Case Study:
Microsoft Store

Evolving from a product-focused store to an immersive experience destination

While shoppers lined up to enter new Apple stores, customers weren’t sure what to make of Microsoft as a brand, and the store environment felt like many disparate product silos.

By 2013, Microsoft had introduced over 100 new retail stores across full-line, in-line, and specialty formats in an effort to regain PC market share. At this time, Rational was helping drive some interesting point-in-time marketing moments for the stores, but Rational and Microsoft saw a bigger opportunity to change the hearts and minds of customers through a stronger focus on the customer experience.

Our goal: Make Microsoft Store an experiential hub for the products, services, and partners that enrich the lives of its customers.

Rational helped Microsoft push its retail stores beyond the traditional point of purchase merchandising and product-focused selling into an immersive and value-driven experience. 

The goal was to make Microsoft Store the experiential hub for the products, services, and partners that could enrich the lives of its customers. Our team began by ideating and delivering in-store demos and experiences that drove improvements in perception. These experiences were then more broadly woven into the overall fabric of the store, ultimately culminating in the development of the flagship store experience launching in New York, Sydney, and upcoming in London.

Rational brings Microsoft Store’s CX
to life through:

  • Planogram and in-store merchandising that draws customers through the store

  • Storewide and product experiential design that activates customers into exciting brand-building moments

  • Partnership strategy with Morgan’s Wonderland to extend Store experiences to an inclusive audience

  • Hyper-local marketing activation that drives foot traffic for key moments

  • Creative extension of campaigns and product launches into store environments

User-centered experiences now invite shoppers to touch the products and connect with the brand in ways that change perceptions or reinforce brand loyalty and love.

Whatever the retail form factor, Rational’s team creates scalable interactions so users can better understand both the product and the brand promise. Most recently, Microsoft has begun to realize the benefit of a CX-focused retail strategy and has begun the closure of its specialty store formats to invest in more flagship stores.


Flagship stores launched


Increase in experience YOY


Increase in store traffic in FY19


Morgan’s Wonderland


Event and media management


Store experience planogram


Surface Design Lab


Xbox Gaming Lounge


Microsoft London store


Microsoft London store