Company Stores: Learning From Apple

Microsoft has taken a page from Apple and is opening its own, company branded stores. An online columnist explains the new strategy with a building product analogy:
Roof tile? That's over on aisle 9.

Stretch the analogy a bit. Windows tablets? They're on aisle 9, next to the laptop bags.

I could stretch the analogy even more, where the buyer gets lost amid a sea of generic Spanish roof tiles like Tom Anderson... at Home Labyrinth.

Nobody has to ask that question about the iPad. It's front and center at the Apple store.

So, Redmond needs the Microsoft Store -- or similar boutique storefronts where its product can stand out.
When Tom Anderson, a character in the "Pool Toys" episode of the animated TV show "Beavis and Butthead", wanted tile for a home improvement project, he went to Home Labyrinth, a big box store. A customer service person there scolded Tom for asking, and told him to look at "Aisle K7 149B Row 17 Shelf W." (See time code 7:13.) We then see Tom wondering, lost, among endless floor-to-ceiling racks until, after the store closes, he is left alone in its cavernous darkness and his car is towed from the parking lot.


While building supply houses, big box stores, and other forms of distribution work for many building products, some building product companies have had success with their own storefront showrooms. See, for example:
   Pella Window
   The Sliding Door Company

While these showrooms are primarily for the consumer traffic, they also serve the trades.

Will this strategy work for your business? Give me a call and we can brainstorm together.

As Tom Anderson opines:
Don't show a man how to do something. 
Tell him what to do and let him surprise you with his ingenuity.