A Visit to the Mall: Windows Store

This past weekend, I took a quick trip down to Minneapolis for a little shopping and R&R.  The drive down from Winnipeg took just under 8 hours. We left after I got off work, drove through a thunderstorm and by the time we reached our hotel, it was midnight – only to find out our hotel had no power!  So a little less R&R than I had hoped but it was still a fun trip!

Being a marketing nerd, I came away quite inspired by the advertising I saw along the way on the highway, in the city and at Mall of America!  At the MOA, I was quite amused when I saw that the Windows store was conveniently located across from the Apple store. I have seen and experienced the Apple store before (actually, the stores I’ve been to were way nicer spaces than the one at MOA). It was my first time, however, visiting a Windows store.

I was quite impressed!  The entire outer wall was a huge multi-screen display. The colours were clean, their grid style marketing and flat designs were evident in all their advertising around the store and in the window displays.

Mall of America Windows Store Window Display

Windows Store MOA Window Display

Still, I couldn’t help but think how similar the set-up was to another brand we all know… tables and stations were set up in a boardroom-like set up. Devices were available for you to play around with. The staff wore bright coloured t-shirts to stand out from the crowd.  Sounding familiar?

While I appreciate how far Microsoft has come, how hard it has worked to reclaim users, and the different approach they are taking with UX – from strictly a marketing standpoint, I wish they had come up with something different for their stores!  I’ve tested Windows smartphone before and the experience is completely different than the Android (so much more clever if I may say so, even though I am an Android fan). Would’ve liked to see more of that Windows innovation at their store locations…

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