I was interested to hear that Microsoft is planning to open its own branded stores.
A spokeswoman has said that the company is targeting "a small number of high-profile experience stores in a few major cities around the world."
They say “they want to create deeper engagement with consumers and continue to learn firsthand about what they want and how they buy,"
This is a good plan.
No doubt mindful of Apple’s retail successful this indicates to me that Microsoft recognise the power of brand experience and the benefits of taking control of brand delivery at the first moment of truth.
They will have some challenges, given a weak economy and the fact they don’t make PCs, however, they have recently been building their expertise in this space. They set-up a store-within-a-store concept in various major store groups and created "Microsoft Gurus” borrowing from Nordstrom's personal-shopper concept, to help people select specific products to suit their needs.
It is a bold move but one that I hope they can make work.
All brands should look at whether they are achieving winning brand experiences at the delivery stage of the Brand PDD framework. If they are not they should fix it as it’s a vital step on the consumers path to advocacy.