As the spirit of enterprise keeps gaining momentum across Nigeria and Africa, I want to encourage startup founders and small business owners, to feel the pulse of their target market and ensure their ideas match the needs. As an entrepreneur, you might need to go back to the drawing table to reexamine what you are proposing to your prospective customers.
Do not just run with an idea that inspired you from New York, London, China or Toronto, translate the idea to have practical touch points with your target customers in your own primary market. Often times there is a tendency for entrepreneurs to be carried away with several sparks of foreign ideas, alien from their immediate environment. At the long run, their new product or service is hardly relatable and does not match the needs of clients.
If researches are too expensive for you, just pay closer attention to the lifestyle and behavioral patterns of people in your surroundings, engage in conversations and most importantly listen more. Also, study the ventures that are doing well and gain some market insights.
Have you observed how mobile phone retailers operate? Have you ever noticed the Supermarket and Fast Food Restaurant Chains? You should pay closer attention to them. Try to do a recollection of the strength of strong brands; remember Facebook thrives on the need for humans to connect, AirBnB thrives on accommodation (housing), Uber on physical cars, and so on. What is the point? Understand your local markets; housing, transportation/ticketing, health, finance, labour, fashion, education, etc. and plug your idea accordingly.
Making money is about the market, not what tickles your fancy. It should be registered in your mind that the essence of being in business is to satisfy the needs of longing customers who are always in search of a solution to their many problems. With this mindset, you will be meeting the demands of the market.
Before you think of going WIDE, first go DEEP. Test the waters, I believe that’s why the tech enthusiasts have what they call ‘beta’. Ensure you test your assumptions before you take the plunge. Carryout a proper market research, analyze and think through your innovation before it goes public. Whether it is a new idea or revamped one, tailor it to fit your target clientele.
Every entrepreneur has what it takes to churn out quality success stories, so remain encouraged in your pursuit. Finally, I leave this here;
“Innovation does not start with ideas but with customer insights” – Els Grabt
Written by Maple Dappa
Do you need help in drawing a market plan? We can help! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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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
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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
Do you need help with your brand strategy? We are your go-to consultants! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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EMPLOYEE INSIGHT: “DEDICATION IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE JOB THAT SPEAKS FOR YOU”- ANONYMOUS EMPLOYEE
Depending on how you perceive the workplace, it can be a learning platform for those willing and patient enough to be trained. One of the many things you learn while working is human relations and as we all know, humans could be quite dynamic and different in their ways. This has since been a major challenge for most persons in the corporate world since they have to constantly interact with colleagues in order to achieve the common goal of the company.
Now this task becomes more arduous when you are directly responsible for others within the workspace. You would realise that some people are easier to connect and work with than others. This week we interviewed a HSE Specialist who works at one of the reputable oil and gas companies in Nigeria and whose job specification entails supervision of workers in a bid to ensure they abide by safety rules, in order to maintain a safe working environment.
Even though this is a huge responsibility, our interviewee continues to learn better human relationship approaches with the aim to make the most out of his job. Let us take a glimpse of his work life…
Our interviewee when describing the impact of his work in his life indicated its enormous influence on him so far, “Working has given me a sense of responsibility. It teaches endurance especially with the fact that I meet different people with background and training different from mine. It increases my knowledge about life especially when I communicate with colleagues and those I supervise. The push to be better is also there,” he said.
Amazingly, he had studied a different course while in school and only developed interest for HSE along the line, “I studied Industrial Chemistry but during my Industrial Attachment in the HSE department, I picked interest in the field and equipped myself by undergoing a safety training during my NYSC,” he stated.
As regards his career trajectory, our respondent pointed out that he has been opportune to start with a higher position unlike his counterparts, “Compared to where most persons start from in building their HSE career, I started with a better position,” he indicated.
Though he seem to have had a smooth ride in his field, his experience came with many lessons to be learnt as regards relating with people in his workplace. He said, “I have learnt patience when building safety culture in people and realised that not everyone you are working with has your best interest at heart. At some point, you will get to understand that real life experiences are usually different from what you study in books. Also, dedication is an integral part of the job that speaks for you.”
Concerning his finances, he attested the positive impact working has made in his financial life thus far. “Really my financial life has improved tremendously. However the bad part is that you have to wait till month end to get that joy that good amount of money is entering your account.”
