Come to shop, return to learn.
This Saturday, the Apple Store opens at Polo Park, and it looks like it'll be hammering its way into our market with some good, old-fashioned public relations.
When you peruse the Polo Park Apple Store home page, you see "community relations" - a classic PR "app" - everywhere:
1. Apple Youth Workshops: where families can learn how to compose a song, make a movie, photo album, or presentation.
2. Apple Store Field Trips: take your class there today for an "unforgettable learning experience."
3. Hands-On Workshops: where you can get personalized instruction to learn more about the iPod, iPhone, and Mac.
4. The Genius Bar: where you can make reservations to get help with your Apple product.
Of course, if you need a sign-language interpreter, there's an app for that. Or if you need assistance learning about going from a PC to a Mac, there's an app for that too.
Retail meets education
I recently asked the question, "Could the retail revolution be an educational revolution?"
I'd just swung by the Apple Store on North Michigan Ave. in Chicago and was surprised to walk into a computer class in progress at the back of the store. As I said at the time:
"My eyes and apple-shaped heart lit up at the very possibility that with a little thought and promotion, this setup could really work - for the store and for eduction; instead of bringing the students to the school, you could bring the school to the students, wherever it is they happen to be."Classes at the Apple Store? Wouldn't that feel more like a social outing than a class?
I would certainly hope so. My attitude would be "who cares," as long as students still show up for class, are engaged, and "learn about how they're learning" as part of the curriculum.
It would be a natural fit for an advertising, marketing, or PR class, but maybe not as good a fit for something like - oh - religious studies.
Of course, it also doesn't hurt Apple to brand that attractive logo into the hearts and minds of children, teens, and adults everywhere, who would continue to love (and buy) Apple products for the rest of their lives.
You don't need the Genius Bar to tell you that this is a smart strategy and a neat trick: providing great customer service - because it's the right thing to do - while getting your customers to believe in your brand - to love it beyond all reason! - without even realizing how it happened.
Neil Diamond comin' back for one, more bite of the apple (Store?).