Microsoft is home to one of the largest and most innovative IT teams on the planet—Microsoft Core Services Engineering (CSE). CSE has thousands of employees worldwide, and a mandate to lead the digital transformation at Microsoft. Over the past 10+ years, Traina has helped the group define its brand position, establish its critical role within Microsoft, and rally employees around a common mission and vision.
Our most recent collaboration began with the realignment of CSE’s teams around 15 service offerings. Our challenge was to launch this new initiative in such a way that would engage and inspire employees worldwide.
Like any new product launch, this effort began with a thorough discovery process, which then led to the development of the campaign narrative. We then carefully crafted the visual identity—one unique enough to stand out, but still aligned with the Microsoft corporate brand. The new visual system includes expressive portraits, custom illustrations, and clever one-liners that playfully reference the group’s service offerings and collaborative spirit. The “True North” campaign was born.
To be successful, the True North campaign had to motivate employees not just to know their role in this new paradigm, but to embrace it. That required an integrated communication approach with multiple touch points, including executive presentations, videos, animations, microsites, articles, a “True North” book, and more. This coordinated rollout ensured that the new initiative quickly took root throughout the organization.
The keystone of the campaign has been a series of fun, animated videos that showcase ways in which the team is driving digital transformation across Microsoft. Our initial scope was to create just three animated videos. But that initial series was so well-received, that additional stories and requests followed. As of the writing of this case study, we’re currently in production on video #8.
In addition to supporting CSE’s internal communication efforts, Traina has been instrumental in the creation of high-profile customer touch points like the Executive Report and IT Showcase websites. Over the years, our goal has always remained the same: to showcase CSE’s pioneering solutions and processes that help Microsoft—and its customers—do more.
Not long ago, this group was relatively unknown. Today, CSE is respected as a thought leader and an invaluable source of IT innovation. Our collaborations over the years have yielded executive praise, numerous awards (including three Addys), and countless creative opportunities. But the most exciting result has been watching our partner’s steady rise to prominence—both within Microsoft and across the IT industry.
Photos by the great Amos Morgan