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!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Is artificial intelligence riddled with bias?

The purpose of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has always been to replace the menial and repetitive tasks we do each day in every sector, so that we can concentrate on doing what we do best. Saving time and money has certainly been a decent outcome as AI infiltrates the business landscape, however, now we are starting to see problems that cause major issues in practice.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

5 things every business can do to drive brand loyalty

If you’re in any customer-centric role, you’ll likely be familiar with the Net Promoter Score (NPS) – one of the most popular tools for brands to measure their customer sentiment.

Catherine Anderson

Chief customer officer, Powershop Australia

What the modern gig economy is doing to customer experience

Most marketing theory was established in the context of stable employment relationships. From front-line staff to marketing strategists and brand managers, employees generally enjoyed job security with classic benefits such as superannuation plans, stable income streams, employment rights, training, sabbaticals and long-service leave.

Dr Chris Baumann

Associate professor, Macquarie University

Thank you! That was useful to know.

Belia Adam

Why your best social marketing brand tool could be hiding in plain sight

Read more

Because you are missing the point of the term "disruption"

Sean

Uber for the truckies: How one Aussie startup is disrupting the freight industry

Read more

Absolutely agree with this ... Facebook doesn't care what adds they show. You report an add for fake news/scam and it just remains "open...

Quasi Carbon

Unilever CMO threatens Facebook, Google with digital advertising boycott

Read more

How to create Pinball game in 4 minshttps://youtu.be/S1bsp7del3M

Alex Atmavan

Rethinking gamification in marketing

Read more

True Local - one of the least credible review sites on the entire internet.

MyNameIsStomp

Former Virgin Mobile CMO and CEO joins oOh! as first customer chief

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in