Verizon Wireless has unveiled a new store at the Mall of Americas in Minneapolis that intrigues me – especially as retailers remain in a funk in terms of store design.
As reported by Chain Store Age, the more than 9,000-square foot space features interactive areas organized by process, such as active sports, gaming, home monitoring, music and business.
The reason I like this layout is because it is about how the customer uses the technology, not by the technology itself. And, as most of you know, the first rule of brand is that it is all about the self-identification of the customer, not the identification of the brand.
Just about every retailer categorizes its store areas by a collection of same products. Even the Apple Store does that. But, even if you are in a grocery store you frequent, it can still create confusion. (Why, oh why, are the nuts next to juices in my local supermarket?) Mainly, it creates little to no interaction with the brand. It’s like looking into a pantry, trying to find the hamburger buns. (“Honey, they’re right behind the cereal.”)
Interactivity is the catchphrase of store design these days and most get it wrong. That’s because the design is all about the store, not the way a consumer would use it. It’s no reflection of us.
Verizon is understanding that what makes it relevant and, for some, preferred is not the technology itself. It’s what need the technology fulfills. That will enable Verizon to offer a whole host of technologies, without falling into a trap the Radio Shacks of the world are in. If a technology, for example, fits into a business lifestyle, Verizon can offer it. If it fits into an active lifestyle, Verizon can offer it. And so on.