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A Sneak Peek behind Apple’s Retail Brand
Apple has long been held-up as the benchmark as the brand for innovation and just plain creating cool stuff, but much of it’s unheralded work has been in the experience arena – specifically creating amazing retail places in which the brand comes to life face-to-face.

Apples vision to own more of the 1440 minutes in peoples lives than any other brand has a distinctly product orientation. But the past decade has seen the brand first come to grips with the necessity for them to create a face-to-face channel of connection with their customers. Regardless of the product or service, essentially as humans we feel better about the brands we get to connect with at a personal level, and nothing does that as effectively as a retail space. However, what’s been so impressive about Apple is not just the way they have gone about developing a global ‘Apple Space’ strategy, but in the way they have mastered the approach like few other brands. At a time when traditional retailers are doing it tough and crying-out for the good old days when a good innovation was coming-up with a new visual merchandising display, Apple has quietly put their head down and industriously created a new benchmark in creating places for people to experience their brand.

‘More people now visit Apple’s 326 stores in a single quarter than the 60 million who visited Walt Disney Co.’s four biggest theme parks last year, according to data from Apple and the Themed Entertainment Association. Apple’s annual retail sales per square foot have soared to $4,406—excluding online sales, according to investment bank Needham & Co. Add in online sales, which include iTunes, and the number jumps to $5,914. That’s far higher than the sales per square foot and online sales of jeweler Tiffany& Co. ($3,070), luxury retailer Coach Inc. ($1,776), and electronics retailer Best Buy Co. ($880)…’ Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304563104576364071955678908.html#ixzz1ViDbB6nD

Apple’s successful approach to creating sticky brand spaces combines interior design, product heroes, their wonderfully named ‘Genius Bars’ and most importantly their staff training. We got a peek at their confidential staff training documents, including this great grab for ‘Emergency First Aid for Emotional Customers’.

The staff form a critical part of the Apple store experience. It’s no surprise Apple don’t leave this element of their brand communication to chance.

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It all adds-up to brand love…

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A great example of innovating retail brand experiences driven from the core of the brand.

Dave Ansett, Brandamentalist
Designer Retail Brands

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    2 Responses to “A Peek Behind Apple’s Retail Brand Experience”

    1. Chris says:

      Thanks for the inside scope of the Apple staff training manual. The language and advice is solid, but is that a clip art image? It looks suspiciously like something you would see from Bill not Steve.

    2. david says:

      You’re right Chris, goes to show there are few brands who get their brand expression 100% right 100% of the time.

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