want to build a remarkable brand that will leave a lasting legacy? We can help you structure your business the right way. Send an email to email@example.com
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What’s a computer without a Microsoft software? That’s a bit hard to imagine, isn’t it? Think about it, virtually every computer is operated with the help of Microsoft products from the Windows Operating System to other easily accessible software that give users a better experience.
Now if almost all computers come with Microsoft products installed in them, it invariably means its logo is also imprinted in them making it one of the most recognised brands in the software industry. This way it has gained massive visibility and relevance.
The Microsoft logo is one which has communicated the brand’s message over the years and has left a lasting impression on its customers. With a minute glance at the Microsoft emblem, most people instantly recall what the brand stands. Speak about logo impact!
Today we decided to slide the Microsoft Windows to get a clearer view of how it has evolved since its inception.
HISTORY OF LOGO
From the onset, Microsoft established itself as one of the most creative software brands. Its exceptional operating system, Windows, and the line-up of Office software products, the company created a brand that will last in the minds of people all over the world. For many decades, Microsoft has consistently been a part of businesses, system
The founder, Bill Gates and his cofounder, Paul Allen, designed the company’s first logo in 1975. They created this version using a programming language to draw concentric lines and rounded edges that forms an all cap. This logo, which was inspired by a disco aesthetic, served its purpose for the time but the company needed something more radical to represent its brand.
After a few years, in 1980, the logo was recreated to suit the partnership between Microsoft and IBM. The aim for creating this logo that had sharp edges, diagonal lines and exaggerated stems concentrated on the letters M, R and F, was to retain the company’s visual relevance, making it bolder and more appealing to the new market. In no time, the new logo gained its popularity among computer enthusiasts and programmers.
In a bid to increase the brand’s awareness, the previous logo was changed again in 1982 to a solid, geometric sans-serif font. For this particular logo, more details was added to the letter ‘O’ with series of parallel lines drawn inside which represented an icon known as the “blibbet” by the employees. This logo gradually became the face of Microsoft’s flagship brand, Windows operating system.
The blibbet also served as a standalone logo, which was used as a watermark on the company’s stationery. This particular logo made a reasonable impact on the employees and alumni of Microsoft academy. Larry Osterman, the lead engineer, stated that there was even a customised Blibbet Burger on the Microsoft’s campus, and a campaign was organised by employees, and current CTO, Dave Norris, to “Save the Blibbet” when a new logo was proposed in 1987.
With Windows operating system becoming a recognised brand worldwide, there arose another need to revamp the logo. Following this, Scott Baker, the in-house designer was given the responsibility to refresh the logo to something that would better represent the company’s goals and vision in the new era. Narrating the meaning of the new logo, Scott said;
“The former logo, the ‘Blibbet’, was more in keeping with how we saw our company five years ago. The new logo, in Helvetica italic typeface, has a slash between the “o” and “s” to emphasize the “soft” part of the name and convey motion and speed.”
This logo, a bolder title- cased wordmark, was used to represent the transition of the brand from the old era to the new one. The triangular silver carved between the ‘O’ and the ‘S’ had slight similarities with the Pac Man logo and this eventually earned it the title “Pac Man Logo” given to it by the employees. The logo was used for a period of 25 years until the year 2012 when another logo was introduced.
Having observed that all the previous logos never really presented the company’s major product, Windows, the in-house designers were tasked collectively to brainstorm for a new logo. Finally, on the 23rd of August 2012 the present logo was launched. This new vibrant logo consist of the wordmark written with a new font and an emblem with four colourful squares. This logo was designed to represent the company’s known products; the red for Office applications, green for Excel, blue for Word and yellow for Outlook. In addition, the Microsoft uses its own typeface, Segoe UI, which was created by the designer, Steve Matteson. Asides being used for the company’s marketing and designs, it is used within the operating system and software for mobiles and desktops.
According to Microsoft:
“The brand should evolve to visually accentuate this new beginning, as the company prepares for the launch of its new products. The logo takes its inspiration from our product design principles while drawing upon the heritage of our brand value, fonts and colors.”
MEANING OF LOGO
The icon symbolizes the Windows system. The logo simply feature a window with four panes of different colours, red, green, blue and yellow. This window version of the logo moved from the flying windows to a static one.
The logo also emphasises the company’s innovation in technology, which it offers people daily. The company continues to include new technological features in order to improve customer experience. The Microsoft logo stands as a symbol of quality in an operating system that allows people explore the world of technology through its Windows.
According to the general manager, Jeff Hansen, the logo signals the heritage and the future- a newness and freshness.
In 1995, the first Microsoft Office logo was introduced which featured a wordmark, and a square shape. When the XP version was introduced, in 2001, a gradient tool was applied to the logo. After the 2012 emblem was released, it became an abstract orange shape, which was supposed to reflect the company’s new design language.
