Branding the future of immersive experiences
Office: New York
The way we work has forever changed since the beginning of the pandemic. But long before then, Microsoft had been working on the next generation of digital collaboration tools, aiming to realize the long held potential of Mixed Reality. The surge in remote work that happened as a result, accelerated the need for this innovative offering.
As a long time brand partner of Microsoft, they engaged us to help prepare the foundations for this new brand. Their ask was for us to help define the brand architecture and positioning, and to create the name and naming system for this new offering.
The result was Microsoft Mesh, a mixed reality platform that powers collaborative experiences with a feeling of presence – meaning users feel like they are physically present with each other, even when they are not. People can interact with 3D content or engage with each other through Mesh-enabled apps across any platform or device – including Microsoft HoloLens, VR Headsets, Smartphones, Tablets, or PCs.
The main goal was to redefine the tech category by speaking about Mixed Reality in a simple and human way. The category was crowded with sci-fi-related references, and abstract concepts. We wanted to make sure that we addressed real consumer pain points and positioned Microsoft Mesh as the distinct human solution.
Our approach consisted of exploratory qualitative customer research, collaborative strategy creation, several rounds of name generation, and culminated in a final name, validated through quantitative research with our proprietary NameGauge ® tool.
Through our immersion, we spoke to current and prospective customers across B2B and B2C. Combined with internal stakeholder interviews and a deep audit to understand the category, we crafted three foundational insights.
Our research was conducted at the height of the pandemic and when distance and remote work became the new norm, people felt increasingly isolated and alone. The second insight was around the current perception of Mixed Reality and the notion that it felt like a fantastical idea that lived in the future. The third insight revolved around the friction and disconnection people feel as they navigate multiple digital ecosystems in an attempt to work and be together.
Using these insights, we saw an opportunity to position Microsoft Mesh centered on the product truth of connecting people across distance and multiple technologies in a human and emotional way.
From these foundational insights, we built Mesh’s value proposition that centered around open, real and together.
Open highlights the idea that Mesh invites all to create in mixed reality, through its open ecosystem. Real emphasizes the realness of mixed reality, by focusing on presence and the fundamental role it will play in our future lives. And together, which focuses on the idea that Mesh enables people to be together, no matter the distance or circumstance.
The resulting brand, Microsoft Mesh, plays a prominent role in Microsoft’s Mixed Reality portfolio.
Mesh immediately connotes a sense of tightly woven connection and seamless interplay. It’s a short, punchy and satisfying word – that can live as both a noun and a verb – communicating in a single syllable that a closer form of connection is possible for all. To “Mesh” feels much more intimate, much more collaborative, much more effective, and much more fun.
Microsoft Mesh was the lead announcement in CEO Satya Nadella’s keynote at Microsoft’s Ignite conference in March 2021. We continue to partner with the team on evolving the Microsoft Mixed Reality brand portfolio.
A particular point of pride is the tagline, “Here can be anywhere.” It was created by the brand team for internal use but was so captivating it ended up being used as the customer facing tagline.