A dramatic change to the Windows 8 operating system saw the removal of the “Start” button, a feature that has been in every incarnation of Windows, tracing back to Windows 95. It is important for any company to refresh its image, improve functionality and continue to stay ahead of the curve. It is more important however to listen to the feedback from customers, to ensure your product or service offering is still fulfilling their needs.
In an effort to streamline its operating system, Windows 8 introduced the metro interface, a user interface that would resonate with smart phone & tablet users. The interface features a grid of tiles, which would be instantly recognisable by tablet users, intended to offer a streamlined service containing software, programmes and apps in each. However the operating system was caught in a cloud of controversy prior to, and upon release. Many desktop users criticised the platform, believing it not to be suitable for a traditional PC or laptop.
Microsoft took a huge risk by making a drastic redesign of the windows user interface and with mixed reactions it is still too early to decide if this risk has paid off. However Microsoft would not have had experienced the successes it has obtained over the years if they had not took risks along the way. What is important is to recognise the proactive thinking by Microsoft, trying to appeal to a growing demographic of tablet users and refreshing the image of their product.
Is the re-inclusion of the start button an admittance of a failure? No. It is listening to the feedback of their users and their customer base, and acting upon this to satisfy their needs. If changes were never made and risks never taken, we could still all be using Windows 95 (and that would surely lead to more complaints!)
Windows 8 aimed to keep things fresh with a change in appearance and an almost rebranding of the software, something all companies should take note of. A re-branding and change in appearance can reinvigorate your brand, get consumers talking and put you back on the map. Of course one of the easiest ways to rebrand is to change logo, and appearance. Whilst branding goes a lot deeper than a logo, this is what people will instantly recognise about your organisation.
This image change can further be enhanced by the message you’re staff are giving to customers. In a retail setting for example, a smart, attractive and professional uniform will instantly instil a potential customer with confidence. Would your customer facing sales staff benefit from a smart shirt & trouser styled uniform to create a professional image? Do your warehouse or packing staff need to be easily differentiated from the sales staff? Then perhaps a polo and cargo pants uniform would hit the spot.
Think about your customer, and what they’re impression would be of your brand based upon the staff they see. Are you happy with this impression?
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