It goes without saying, but… Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. We were approached by Liquid Agency to partner on the design and build of this display that showcased the launch of their Surface Phone, Tablet and PC – in short, this was a big deal!
With a national distribution to Verizon stores and a tight timeline for production looming, we jumped in to deliver completed stand-alone displays that shimmered in the store setting. We also managed all installs for the national campaign, working with each Verizon store to ensure proper installation.
Partnering for Microsoft
First, it should be said, we partnered with Liquid Agency, a prominent Silicon Valley brand agency, to bring the Microsoft project to life – it was a team effort! Since the ask was to initially produce twenty premium displays within a month, we knew we’d have to pull some late nights to pull this off. To add to the mix, the standards would have to be best in class, so we immediately jumped in on how to elevate the material choices. In addition to materials, we had to quickly get up to speed on their Surface Tablet and Lumia Phone without actually having the unreleased products in hand to test integration. And finally, we were tasked with adding security tethers to the phones and tablet on display and do so elegantly. Meeting these standards in such a condensed time, and for a company like Microsoft, definitely added some fun factor to the mix!
Why Microsoft is a market leader
Typically, the bigger the client, the slower the process, as you’re trying to please a committee. However, much to our amazement, the decision makers for this project were comprised of one seasoned channel marketing professional and two marketing executives, which dramatically streamlined efforts. In short, our experience with working with Microsoft was superb and we look forward to other retail programs we can add value and execute on.
The focus and timeline for Microsoft
The primary focus of the display was to showcase both the Microsoft Surface Tablet and Lumia Phone, specifically how the two products seamlessly integrate. The tablet screen was mirrored on the 42in built in monitor, giving all consumers a magnified view of how easy the products interfaced with one another.
For the test launch of the display system, we were approached by Microsoft with a one month ship window to build twenty displays distributed to Verizon stores nationally. Liquid Agency had already developed much of the creative, and our job was to bring these efforts into focus while we specified demo product placement, the manufacturing plan, and electronics, as well as several design changes that added a little more punch to the presentation. Normally, this would be a 60 day turn to figure all of this out, so condensing this down to a week presented an amazing challenge. The Microsoft channel marketing team understood the goal and they made themselves available to force quick decisions.
The pressure of working with Microsoft
The heat was on and the idea of manufacturing such a formidable display with all of our most complicated processes (shaped steel that’s powder coated, polished half inch acrylic, and electronics syncs that interfaced with a 42in monitor) in such a compressed time definitely added a level of complexity that fueled many late nights.
Partnering with Verizon for Microsoft
The Verizon stores welcomed us into their chain with open arms and they were excited to receive the display systems into their stores. Since installations would be happening all at once at twenty locations throughout the US, Verizon’s cooperation in allowing us to coordinate install teams was critical to the success of the launch. They quickly supplied us with planograms of each location, and we sent the install teams in weeks in advance to photograph and notate power outlets, existing displays, and to generally flush out issues prior to the displays arriving to the various locations. This proved to be time well spent, making the installations all go in with little hiccups.