When you consider major brands that have top level brand experiences, Apple is one that often comes to mind. Outside of their increasing innovation suite of products that has kept them at the forefront of tech for decades, they have also simultaneously revolutionized the retail experience.
Apple Stores were one of the first stores to allow and encourage hands on experiences with the product. Plain brick and mortar stores were dead, you needed to be cool and sexy. It was about human connection; staff were hired for their empathy not on how they can sell. Their job was to enrich lives through education, never sell.
With the introduction of “Town Squares,” Apple continues to evolve and change what is expected of a brand experience. Stores would hold sessions introducing more art and creativity, merging technology and Liberal Arts in all locations. Board rooms were created to be used by local businesses and new positions were created with the role of focusing on the liberal arts side to compliment the geniuses for the tech. Creating a place of human connection
In addressing the myth that retail is dying, Angela Ahrendts, SVP of Retail with Apple acknowledged that digital ecommerce is going to grow 3x the rate versus their brick and mortar counter parts but over the next five years, 75% of shopping on online will be research with 75% still being in physical locations. Consumers want purity and online is so cluttered.
Apple is integrating themselves into communities, building a stronger relationship between the stores and communities they sit inside. They have created spaces that improve and supports communities, driving 1-to-1 connections with everyone who steps inside.
Other brands will need to deliver the same enriched experience, as for consumers it is no longer about purchasing only a product.
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