When articulate about Apple’s arise from near-bankruptcy to turn a many profitable association in a world, people mostly credit a extraordinary fibre of products from a iMac to a iPod to a iPhone to a iPad. And justly so. But usually as critical was another block of a nonplus that ensured pronounced products would find mainstream interest and acted as an accelerant for Apple’s success: a Apple Stores.
When Apple initial got into a sell diversion a small over a decade ago, many people scoffed. In hindsight, Apple seems to do utterly good when people sneer (see: here and here) — it arrange of creates sense, if an thought was obvious, others would have finished it. But others in Apple’s position had tried to do sell and unsuccessful (see: Gateway — complete with cows out front — Sony, etc).
Yet Apple became a many effective and loving tradesman in a world.
Naturally, this led others to take a page from Apple’s playbook. Notably, Microsoft. And while a examination is ongoing, so far, those stores do not seem to be holding off in a same way. So when we hear a news that Google is deliberation opening their possess sell stores as well, we might, well, scoff. But we consider that would be a mistake. we consider Google could be staid to spike sell as well.
With a news today about a Chromebook Pixel, a pieces are all starting to come together. Google says it’s offered that product by a Google Play online store and by Best Buy’s and Currys PC World’s websites. (And they’ll be accessible to use, though not buy, inside some Best Buys and Currys.) That won’t be good enough.
Google has been attempting to sell several Nexus products by their online stores for years now. The formula have ranged from some success (Nexus 4) to destroy (Nexus One) to vital destroy (Nexus Q). The Best Buy formula seem churned as well. While Chromebooks are finally seeing some traction, it’s still minimal notwithstanding a strech of Best Buy.
What Google needs for these products is what Apple indispensable a decade ago: their possess stores that they’re in finish control of to showcase their products.
You have to trust Google knows this — hence attempts to emanate Chromebook sales areas staffed by Google employees in places like airports. But they need permanent hubs. They need executive locations in cities around a universe where people know they can go for all their Google needs. They need people in those stores to play with their products. And they need Google-trained employees there to answer any questions. It’s not good adequate anymore to see a spec piece online. We’re in an epoch of new use paradigms. Hands-on time is key.
This is generally loyal for Google with products like a Pixel and shortly Google Glass. Average consumers are never going to buy these products online though carrying attempted them first. These are not customary PCs that are simply faster than a final PC we bought.
Average consumers are never going to buy these products online though carrying attempted them first.
Okay, though how can Google Play Stores (the unreserved name) follow in a success of Apple Stores and not a sameness of Microsoft Stores? By not accurately duplicating Apple.
One of Microsoft’s mistakes with their stores is that they’re CO copies of Apple Stores. Anyone who walks into one immediately feels this. It was an apparent though insanely foolish plan on Microsoft’s part. Microsoft is perplexing to play to Apple’s strengths instead of their own. And in a routine they’re reinforcing just how good Apple is during what they do.
In a beginning, Apple Stores done clarity given Apple was generally deliberate to make high peculiarity products. But that can usually be truly appreciated when consumers use them. And given OS X (and after iOS) were not as entire as something like Windows, there was a vast separator to entrance in people shopping their initial Apple product. And large retailers were demure to give a lot of space to Apple during their stores given of their low marketplace share. Classic chicken-and-egg. Apple needed their possess earthy stores.
I’d disagree that they were a singular many critical cause in a iPhone’s success as well. Without a stores, Apple wouldn’t have had a same precedence over a carriers. They would have needed those carriers to sell a phones and would have expected had to strike some unpalatable deals with those devils as a outcome (like another association that’s a concentration of this post).
That Apple nailed other elements like a Genius Bar was usually a unequivocally intelligent cherry on tip of a strategy.
Microsoft has had roughly a conflicting problem. Basically everybody both knows and has used Windows, Office, etc. Retailers have been awash with PCs for decades. Yet Microsoft still motionless to duplicate Apple’s store model. You could disagree that they now need these stores to get people to play with their Surface products. But I’d disagree that doesn’t assistance given those products are simply not unequivocally good. That is still a key, remember.
(Honestly, Xbox might be a best thing those stores have going for them, going forward. Microsoft might be correct to concentration a focus. Come for a Xbox, stay for a Surface and Windows 8. Maybe. Please.)
Consumers need to know what a ruin Google Glass indeed is.
In contrast, Google products have been improving given a initial Android and Chrome OS products. And they seem to be during a indicate where they’re prepared to be showcased in a sell experience. People need to know firsthand if they can reinstate their BlackBerrys or *shudder* iPhones with a Nexus 4 (yes yes, my thoughts on that device are still entrance — it’s tough when we have another day job). They need to know if they can unequivocally use a laptop with an OS that is radically usually a web browser. They need to know what a ruin Google Glass indeed is.
But again, these Google Play Stores shouldn’t be Apple Stores. They shouldn’t be sheer white minimalist spaces of delicately crafted wood, cement, and glass. They should look like Google products. They should be colorful and arrange of playful. There should be a self-driving automobile in there. There should be Google Glass stations. Android inclination galore. Chromebook areas. Maybe even Google TV. (Maybe.)
Every appurtenance should be connected to a web (maybe around Google Fiber?) and prominently displaying Google.com or Google Now. Another pivotal discernment Apple had for Apple Stores was to let people play with their machines as they would in their homes. we remember going to stores like CompUSA behind in a day and usually being means to see PCs with canned demos personification on a screen. Those places didn’t wish people usually unresolved out and regulating their machines. Huge mistake.
Microsoft would adore people unresolved out in their stores like they do in Apple Stores. Yet they don’t. Maybe that means internet entrance isn’t enough. So maybe Google should do something we always wish Apple would do: open a coffee emporium in a stores (Google Ventures did usually pour some money into Blue Bottle Coffee — usually saying). Make a Google Play Store a end for a connected wanderer. Loiter all we want, usually keep $earching for thing$.
Other companies now demeanour during Apple Stores with their mouths agape. $6000 in income per block feet — double their closest sell counterpart, Tiffany Co (motherfuckin’ Tiffanys!). But that can’t be a focus. That can’t be because Google is removing into this business. It has to be all about showcasing good products that simply need a bit of hands-on time (or a bit of hand-holding) to be truly accepted and cherished.
It feels like Google is primed for this.
[Image: Adapted from Flickr/turbulentflow]