Apple Just Picked-up Their Brand Game… Again.
There are few things more admirable than someone at the top of their game relentlessly pursuing a way to do things better. Apple have for several years been the number one retailer globally in terms of sales per square meter of retail space. Apple stores are synonymous with customer engagement, cutting edge design and product trial – they impressively set the bench mark for both soft and hard brand metrics. So when I hear a new Apple Store design has been launched, one that seeks to build on their existing advantage and take their retail experience to the next level my interest is piqued.
The new store which opened recently in Brussels is the first designed by newly appointed Apple Chief Design Officer Jonathan Ive along with Angela Ahrendts. The Genius Bar – a significant part of the unique Apple retail model – has been re-imagined as the ‘Genius Grove’. It’s been shifted from the back of the store to the middle, is made-up of two large tables – bringing the Geniuses out from behind their counters, and shaded by eight large ficus trees. Apple support customers can now wait on wooden benches beneath the grove of trees.
Also new is ‘The Avenue’, a wall of interactive displays showing new products, featuring different apps, features, music and in store events. The digital displays replace the large, back-lit product photos that are such a feature of the current store design and reflect a broader shift from still to video content.
The Apple Watch also gains a place of prominence within the new store format.
Then overall impression is a shift from tech-white (a backdrop for selling product that has served the brand well for many years) to natural textures and finishes, with far more wooden surfaces from floors to furniture and cabinets. Clearly this is a conscious move, and an interesting one that shifts the aesthetic of the Apple store interior noticeably. Combined with the trees, an increase in seating creates a space that invites customers to chill and hang-out, a vibe more associated with Starbucks than Apple until now.
Whilst the store design update may take a while to roll-out many of the larger format Apple stores are scheduled for these changes in the near future.
David is the founder of Truly Deeply, a brand agency with 25 years experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in the creation of high engagement brands that attract the attention of their audience and stand out from their competitors. David has extensive experience working with corporate, retail, food & beverage and entrepreneurial clients. Find out more at…
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Pics courtesy of ANV