May 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Apple Stores!

A lot has changed since 2001. Back in yesteryear Mark Zuckerberg was not a household name, the word tweeting was the sound a bird made, and as of May 2001 Apple had yet to open any retail stores – the catalyst that helped Apple become the brand that it is today.

Today marks the 10th anniversary of Apple opening their first retail store in Tysons Corner, VA, a Washington, DC suburb. At the time many in the retail industry saw the move as risky, because “big box” technology stores had a stronghold on technology sales. Apple broke away from the norm with their stores by exclusively selling Apple products, instead of selling them alongside their competitors.

No doubt much of Apple’s success has come from their innovative and industry changing products, but it is also impossible to ignore the fact that the brand’s success has a lot to do with their brand image and seemingly flawless execution of brand standards.

Take a moment to think of each Apple store you’ve been in. It’s hard to decipher which is which, and where each was located isn’t it? You can attribute that to the fact that Apple cuts no corners in controlling their retail environments. Each store has the same look and the same feel, when you step into an Apple store there is no second guessing your location. Isn’t that something all brands desire to achieve, an all knowing awareness of their brand?

Whether its architectural design, package design, or product design, Apple uses a consistent brand image to maintain a familiarity amongst consumers, and in a world dominated by ever changing technology Apple’s consistent design and image has no doubt helped the brand who was ranked as the world’s 49th most valuable brand in 2001 skyrocket to the top of the list and land at #1 in May 2011.

So, Happy 10th Birthday Apple stores, I’m sure you’ll have no problem getting friends to come to your birthday party.

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