Apple Retail Gold: A Market Leadership Standard

It is common to experience design that lacks insight in application.  Far less common is design – in its myriad manifestations – that distinguishes by supporting the customer’s aspiration for fun and creativity.

In Charlotte, and in over 230 locations around the globe, one of the most valuable retail spaces on a sales-per-square-foot basis is the remarkably well-designed Apple Retail Store.  Since 2001, the chain of retail stores owned and operated by Apple Inc. have been increasingly successful.  Charlotte’s Apple Store in SouthPark Mall is managed by Beth Copley, a brilliantly unassuming leader with scalable skills. Her store just keeps getting “bigger,” better, and more popular.  Apple, Beth, and her staff are the gold standard for insight, focus and effectiveness in the marketplace.

Survey Apple Store shoppers, as I did recently, and you will hear a variety of distinctions prompting robust referrals and discerning acknowledgement of the Apple retail experience.  Customers used these words to describe the Apple Store: welcoming, real service, efficient, friendly, consistent, problem-solving, exploring, personal, organized, intuitively-oriented, fast-yet-patient, visually clean design, white space, child friendly, not age-biased, open, learning place, collaborative, fun, fair, high potential, about what’s possible, hands-on, congratulatory, empathic, confident, dimensional, product knowledgeable, quality products, cool!, independence-enabling, well-lit, easy to navigate, creativity-enabling, congruent, generative, energizing, refreshing integrity.

Note: This is a list we’d enjoy using to describe excellent individual performers and for highly effective organizations (see: Leaning Into Life, Living Doubtlessly and Getting the Kick out of Mission and Values: ¡Olé Olé Olé, Barça!).

What can you do to further distinguish your brand’s relevance and the buying experience?  Is what you are offering more about your profits than about supporting each customer’s potential?  How empathic and goal-enabling are you in the marketplace?