Brand Autopsy: Designing Retail Experiences – The Apple Way

futurelab default header

by: David Polinchock

Fast Company, in their current review of customer experiences, didn't rank the Apple stores because they didn't think they delivered a good experience. After all, they say, if people are lining up at the Genius Bar, then people must be having a hard time understanding and using their products!

We, as you can imagine, don't agree. Here's what we think the Apple store is all about: They took the barriers to entry to buying an Apple product and answered those barriers with the store. Again, this is only our take, nothing official from Apple here! And how does that work? 

  • First barrier to entry has been price in the past, although that has certainly changed. But with a higher priced product, what did Apple do? Create a store environment that's as beautiful to look at as their product. Give people the comfort that they're buying something of value.
  • Number two barrier to entry? People don't want to learn a new operating system. Now, us Apple folks say Hey, Microsoft stole the operating system from Mac years ago, but the store takes away that concern. Afraid of learning a new system? No problem, we'll teach you. Come to our classroom (the theatre) or visit the Genius Bar and we'll help you. Learning something new is a big hassle for most people and this is a cool way to make it less of a hassle. Sure, there are things that I can't figure out how to do, so I just make an appointment and get their help. I don't have the time to figure it out myself, so why not let them teach me or just take care of it quickly.
  • Make it a social experience. Although I haven't been to the new store here in NYC at 3 AM, I can bet that a good number of other people have. No matter when you go to the Apple store here in Soho, it's always crowded and it's got an almost club-like vibe.  

    John Moore has a great posting on his blog about the Six Design Lessons from the Apple Store manifesto. He's given a quick overview and its well worth the read! So, despite what Fast Company might say, we think they’ve created a great model for retail experiences!

    Link: Brand Autopsy: Designing Retail Experiences – The Apple Way.

    Original Post: