Microsoft unveiled a new logo for the Microsoft Partner Network this week at its Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto.
The main difference is that the logo mostly uses the new typeface for Metro that Microsoft is standardizing on more and more in its user interfaces and communications.
In a blog entry announcing the logo, Karl Noakes, general manager, PS&P, Worldwide Partner Group, explained the Metro choice. "It's typography-driven, and its clarity is striking. That clarity serves a purpose: to capture attention -- and business. This logo will lead the eye directly to the message: that you're a Microsoft partner. And they'll implicitly understand all that goes with that: the trusted network, the ongoing support, and the best technology."
Noakes said to look for visual consistency across Microsoft's other partner logos, including Cloud Accelerate.
In a comment on Noakes' blog, one partner noted that he liked the modified logo but called it a pity that his company had incorporated the former logo into 100 percent of its communications.
That's certainly a concern for loyal partners who have committed to the branding, and it would be a huge mistake for Microsoft to slap the hands of those partners who invested in the current MPN branding and need to use it for the next few years.
But partner adoption of the original MPN logo has been underwhelming. A few months ago, we reviewed the homepages of some of Microsoft's most engaged partners, the U.S. National Systems Integrators. Nearly a third were still using old logos and many weren't using Microsoft branding at all.
If the new logo is easier to use and incorporate, as Noakes argues in his post, that's a good thing. With the product buzz Microsoft is generating this year, Microsoft branding could again be one of a partner's most powerful marketing tools.
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