The earlier Microsoft Excel logo featured the letter “X” that had the “L” on one of its sides that could be read as “XL,” or, Excel. From 1985 to 2013, the logo was modified eight times but retained the same visual effect. Finally, in 2013 variation, the logo was changed to just “X”.
The first Microsoft Word logo was designed in 1983. It was then just a wordmark with a recognizable “O” character but after four years a new emblem was adopted which featured the character “W” instead. The new logo was positioned in a way it looked like a sheet of paper. The same idea was recycled over the following years until in 2000 when a new logo was introduced. It had character, “W” craved in a square shape with the colours white and blue. After several other modifications, the company designed the open book with the letter “W” on the cover in 2013.
The Microsoft logo consist of six colours; the grey wordmark and the blue, yellow, green, and red or orange emblem, which are all on a white background.
The colours are a representative of a division or product line of the corporation.
The light blue colour stand for the Word or most times the Windows, which is the ‘background’ of everything one does on the PC. The blue colour also is a cool and slick colour, and symbolises Microsoft’s vision for Windows which to be slick and quick, and still be cool and easy to use.
The orange/red colour stands for Microsoft’s Office products. Red means business and suggests busy and productive which is what Office does, to get things done.
The green colour stands for Microsoft Gaming, mainly XBox. Green is a fun colour, which is what Xbox was designed for.
The yellow colour stands for Microsoft Hardware. Yellow is a bold and strong colour meaning that Microsoft hardware is built to be durable and efficient.
As seen above, at every stage of its evolution, Microsoft has always tried to communicate its brand values though it visual identity which reflects a part of its brand strategy. This is the reason why the Windows of Microsoft will always be one which attracts the freshest air of new ideas.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi.
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Earlier this week, whilst thinking of a brand to review – particularly brands which had made significant impact using Port Harcourt as a launchpad – the brand CypherCrescent came into mind. For many of us in Port Harcourt, more especially those who aren’t into the Tech business – this brand may seem foreign to us. Nevertheless, this same brand is well-known in the oil and gas industry particularly in Nigeria.
Cypher Crescent was established few years prior to March 2015 when Mr. ThankGod Egbe, a mathematician and research enthusiast, resigned from Shell after eight years of dedicated service to the company in both Nigeria and the Netherlands. With over 5 years of doing business and adding value to the oil and gas industry, Cypher Crescent has since seen expansion of its business beyond the shores of the country to Aberdeen, United Kingdom, Homan, and Houston Texas and all over the world.
Cypher Crescent Limited is a research and software development company, which utilizes mathematical models to proffer creative, innovative, and effective business solutions to the engineering problems encountered by clients/companies in the exploration and production of oil & gas. They also provide consulting services in oil and gas asset management and as such, help petroleum production and exploration companies better manage their well and reservoir assets in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
Their flagship tech innovation – SEPAL – a business intelligence tool for well and reservoir management has so far seen major successes in acceptance and is highly sought in the industry by both government-owned and private oil & gas firms. SEPAL (Structured Engineering Presentation and Analytics Library) help oil and gas exploration and production companies remain competitive more importantly in these times of constant oil price fluctuations in an industry which contributes over 90% of the country’s total export value and revenue.
In the recent past, this alluring brand collaborated technically with NNPC Research and Development Division in the use of technological innovations in enhancing the production of oil and gas in Nigeria. In a country that depends majorly on the revenue derived from its oil & gas economy, you could guess what significant measure this implies on the overall growth and development of the Nation.
To show their love for research and the development of the oil and gas sector, Cypher Crescent donated twenty-four SEPAL licenses (its debut product on well, reservoir & facility integrated asset management) to the Institute of Petroleum Studies (IPS), University of Port Harcourt in 2018. The previous year, it donated fifteen of similar licenses worth over US$1.5 million to the African University of Science and Technology (AUST). They also recently sponsored some indigenes of host communities in ICT training as a way of enhancing the human-resource-base capital of the society.
To be a leading provider of world-class oil and gas asset management solutions.
To safeguard oil and gas asset integrity and enhance production through innovation and cost-effective business intelligence solutions
Their core values
Integrity, Respect & Innovation
Excerpts from their website states:
Our clients are international oil companies (IOCs), NOCs, independent and marginal field operators seeking to maximize value from their oil and gas assets. We also provide technical expertise and support for servicing companies involved in turnkey projects.
Our team of experts are drawn from diverse backgrounds, with skills and experiences garnered from both the E & P industry and the academia. The team is motivated by their constant desire to continuously innovate and create value that address existing gaps in the E & P business. The team’s experience covers areas such as geosciences, petrophysics, reservoir engineering, production technology, well completions, production operations, mathematical modeling and software development.
SEPAL – Structured Engineering Presentation & Analytics Library
- Mathematical modeling
- Engineering Software Development
- Asset Management Services
- Technical Support and Training
Cypher Crescent is committed to collaborating and assisting their clients to gain valuable understanding of their assets through the integration of acquired data and in-depth technical insights.
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