Helping to build brand love for 10+ years

How do you maintain brand integrity across a sprawling global portfolio of products, services, and audiences?

By aligning every aspect of your business around your resonant purpose.


  • Quantitative and qualitative research
  • Foundational brand strategy
  • Portfolio architecture
  • Naming
  • Messaging
  • Visual identity
  • Content and campaigns
  • Video production


Microsoft has a complex, far-reaching technology portfolio. At one end are products and services we interact with every day at work and home. At the other is R&D in the most advanced frontiers of computer science. And in between, there’s a tech backbone that manages data like no other.

When your lines of business are as varied as Microsoft, and when your brand is as sophisticated, how do you maintain brand integrity across all your moving parts?


For Microsoft, one answer is Northbound. Microsoft Account, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Cloud Marketing, Microsoft Security, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Windows, and others across Microsoft have engaged us to tell their stories. Our role is to guide brand development, storytelling, messaging, and naming in a way that reinforces and extends the overall Microsoft brand.

By serving as an extension of our Microsoft clients, we’ve built a wealth of knowledge that fuels our ability to align their business strategies and brand expression.


On hundreds of projects over the past decade, we’ve helped to unify disparate teams at Microsoft and deliver on their vision to build greater brand love at every touchpoint. From aligning naming and portfolio architecture, to developing brand strategy and messaging, and designing identities, videos, and campaigns, our focus is always on driving business value through brand harmony.

Northbound worked with us to really understand our business, audiences, and competition to create meaningful differentiation that resonated and inspired our teams to take action. The end result was so well-received by our organization, and we know will land really well with our clients. It’s a result of great collaboration and awesome work. Thank you for bringing the power of Microsoft to differentiate us!

Naming is the tip of the spear at Microsoft for helping to position products and new technologies within their vast portfolio as well as in the market with customers. We’ve led portfolio architecture, creative strategy, and creative naming on hundreds of projects across the organization.

Microsoft Learn needed to unify a large number of discrete training resources for a global initiative. The tagline “Spark possibility” signaled our shift away from focusing largely on boosting technical expertise and toward focusing on human potential and progress. It was the mantra for all our work on portfolio architecture, strategy, messaging, and expression.

Digital transformation has made advertising more personal and brand experiences more relevant. We helped streamline, simplify, and ultimately tap into the equity of the parent brand with the launch of Microsoft Advertising. Our work encompassed research, naming, strategy, manifesto and storybook, and visual identity, all positioning Microsoft Advertising as the brand that puts people first.

Despite being an AI industry leader, Microsoft was having trouble articulating their vision. For one of the leading voices in technology optimism , we leveraged that optimism by showcasing how Microsoft believes in AI that adapts to we, the people. Through positioning, messaging, and creative expression, we built a future-proof thought leadership framework that zeros in on the human side of AI.

By signing into Microsoft account, consumers can benefit from everything the Microsoft ecosystem offers. But many people don’t know this, and don’t sign in. To close the knowledge gap, we developed a value proposition and messaging framework to drive engagement. The work entailed research, discovery, live workshops, copywriting, and testing—and the alignment of multiple internal stakeholders. We anchored everything in the strategic expression, “It’s all here with Microsoft account.”

Microsoft Industry Solutions is the group that exists to ensure Microsoft partners cross the bridge from possible to practical with the greatest possible outcomes. Northbound's work re-architected the Industry Solutions portfolio and made it meaningful with a unifying brand strategy, as well as a powerful visual identity and messaging, storytelling and video production to bring it all to life.

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