Microsoft to accelerate ‘brand Britain’ strategy

Microsoft is to further its association with ‘brand Britain’ this year with promotional activity to mark its sponsorship of the British & Irish Lions rugby squad and align to more of the country’s institutions.

The US giant aims to bolster awareness of its flagship Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 services with the strategy and is currently plotting promotional activity in the run-up to the announcement of the Lions squad, scheduled for the end of April.

As part of the sponsorship deal, the British & Irish Lions squad will use Microsoft hardware and software devices during the tour of Australia, which takes place throughout June and early July, as it aims to further adoption of its flagship services which launched last year.

Philippa Snare, Microsoft CMO, UK, says the company aims to show how Microsoft’s products and services aid the economy of the country and are now crucial to people conducting their everyday activities.

“One thing we’re working on is how we’re helping Britain… obviously it’s not completely altruistic and we want people to use our services,” she says, adding that Microsoft’s IT tie-up with the UK public sector is also forms part of this strategy.

Microsoft has continued its strategy of aligning itself to typically British institutions from last year, when events such as the Royal Jubilee and London hosting the 2012 Olympics made the ‘brand Britain’ alignment a popular strategy among brands.

Most recently, Microsoft agreed to sponsor a free Wi-Fi service in the back of a fleet of London Hackney Carriages as part of a three month deal with Ubiquitous, whose CabConnect service lets passengers connect to the web on the move (see below).

“There was a lot of excitement about what 4G was [potentially] going to offer but it hasn’t done what people were hoping for so far… We’re all about helping people do what they want to do, for Microsoft this is a natural fit,” adds Snare.

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