Microsoft: The Fanchise Model

The Brief

Xbox was not the first brand to allow its audience to customise a product, and they knew that that novelty alone was not enough to overcome the price barrier compared to their standard models. We needed to tap into a gamer’s pride when they’ve designed their controller. Leverage that exact moment and forge a more reciprocal relationship.

The Eureka Moment

We reimagined the customer shopping journey.

What if instead of purchasing a customised controller that could otherwise be seen as an indulgent purchase, you turned the customer into a designer and in turn they reap from the profits of a well designed product? That is exactly what we did, and so the 'Fanchise' Model was born.

The design actually becomes yours!

Digital Trends,

The Roll-out

Once your controller was designed, that design was yours to keep. If others bought that design, you earnt money. Every designer received artwork, enabling them to spread the word of their controller on social channels and forums. But it didn’t stop there, these designs were featured on OOH, TV, in-store, dashboard, print and banners, inspiring other gamers and promoting the unique designs and the endless possibilities available.

You name it and there was a controller for it. Gamers claimed controllers inspired by things like Manchester United, Trump, and the Minions. Controllers were even created to raise money for charities such as for #BlackLivesMatter, Breast Cancer and LGBTQ+ rights. Initially beginning with Influencer social activity, with the ‘Claim Your Design’ feature released online, simultaneously with call-to-action online display ads and a feature on the Xbox dashboard, the campaign took a life of it’s own and began to roll out organically across publications and social channels.

The Impressive Bit

  • Design Lab controller sales increased by 350%
  • 41% of site visitors claimed a design
  • Average amount earned was £73 ($95.24)
  • The top earner made £873 ($1,131)

3 x Gold Winner
One Show, 2018
4 x Gold Winner
Creative Circle, 2018
6 x Gold Winner
LIAs, 2018
Grand Prix Digital Winner
LIAs, 2018
Grand Prix E-commerce Winner
Cannes Festival, 2018
Grand Prix Winner
DMAs, 2018
4 x Gold Winner
DMAs, 2018
4 x Gold Winner
DMAs, 2018


The Fanchise Model - Microsoft

When conversations were bubbling around the rising costs of gaming, and the customisable Xbox Design Lab controller retailed at double the price of your standard handset, how do you convince the consumer to purchase You turn the consumer into an entrepreneur.

Business Objectives



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