Case Study: Microsoft Store

Evolving from a product focused store to an immersive experience destination

Challenge: 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 combat Apple and 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.

Solution: 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 the Microsoft Store CX to life through:

  • Planogram and in-store merchandising that draws customers through the store
  • Store-wide 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
  • Campaign and product launch creative extension into store environments

Results: User-centered experiences now invite shoppers to touch the product 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.

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Flagship stores launched

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Increase in experience YOY

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Increase in store traffic in FY19

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Morgan’s Wonderland

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Immersive Flagship experience

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Store experience planogram