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Thought I had something more to say…

May 8, 2010

Last week’s trip out to Redmond made a considerable impression on me.   Until this year, I had little or no personal connection or experience with Microsoft other than through  interactions with some of its products.   A better blogger, certainly one with more marketing chops could delve into a full exploration of the concept of brand and how it is influenced when relationships are humanized.  I’ll just share two observations.

Microsoft is vast.  Having heard decades of media attention surrounding Bill Gates and his wealth, I had no grasp for what the engine behind that might look like.  I saw only a very small portion of it, and only the surface at that.   The physical impact made quite an impression on me. From the glass skyscrapers bearing the Microsoft name to the site map that looked like it could have been the floor plan for a large, multi-level shopping mall – except that instead of shops, all those numbered squares and rectangles were entire multi-story buildings.  Awesome, but not what it’s really about.

The people matter most.  Large companies are not a single-minded, homogenous organism as much as we often think of them as such.   I hear “Your company could  just(insert whatever customer wants here) if it wanted to”, on a regular basis, so I know that people believe large companies think and act with one mind.  My perception is that a company moves one way or another as a result of a complex and very organic set of activities created by the multitude of discrete  interactions  of the individuals that comprise it.    This conference definitely humanized Microsoft for me in this regard.   I got to see many faces, and hear different perspectives, experiences, and visions of what should be.  I saw a lot of passion for doing the right thing.

If sincere social media efforts can begin to create the kind of connection with the people within a company on a personal level, then I think that humanization probably matters more than the campaign de jour.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 8, 2010 4:15 am

    Mark

    When I visited the India Development center in Feb,I was at first captivated by the vast glass structures across the campus.But later on during the Community Techdays conference realized the power of the Intellect behind a successful product like windows.I think the people who work there must be constantly innovating and Ideating to remain in the top!

    Vijay

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