Microsoft's retail store a step forward in building immersive lifestyle experience, says brand expert

Uberbrand managing director, Dan Ratner, talks to us about the brand implications of Microsoft opening its first retail store in Australia this year

Microsoft’s first retail store in Australia could be the brand tool the vendor needs to reposition itself as an immersive consumer lifestyle choice, Uberbrand’s chief claims.

Microsoft announced plans last week to open its first Australian retail store on Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall as part of efforts to better engage directly with customers. The 6000-square foot store will stretch across two levels and is due to open before Christmas.

Speaking to CMO on the significance of the software giant’s retail investment, Uberbrand managing director Dan Ratner, saw it as a big step forward in helping to reposition the once product-centric brand as one that offers a fully immersive consumer experience.

“Technology has very quickly integrated into our everyday lives,” he commented. “Since the late 1990s, Apple has capitalised very well on this shift.

“Microsoft traditionally finds itself in the background, and while an important component of delivery, it’s not truly the brand that represents the technology immersed in a consumer’s lifestyle.”

In contrast, brands such as Apple, Android and most recently, Samsung, have positioned themselves around their ability to deliver on the immersive technology lifestyle, approaching this in ways that have proven unique to their brand, Ratner said.

“The Apple store experience is the pinnacle of this brand immersion,” he said. “Apple broke new ground by delivering a human interface to its brand. It not only successfully challenges sociological convention by making what is traditionally sacred [a definitive zoning of pay areas and cash registers] open to the consumer.”

Ratner also noted the Apple store’s “almost religious interior design cues”, including tall ceiling heights, white interiors and large glass windows, as adding to that all-encompassing experience.

“This allows a consumer to deeply immerse themselves into a more powerful and reinforcing brand experience. It could be considered an integration of consumerism and worship – especially for those who use the brand,” Ratner said.

Of course, while this might work for Apple, it may not be the right approach for others, Ratner warned. Samsung, for example, has chosen to focus on how appliances and technology intersect, something that is reflected in its in-store environment.

“Microsoft needs to reposition itself as a fully immersive lifestyle technology brand,” Ratner claimed. “Its traditional approach has been quite product centric. While at an individual level each product is highly successful, it's the overarching sum of this that needs to be better competitively positioned and communicated.

“It’s pleasing to see that Microsoft is opening its first branded store experience outside the Northern Hemisphere. This can only help by allowing Microsoft to demonstrate how its brand delivers on this new world of fully integrated, immersive lifestyle technology.

“However, it will be interesting to see how it delivers this experience in the context of the Microsoft brand.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

The competitive advantage Australian retailers have over Amazon

With all of the hype around Amazon, many online retailers have been trying to understand how they can compete with the American retail giant.

Joel Milligan

Performance manager, Columbus Agency

How to become the customer experience custodian

The number one objective enterprises give for embarking on a digital transformation is to improve customer experiences with new engagement models, according to IDC’s 2017 global study.

Fear not: It's only a robot

Every time I pass through the automated border controls at the Sydney airport I walk away with a feeling of exasperation on the one hand and relief on the other. Exasperation, because the face recognition technology inevitably always fails to recognise me. Relief, because we seem to be safely years away from the Orwellian reality of states controlling every aspect of our lives; something the media is keenly warning us against each day.

Dan Kalinski

CEO, iProspect Australia and New Zealand

And to add after looking at event pictures plus, observing all AU's visible Blonde Bimbos (think Julie Bishop to this Georgie Gardnerare)...

absolutelyconcerned

In pictures: CMO 50 2017: The who's who of Australian marketing leadership

Read more

CMO 50 2017 announcement mentioning "innovation". I checked date and its November not April so its wasn't an April Fools' Joke. Australia...

absolutelyconcerned

In pictures: CMO 50 2017: The who's who of Australian marketing leadership

Read more

I worked at Momentum when the transformation started way back in 2013 (not 2015 as stated in the article). It was a painfully slow and co...

Jay

How Momentum Energy has transformed its entire business to be customer-led

Read more

Another buzzword thoughtlessly latched onto, without any thought for the implications on the organisations that have to lumber through th...

Tired

Rolling out agile marketing at Deakin

Read more

Useful., also don’t miss out on these 5 features of Adobe Experience Cloud - Visit here > http://www.softcrylic.com/b...

Sunil Joseph

Adobe debuts Advertising Cloud, Experience Cloud

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in