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'Service Is Marketing' Mantra Pervades Apple Experience

  • Ad Age , Tuesday, June 24, 2008 10:16 AM
Apple is redefining and reshaping the retail experience via the company's growing roster of stand-alone stores. Things once considered the dark side of Apple -- such as tech support -- are on the verge of becoming strategic assets, with the Apple Store's geek-stocked Genius Bar able to tackle just about any issue or concern.

There's an unmistakable "service is marketing" mantra pervading every aspect of the Apple Store. And that's something every brand -- even those not as shiny as Apple's -- can learn from. The opportunity to solve problems, find solutions and even address "the darn thing doesn't work" emotional pain-points all lead to a higher impact-marketing and sales proposition.

"Service concierges" at the stores are not waiting for problems. They assume you arrive looking specifically for something, and in most cases they are right. What's important about this front line is not just the help these employees provide, but the halo of service they create. Their presence reminds consumers that the Apple brand has authority, expertise and, of course, a certain level of geeky yet accessible passion that lures fans to the brand.

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