Create a brand strategy and name for an offering that has the potential to speed customer adoption of and migration to the cloud.
If it is Windows, should we call it Windows? If the cloud is seen as risky, does that make the Azure brand risky? And how do we use this launch to gain traction in hybrid cloud and help boost Azure migration and use?
Northbound conducted a kick-off working session with the product marketing team to understand the business strategy, the product attributes, customer benefits, and the ultimate goals of this offering for Microsoft. Northbound then crafted a non-traditional naming process, designed to gain alignment across business units, in which we shared dozens of names against a variety of strategic paths in an effort to illuminate the best brand and name strategy. Through this process, we were able to align the teams around a descriptive yet provocative naming strategy that leveraged the momentum of the Azure brand, while reassuring customers of the continuity and control they would have. While super splashy, suggestive names were intriguing, they would not thread the needle with customers. And while purely descriptive names fit the naming guidelines, we needed something that positioned this offering for the future, not just the present.
The result was Microsoft Azure Stack.
“The Northbound team knew how to handle stepping into a gray situation and being a voice of strategic excellence. The choice to brand the offering Azure, at the time, was not obvious. They helped align the team around the best path forward, with a name that perfectly landed the value proposition with clarity and a creative spin.”