Case Number: 5-104-034, Year Published: 2006
HBS Number: KEL097
Product Branding, Product Positioning, Brand Architecture, Sub-Branding, Ingredient Branding, Enterprise Software, Value Proposition Design, Technology Marketing
John Williams, senior director of marketing for Microsoft's .NET, was trying to build the .NET brand, a comprehensive family of next-generation connectivity software products. This case highlights the challenges of branding and positioning a complex technology offering. The first challenge Microsoft faced was to develop a common definition of .NET, which had been in flux over the prior two years. The second challenge Microsoft had to consider was the choice between an umbrella branding strategy, a sub-branding strategy and an ingredient branding strategy. The third challenge was to create a value proposition that would appeal to three very different target audiences: business decision makers, IT professionals, and developers.
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