opening pop up windows
Most consumers would be aware of just two system choices for computers – the “fruity” one and its “Windows” competitor. And when it comes to clever marketing and retail offerings, it is usually the Apple Inc brand running streets ahead of anything Microsoft offers….
We’re all familiar with much hype and hysteria surrounding the launch of new Apple products and store openings – those events seem as much part of the brand’s DNA as their iconic logo…. But stepping up to the plate very soon (this month) will be Microsoft – taking a different approach for the launches of several new major products (their Surface tablet, Windows 8 and Windows Phone)
Within the next two weeks Microsoft will significantly increase their retail presence through the opening of 30 “holiday stores” across the US and a further 3 in Canada*. Most of these will be kiosk-style outlets within shopping malls, and the suggestion is they’ll be open just for the traditional “holiday season” – see our previous post on pop up holidays
33 outlets might sound a lot (and logistically, opening that many kiosks around the same time will be a huge exercise), but it is still well short of the stores already open for their competitor… To put this into context, Apple currently has 250 stores across the US (plus 26 in Canada…. and also in 12 other countries, including 17 stores in Australia)* – while Microsoft has just 28 in the US (with a further 3 “coming soon”, not part of the holiday stores programme)*
Though I think the really exciting thing (about the “holiday stores”) is how Microsoft has embraced the concept of “pop up retail” to launch their products. Hopefully they will employ massive (traditional and social) media campaigns to promote these launches and events – and drive traffic to kiosks for some real interaction with their brand and products. It will be very interesting to see if this model works for Microsoft – and will it form part of their on-going retail strategy ?
Closer to home (in Sydney Australia) another consumer electrics / computer brand just finished a pop up installation. The Toshiba lounge was open for 5 days at the end of September, utilising a series of temporary steel structures to display the Toshiba tablet, Ultrabook and TV products. Oh, and served coffee too !
And on the subject of brand awareness / clever pop-up strategies….couldn’t miss the opportunity to mention a very cute store in London. The Special K tweet shop was open in Soho for just 4days, attracting loads of attention for the UK launch of its “Cracker Crisps”. The tweet shop (a nice twist on the traditional UK “sweet shop” genre ?) employed some innovative experiential marketing, inviting store visitors to “tweet” their love of Cracker Crisps in return for take-home samples – and so of course that love was shared widely across the social media !
* sources : Microsoft blog – Holiday Pop Up Stores
featured image : Google Images – Microsoft pop up stores
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