What is your company's image, visual design, or brand identity? What do people think of when they hear your company's name? Thinking about this can help your business.
When I think of Boeing I think of Pan Am in the 1960s. When I think of Apple, I think of a white Apple logo and the 1984 Macintosh. John Deere makes me see green and yellow and hard work outdoors in the heart of the country. I feel emotionally positive about these companies.
Microsoft's image and brand identity isn't as positive. I can think of a few logos, a few applications, but nothing that sticks. People don't want Microsoft t-shirts, tattoos, or stickers. It's probably a miss for the company.
Even as a small company you can easily create a stronger company image and brand identity than Microsoft. Steve Jobs told us what the most important requirement is: taste. I don't mean taste in the snooty sense, I mean it in the raw skill sense. Do you know what typeface, style, and color makes a word look better in a given medium? Do you know what makes a logo attractive and gives it long term viability? Most people don't, so don't feel bad.
Everyone's level taste can be improved. If you just start thinking about it you will start to build a better brand identity. Just think about it and the improvements begin. You can eventually build up a fan base and start the t-shirt presses!