As we know, everything that has advantages also have a downside to it. Our respondent candidly expressed the disadvantages that accompanied his job, “You don’t get to rest as much as you would like. You are cut-off from what happens out there in the world because most times you are at work. There is also the aspect of someone talking to you as they please because they are above you. Blackmail is another thing that goes on around the worksite because certain persons want favours from their bosses,” he said.
Expressing his daily work struggles further, our interviewee said, “Some days you just want to sleep and not go to work but you have to show up anyway.”
When asked if he had a side hustle, he indicated he did and added it is simply based on the love he has for it and not necessarily for extra cash, “I teach in a foundation because I really love to teach,” he said
For his closing remark, our interviewee said, “Being a HSE Specialist is an interesting career that would teach you how to treat your own workers especially if you have it in mind one day to own your company.”
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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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
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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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EMPLOYEE INSIGHT: “THINK LONG, THINK HARD, BE OBJECTIVE AND LOGICAL WITH YOUR CHOICES”- NNEDIMMA IKEME
Teaching, especially when it comes to children, is one of the toughest responsibilities one could handle owing to the fact that much patience and energy is required. Nevertheless, this imperative task cannot be shoved aside and just like the great Whitney Houston sang, “I believe in the children of our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way,” emphasizing the need to properly educate the little ones.
While most parents and guardians don’t have the time and patience to live out these words, there are those who have dedicated their lives to teaching and grooming these children. This set of people whom we often call teachers continuously bear the
Today our spotlight is on Nnedimma Ikeme, a tutor in a lesson centre who uses both formal and informal methods to teach children. She is undoubtedly one of the few special hands chosen to nurture little ones and without exaggeration, one could perceive Nnedimma’s impact distance away.
For one who had no prior knowledge about her current career path, Nnedimma has opened herself up and has developed deep passion for the new world in front of her. Nnedimma stated the tremendous impact working has made in her personal and career life, “working has greatly helped me prioritise my life better and has given me a clearer career path,” she said.
From what started as a casual voluntary work, Nnedimma admitted that she has grown to love her profession even though it was not her course of study in school. However, she has consciously equipped herself by exploring most of the learning opportunities available to her and has acquired necessary skills over the past three years.
“Working as a volunteer at first, helped me realize I loved teaching and with time, I worked intentionally to hone that skill; garnering experience as I worked.”
Nnedimma has experienced significant advancement in her chosen field since she commenced work. Her rapid career growth has proven that an amateur in any field can eventually become a master with diligence and dedication. “There has been growth with regard to promotion; from a volunteer, Assistant Tutor to a full-time Tutor that also doubles as an Interim Administrator when the need arises. The financial benefits have not been as good as I would like them to be, but it’s all ‘work in progress’”.
One way to check our progress most times is through feedback. Nnedimma narrated her most remarkable experience which highlights her initial struggles with a particular child and the results she had afterwards. Her narrative;
“My first one-on-one child, Jose Maria is someone I can never forget. He taught me patience and made me imbibe virtues that I thought alien to my personality, while I explored and stretched myself beyond what was expected from me as a teacher. Working with the older kids and still maintaining a wonderful rapport has also helped shape up my work life for the better. Feedback from parents and children alike, make all the stress worth it.”
Concerning her challenges at work, Nnedimma highlighted two major familiar key points which is usually the case for most people in her profession. “The exhausting long hours and the remuneration are major challenges.”
Due to the nature of her job, its demands and tight schedule, Nnedimma admitted that she barely has time to include other activities that would improve her financial life. “I earn better than I did five years ago, but considering the changing times, it’s not enough. The constrictive nature of my job does not give room for an extra source of income, hence my earnings are not enough for all I need to do within a stipulated time.”
Like most workers, Nnedimma identified low payment as a major disadvantage. She stated, “I work for long hours, but I don’t get enough remuneration. The hours do not give room for anything else,” she said. However as regards having a side hustle, “I would love to have one,” she confessed.
Wrapping up her interview session, Nnedimma had some deep words for young career climbers. “Think long, think hard, be objective, and logical with your choices. Money is a good incentive/motivator, but if you are green, ensure that experience comes first, then higher remuneration befitting one’s experience will surely follow,” she advised.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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