News

The Genius of Apple’s Store Patents

BY CSA STAFF

By Denise Lee Yohn, Deniseleeyohn.com

Apple has once again rewritten the rules of business. Its request to trademark the “Distinctive Design & Layout” of its stores has been granted by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. And so, as unconventional as it may seem, the Apple store’s distinctive minimalist design and Genius Bar service are now as protected as the rounded corners and user interface of the company’s mobile devices.

While the move gives Apple the power to force fake Apple stores to shut down, it has a more far-reaching and provocative impact on the retail industry. The patents suggest a new way of thinking about retail store design: What if we considered our stores as products? Most companies employ a rigorous product development process to produce a steady stream of innovative new products; perhaps retailers should adopt a thorough, systematic, ongoing approach to developing new retail store designs.

If we approached developing stores the way we develop products, we’d start with a clear design brief. Replacing free-flowing discussions about creative vision with designers and architects would be a document informed by rigorous market research and analysis – and intended to ensure collective understanding of the desired outcome among all stakeholders.

The brief would delineate the problem we want solve or opportunity we want to seize. Our goals would be clearly articulated, as would the constraints – time, budget, physical real estate, etc. And, we’d lay out the full set of requirements, starting with the brand strategy, including target customer segments and brand positioning, and the desired customer experience. As with product design, the intent of the brief would be to frame – not squelch – creativity.

A product-development approach to store design would also require new capabilities in concept testing and rapid prototyping. Product development has undergone a sea-change in recent years, as rapidly evolving markets and technologies have necessitated an accelerated speed of innovation, and a recessionary economy has called for greater risk management. New incremental development approaches have arisen and there is an opportunity to apply them to store design.

We would borrow techniques from agile software development to break down new designs into pieces that are tested quickly and iteratively, and assemble preliminary mock-ups to gauge feasibility earlier in the development process. Our goal would be to make failure far cheaper and learning far faster.

A faster learning cycle would be necessary because a product approach to store design changes the timing and objectives of refreshes and remodels. Instead of adhering to the standard industry five to seven year time-frame for facelifts, we would create a pipeline of innovations to be released at frequent intervals based on today’s product lifecycle management principles.

Just as we use planned obsolescence to encourage customers to replace products sooner and from the same manufacturer, we would design our stores to encourage customers to patronize the same stores with greater frequency. We would consistently incorporate new technologies, new services, and new visuals to make static store designs feel out of date. We would also employ new retail concepts like fashion trucks, digital stores, and pop-up locations to produce a steady stream of news.

Thinking of stores as assets and facilities results in designs constrained by structures and materials. A product mentality opens up new possibilities inspired by the customer and a new process that’s more in tune with today’s business needs. Patented or not, our store designs should reflect our unique brand identity as do our products – if not more.

Denise Lee Yohn has been inspiring and teaching companies how to operationalize their brands to grow their businesses for 25 years. World-class brands and leading retailers including Sony, Frito-Lay, Burger King, and Brookstone have called on Denise, a brand-building expert, speaker, and writer.


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A.Noble says:
Jun-05-2013 11:24 am

Apple
Thank you for another great article. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on a look out for such information. iPhone Application Development

A.Noble says:
Jun-05-2013 11:24 am

Thank you for another great article. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on a look out for such information. iPhone Application Development

H.James says:
May-13-2013 12:33 pm

Good work done by Apple.
I think Patent rule rewrite by the Apple is very good for apple, Patent Application services

H.James says:
May-13-2013 12:33 pm

I think Patent rule rewrite by the Apple is very good for apple, Patent Application services

A.Noble says:
Apr-09-2013 10:02 am

iPhone
I really like following your blog as the articles are so simple to read and follow. Excellent. Please keep up the good work. Thanks. Click this link for best Voip Service.

A.Noble says:
Apr-09-2013 10:02 am

I really like following your blog as the articles are so simple to read and follow. Excellent. Please keep up the good work. Thanks. Click this link for best Voip Service.

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News

Belk celebrates 125 years with 125 days of prizes

BY CSA STAFF

DETROIT, Mich. — Southern department store chain, Belk, has teamed up with ePrize to launch Belk’s 125 Days of Prizes, a multi-channel sweepstakes program celebrating Belk’s 125th anniversary.

During the 125 Days of Prizes, Belk customers will have the opportunity to win amazing vacation prizes and giveaways from some of Belk’s top designers and brands. On a daily basis, customers will have the chance to win prizes retailing between $500 and $6,500. These giveaways include products from Michael Kors, Karen Kane, Calvin Klein and KitchenAid. Belk partnered with ePrize to power the sweepstakes, in an attempt to promote and build buzz around Belk’s significant anniversary, acquire useful consumer data and insights, and to drive brand engagement.

"Belk is a brand with a deep history of customer loyalty," said Jon Pollack, EVP sales promotion, marketing and e-commerce for Belk. "We created this campaign to say thank you to our most valuable asset — our customers — and kick off our next 125 years of engagement in a big way."

The multi-channel sweepstakes allows consumers to visit the promotion via the microsite, their mobile device, or on Belk’s Facebook page to enter to win. Consumers can earn bonus sweepstakes entries by referring friends, submitting their own Belk memories by uploading pictures, engaging with Belk in the social space or being a Belk Rewards Card Consumer. The program also offers consumers a custom daily calendar, where they can easily log-on for the duration of the 125 days to view the day’s prize and enter to win on a regular basis.

"Belk is a well-respected department store, known for being traditional and timeless while fit for the modern shopper," noted Sara Kowal, ePrize VP innovation. "We aimed to create a sweepstakes campaign that not only celebrated their momentous anniversary but also stayed true to their brand promise. This multi-channel campaign provides Belk customers a traditional giveaway, accessible in a modern and technologically savvy way."

The program will run until July 12, 2013.

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FINANCE

Barnes & Noble signs CEO to new employment pact

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Barnes & Noble Inc. signed an employment agreement with CEO William Lynch to remain in his post for another two years, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Lynch will receive the same compensation and benefits as before, but get an additional cash bonus of $1.8 million for his role in attracting investments from Microsoft Corp. and Pearson PLC in forming Nook Media LLC, according to a Reuters report.

The agreement follows the news last February that Barnes & Noble chairman Leonard Riggio planned to make an offer for the company’s main retail business, but not its Nook and e-book business. The new agreement provides Barnes & Noble with the right to assign Lynch as chief executive of Nook and the e-book business if the company is separated.

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N.Ka says:
Mar-15-2013 10:07 am

Barnes & Noble was founded by
Barnes & Noble was founded by Leonard Reggio. Base in New York, It has over thirty five thousand employees. - Michael Courouleau

N.Ka says:
Mar-15-2013 10:07 am

Barnes & Noble was founded by Leonard Reggio. Base in New York, It has over thirty five thousand employees. - Michael Courouleau

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