The decidedly un-sexy brand experience that’s better than you think

Jack Blog

May 3rd, 2012 By Jack Morton

People like to beat up on RadioShack for all kinds of obvious reasons.

From a brand experience POV, sexy it ain’t (the stores look ’80s retro, but not on purpose). And from a financial POV, its need to redefine its retail premise and improve its experience is urgently manifested in its historically low $5 share price.

And yet…

Today I went to my neighborhood RadioShack out of a desperate need for ear buds for my iPhone. As I bought my (Apple, premium priced) earphones amidst the downmarket retail experience that is RadioShack, I was blown away by the contrast to Apple stores… but in a surprisingly positive way.

  1. The salesperson took the time to engage me even though I was buying a relatively low priced item
  2. She noted that my iPhone is cracked and offered to find out when I can upgrade (sooner than I thought, and I didn’t know I could do that at a RadioShack)
  3. As part of that pitch she managed to get my email address, my home address and my home and mobile numbers
  4. Although I missed that glistening shiny white cool feeling one gets at the Apple store, I did not miss that panicked claustrophobia I feel amidst the crowds, nor did I miss the implied insult of having to make an appointment or get on a waiting list for service

So: even if your brand can’t afford or isn’t ready for or simply doesn’t want to have that glistening shiny “special” brand experience of an Apple store, simply having effective, engaging, well-trained staff that proactively offer solutions to customers can help you make people feel pretty good about your brand experience.