This has been a week of experiences for me. “Brand Experience” is going to be the marketing buzzword of the year. And not without reason. So, here’s been my week:
First, I received a copy of The Apple Experience by Carmine Gallo (McGraw-Hill)
It’s a good primer into how Apple found success in retail after other computer companies had failed. If you’re an Apple fanatic, then most of the book will be warm comfortable ground that you’ve been through before.
And if you aren’t the kind of person [or company] who obsessively benchmarks Brand Experiences, this is a great shortcut.
But Apple isn’t the only experience there is. In many ways I find the Apple experience to be more about the sheer visual beauty of the stores, products and space. There’s less than meets the eye, in some sense. Try TD Bank to see just how much the actual experience overshadows the design. Start by walking your dog into the branch and see how you are treated. Now, go ahead to a nearby Citi location and try the same thing.
One complaint I have about Apple and Apple Stores is the feeling of being in a walled-in garden. It is hermetic. There is a built-in subversion, a paradox at the heart of the Apple Store. Explicitly Apple is all about unleashing the creativity of people like you and me. Implicitly, encoded in the heart of Apple is a “look at me, admire me, love me” sensibility, an extreme narcissism. At it’s core Apple believes more in its own creativity than in yours or mine.
Second, I found this on Engadget:
Samsung promised one more surprise — and what it gave us was a special retail strategy. The company will be opening Mobile Pin locations, or glass-housed pop-up stores, to help showcase its new flagship phone [Samsung Galaxy S III launched in London earlier today]