Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Streets Of London.

Two leading tech businesses.
Two flagship stores separated by the width of Regent Street.
Two retail experiences separated by a chasm.

This is the new Nokia store at 4 p.m. today. A stylish place but few customers, no buzz and inevitably bored staff. A sterile environment.

Literally across the street is the Apple store. A similar design aesthetic but, as ever, full of people either using it as an internet cafe or buying stuff from constantly engaged staff. An active environment.

The design and ethos of both stores urges you to interact with the products. Indeed, the Nokia store explicitly exhorts you to "discover" more about each phone. But clearly, there's a difference between the two.

Each phone says "No SIM card inserted". We all understand why and I'm not saying Nokia are doing anything wrong, it's just that the nature of their product hamstrings them when it comes to customer trial so they surely have to do something more to facilitate that discovery. Both companies have commendably strived to make these stores remarkable and they both are. But these are the very different impressions they leave.

The Nokia store is a gallery.
The Apple store is alive.
The Nokia store staff are tech sellers.
The Apple store staff are tech users.
The Nokia store is a place where you browse.
The Apple store is a place where you use.
The Nokia store is about surface.
The Apple store is about corporate DNA.


Blogger Charles Edward Frith said...

Great post John. Photography brings it alive and proves the point beyond question. I see that Nokia were boasting they sell a million phones a day compared to the 2 million iPhones that Apple sold since its launch.

I'm a big Nokia fan but their brand DNA is in manufacturing, economies of scale and a lightening fast distribution system that pushes a million phones a day into customers hands. Problem is that the handsets are living off ever diminishing profit margins

There's also something very Finnish /Business in their DNA that I gleaned from a visit to their labs in Oulu, Finland. But they kind of prefer not to go into that.

I've heard many times from Nokia folk that they want 'world class retail' here in China and yet the reality is they are just looking to emulate instead of dig deep inside of themselves. If only they could because Nokia are a remarkable company. Just a bit boring. Which can have its strengths if fully embraced.

Their touch screen iPhone copy currently called Tube is coming out later this year and one wonders why the leading phone retailer in the world can't trump iPhone but needs to do what their competition have always done so well. Copy each other.

5:09 PM, April 08, 2008  
Blogger john dodds said...

Thanks Charles. Just following your lead - albeit without accosting young female trendsetters. I wonder if this make me an ethnogrpaher - would Grant M approve?

2:47 PM, April 09, 2008  
Blogger Sam Ismail said...

Apple hire great people as well. It's a fact.

3:30 AM, April 15, 2008  
Blogger john dodds said...

So writes the Saturday boy from their Birmingham store.

4:36 PM, April 16, 2008  
Blogger Legit said...

Nice article. The simple truth in so few words. Even so, probably never going to penetrate the minds of large corporate brands that still believe in pushing their products into the hands of users, instead of pulling users in, which Apple does so well. And which is also why, Apple shares will keep going up and up and up and up...

6:21 PM, May 01, 2008  

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