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Kenzie Barden

Design  + Research + Strategy

Microsoft Accelerate

Unveiling the strategy behind Microsoft Accelerate's elevation, aimed at aiding diverse communities in career advancement and opportunity seeking. The blend of tailored branding, localized micro-sites, and an integrated marketing strategy fostered a thriving ecosystem, sparking positive change and continuous growth across multiple cities.


Design, Strategy, Project Management

Microsoft Accelerate is not a one-size-fits-all program; it targets a diverse range of users from students and service industry workers to business owners and established professionals. The challenge we faced was crafting a narrative through intentional, impactful copy paired with compelling design that resonates with a common need across disparate communities. Every user, despite the differences in demographic, skill level, or career path, is united by a desire to progress; whether that's venturing into a new career, advancing in their current role, or searching for new opportunities in their field.

The Challenge

The solution devised for Microsoft Accelerate encompassed creating a tailored brand identity, developing city-specific micro-sites, implementing an integrated go-to-market strategy, and fostering sustained engagement post-launch. A robust brand persona was crafted to resonate both nationally and locally, while micro-sites served as localized empowerment hubs with job search and tailored courses. A mix of digital advertising, social media, email marketing, and physical outreach drove widespread program awareness and engagement. Post-launch efforts focused on maintaining momentum through continuous community engagement, sharing success stories, and providing ongoing learning resources, thus positioning Microsoft Accelerate as a catalyst for positive change and continuous growth in targeted communities.

The Solution

The journey to resonate with Microsoft Accelerate's diverse audiences began with an in-depth collaboration with Shephered agency, unearthing crucial insights into their needs, aspirations, and pain points. These insights were pivotal in identifying the Key Jobs To Be Done (JTBD), which in turn shaped a journey map to understand audience interactions. This groundwork was instrumental in crafting a brand persona that resonated nationally while tailoring a unique appeal in 15 different city communities. The resulting brand identity positioned Microsoft Accelerate as a reliable, accessible, and impactful initiative, finely tuned to the authentic demands and expectations of the communities it aimed to serve.

Insightful Branding: Bridging Insights to Identity

The development of city-specific micro-sites was a pivotal step towards creating localized hubs of information, learning, and opportunity. Each micro-site was meticulously designed to reflect the unique ethos of the community it represented. Key features like job search functionality, tailored courses for career advancement, and additional localized resources turned these micro-sites into potent tools for empowerment, directly addressing the diverse needs of the individuals in each city.

Community-Centric Micro-sites

A well-rounded go-to-market strategy was the linchpin that tied the efforts together, ensuring the message of Microsoft Accelerate reached every nook and cranny of the target communities. A blend of digital advertising, social media engagement, email marketing, and physical outreach ensured a widespread awareness and engagement with the program. This integrated approach not only created a buzz around Microsoft Accelerate but also fostered a nurturing environment where individuals could interact, learn, and grow.

Integrated Go-To-Market Strategy