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Branding from Design to Retail: Apple Shows the Future

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appleIt is 5AM. Black Friday. They still have a turkey hangover but wake up anyway with coupons in hand to get the best deals in sight. We as marketers push out all the advertising in sight to get people to buy certain products and go to certain stores. It is the one day of year that consumers are guaranteed to wake up at all hours of the night to go shopping to get a few extra dollars off of their gifts. While strolling through the mall, there is one store in particular that has no deep discounts, but ironically is the most crowded. The Apple Store.

The in-store experience at Apple is the ultimate definition of experiential marketing in retail. The store is very refined and classically modern. The Apple store in fact looks and feels like one big Apple device. Like his products, Steve Jobs wanted everything simple and sleek. In an article in the Smithsonian Magazine, Walter Isaacson said this of Jobs: “He embraced minimalism, which came from his Zen devotion to simplicity.” Jobs himself said, “The way we’re running the company, the product design, the advertising, it all comes down to this: Let’s make it simple. Really simple.”

Simple is certain. There are no registers. No lines. No piles of items thrown a-strew. No pushy people on cell phones with overloaded carts standing in front of you with a crying baby arguing over a price check. Granted, the store is crowded and there are lots of people. However, Jobs again shows us the future with some revolutionary changes that many retailers could potentially see in the not-so-distant future, such as:

  1. Every product in the store has an iPad as its sign showing the price point and options of the item.
  2. There are at least 20 clerks walking around the store answering questions. Each of these clerks is equipped with an iPhone that is used to scan the item and check out the customer via debit or credit card. For those who want to pay with cash there are a few hidden cash drawers around the store that are built into some of the displays. The displays are so sleek you would never notice the cash drawers until one was opened.
  3. Discounts are minimized but demand is so high that consumers purchase anyway. In the early days of retail a huge sale did not need to happen every day. Jobs has pulled this thinking back in by making a superior product and selling at a reasonable price.

The future is not George Jetson-style flying cars or space suits. It is high-tech products with impeccable sleek design. It is stores that do not have lines wrapping around the building. It is branding your product from design through retail in a cohesive and desirable fashion. Apple again sends the rest of us the big question: Are we doing it all wrong?

Article originally published on Beneath the Brand at: http://www.talentzoo.com/beneath-the-brand/blog_news.php?articleID=16062

Guest Post: Who Do You Run With?

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runBy Steffen Dziczek

I’m not talking about your Couch to 5K Buddies or P90X playmates. No. I’m talking about your entire “pack” that surrounds you. Who have you chosen to surround yourself with? Now, this brings me to another very important and often over looked question; where am I going? Where do I want to be in 3 years, 5 years, a decade? We all know, and if you don’t this article might be an “Aha!” moment.

Life is interdependent. Some slogans tell you to live for now and its all about you, you, and only you. I challenge you to try that for a day and watch your friends fade and your work associates rant behind your back. Maybe it might even land you a comfy seat at the unemployment office come Monday morning because you decided to show up at work 2 hours late with a boom box playing the 2001 Space Odyssey wearing nothing but Sponge Bob boxers. But, hey, you’re living for you, right? Wrong. We need not only to be independent to the point we can pull our own weight, but also recognize we need others strengths where we are weak.

Who we run with currently does not have to be whom we run with in the future. If you dream of being successful at business, then surround yourself with people who are wiser and more successful at business. If you want to be a marketing director then surround yourself with people and knowledge about marketing and leadership. Don’t settle for being an employee; raise the bar to become a team member. I want to take a second to define employee verse team member. An employee is someone who shows up inconsistently on time, punches in, does what he/she has to do, and punches out. They are comfortable enough to stay but not uncomfortable enough to leave. However, a team member shows up early with an air of enthusiasm, because they know that at the end of the day they were a part of something greater than themselves. They are part of a team making a difference. They run with similar people. They are inline with their passions. Not only with themselves, but also with others who they surround themselves with five, maybe even six, days a week.

Are you a thoroughbred running with petting farm ponies, or are you running in your own Kentucky Derby? Are you running with like-minded people in all aspects of your life; personally, professionally and socially? I highly challenge you to take the time to ask yourself where you want to be and where you are going? Once you have the answer, then its time to execute with your inner thoroughbred compass. Yes, you may have to decline the weekly all-night beer pong competitions with your old college roomies because you meet at 7am with other industry leaders in your field for coffee on Saturday mornings. They may take it personally, but you have to stay your course and run like your life depended on it.

I guarantee, looking back, the things that were pleasure centered will not matter. Steve Jobs said, “ We can only connect the dots looking backward.” Stay focused. Stay determined. Start right now making those dots count. Hurry, the race has already begun!

Steffen Dziczek currently resides in Los Angeles, California. He’s a Detroit native, a place he will always call home. Steffen is an innovator, entrepreneur, and a teacher at heart. When he’s not busy building sustainable business’s for the future you can find him traveling, playing the drums, golfing and seeking out new experiences. Lastly, he relishes any chance to give back and volunteers his time at local community food banks. Be sure to check out his upcoming blog, Go Humans Go!