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MICROSOFT STORE REVIEW

Visiting London last week, we popped into the much-hyped new Microsoft Flagship store located in Oxford Circus. Having read a number of articles about the opening of the store we were excited to get our feet in the door.

The main retail space is split over three levels, upon entrance of the store situated on the ground floor, you can see HoloLens technology, driving simulators. Huge display screens amplifying the Microsoft brand colours resulting in the space feeling modern, vibrant and energetic. Throughout the store experience the staff are welcoming, engaging and eager to introduce and explain product ranges.

Moving upstairs into the main retail space, The Microsoft Surface case customisation area, along with ‘Answer Desks’, supporting education rooms and an extremely busy gaming lounge filled with elite gen Z gamers.

Whilst the store was very busy, and a lot of people were engaging with some of the technology such as the digital postbox, AR Oxford Street display, driving simulators and screen-based selfie moments, but were they really in the mind frame to buy? Instagram moments rather than stimulation to purchase. At times it felt like gimmicks rather than progressive technology applications and didn’t really add to the Microsoft brand experience in a meaningful way.

It was a delight to see another global brand understanding the strength of physical space, engagement and the importance of savvy brand ambassadors helping to build greater brand awareness in key strategic locations.

Having said that unfortunately, we left feeling neither any closer, connected or informed about the brand. We felt we knew no more about the proposition or what sets the brand apart from the competition. We think this was a symptom of too many disconnected ideas without a clear focus on the core proposition for the customer to get that ‘I want to be part of this’ feeling. The only area that carried that atmosphere was the gaming lounge.

On the face of it the space is busy but take a closer look and it seems people are engaging with everything but the actual product. Perhaps this is a missed opportunity to create something unique that truly sets the brand apart from the competition. Leaving visitors with that eagerness of I NEED to buy it now.

Ratings:

 

 

We had big expectations of the space and thought we would experience more brand strategy within the space but unfortunately we didn’t, we felt it was a missed opportunity.

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