Press Release

Monday, May 1, 1995 < Prev Next >

Shapeware Announces Name Change to Visio Corporation

Successful Windows-Based Program Drives New Corporate Brand Strategy

SEATTLE, May 1 /PRNewswire/ — In a move inspired by the success of the company's flagship computer software application, titled Visio®, Shapeware Corp. today announced that it is changing its name to Visio Corp. The company's investment in the name change will support a single brand identity that leverages substantial corporate gains realized since the launch in November 1992 of Visio 1.0, a product that pioneered a category of drawing and diagramming software designed specifically for mainstream computer users. The decision will influence all aspects of the company's business operation and advance a higher level of brand and corporate awareness among an estimated 70 million users of the Microsoft® Windows® operating system worldwide.

"Our long-term investment in the value of the Visio brand and in the constant enhancement of our products made the decision to move from Shapeware to Visio Corp. a natural choice," said Gary Gigot, vice president of marketing at Visio Corp. "The evolution to Visio Corp. also marks the next wave of business opportunities upon which we are embarking: deepening corporate usage of Visio beyond early adopters and technical experts, expanding distribution of Visio worldwide, and an aggressive marketing strategy positioning Visio on the forefront of Windows 95-based technology."

Investment in Single-Brand Identity

Although several corporate brand models can be found throughout the industry, Visio Corp.'s new brand strategy follows the success of companies that have branded their corporation the same as their lead product. This includes companies such as Dell Computer Corp. and former WordPerfect Corp.

"Companies such as Visio Corp. that have established a stable lead product are wise to realize the value of investing in that brand identity," said Brian Sharples of Intelliquest, an independent market research firm. "In measuring the power of branding among high- technology makers, we found that 79 percent of consumers rate a corporate brand more important than the product brand."

"Look at companies such as Ford and American Express, which achieved success based upon the significant consumer loyalties they have achieved in their brands," said Jerry McGee, senior partner and executive vice president of Ogilvy & Mather, one of the premier branding agencies worldwide. "It has been our experience that once a company is successful in building consumer trust in a brand, it should concentrate and capitalize on that success, thus ensuring subsequent product growth and corporate gains."

A History of Success

Since the launch of its first product, Visio Corp. has focused on making drawing and diagramming a mainstream, horizontal category for the Windows-based platform, analogous to word-processing, spreadsheets and database products. Today, Visio 3.0 has become an essential software product for the Windows-based desktop, giving business and technical professionals the power to communicate visually with business graphics. The product architecture of Visio — a common graphics engine with the ability to customize solutions using the company's SmartShapes technology — also has allowed for natural extensions of the Visio product. The development of products that sustain individual usage segments include Visio Technical, which targets technical drawing users, and Visio Home, which is designed specifically for the home computer enthusiast.

The expansion of the Visio product line has allowed Visio Corp. to increase customer adoption of its products as a strategic technology that can be deployed easily on all Windows-based desktops. In fact, Visio rapidly is becoming the single standard for drawing and diagramming in the corporate marketplace. Thus, the company's new corporate strategy will continue to position Visio as an enterprisewide solution, dedicated to meeting the drawing needs of a broad range of users.

About Visio Corp.

Visio Corp, the leading drawing and diagramming software developer, was founded in October 1990. The Seattle-based company pioneered the drawing and diagramming market with the release of Visio 1.0 in November 1992. Since then, Visio has released additional drag and drop drawing products designed for business, technical and consumer users. The company markets the Visio product line in the United States, North America, Europe and the Far East. In April 1995, the company also began shipping Visio 3.0 in Japan. To place an order or to obtain more information on any Visio product, customers can contact Visio Corp. at (800) 446-3335.

NOTE: Shapeware, Visio and SmartShapes are registered trademarks of Visio Corp. Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

/CONTACT: Marci Maule of Visio Corp., 206-521-4596; or Megan Prentiss of Waggener Edstrom, 206-521-4596, for Visio Corp./

CO: Shapeware Corp.; Visio Corp. ST: Washington IN: CPR SU:

JF-JH — SE006 — 2979 05/01/95 09:19 EDT