Technology – It’s not just what’s on the inside…

27 07 2006

I think in the past 3-4 years, we’ve seen a rise in technology stores in very high end shopping malls. Granted technology, and high priced technology goes hand in hand with higher income households, but it’s interesting to see how certain companies began to set the style and standard for others. Design not only played a role in the way they developed technology, but also the way they presented it to the customer. Design within the showroom was just as important as the technology itself.

When we think back to the way we used to purchase technology, we would sometimes go to a place like “tech superstores” where you would have rows and rows of computers and electronics right next to the papers and pens. It was never cool back then to really buy into technology, never quite hip to get the latest PDA at the time. Perceptively, you were still a nerd for liking technological instruments and stores like Comp-USA or Office Depot did nothing to change that perception.

Then came along the company from Cupertino California named after a fruit that realized – hey we may not have perceptively the best working computer but we can at least make it look cool. They designed the Imac with different colors and people, including yours truly, thought who would actually buy a computer based on what it looks like on the outside…

Well it was that line of thinking that brought Apple back out of its slump in the late 90’s. As the computer industry was booming, Apple was pretty much doing the exact opposite…and when the bubble burst, Apple had an almost “Eureka” moment to bring them back to the top. But what sustained their growth was not just the fact that they made cool looking computers….but rather the fact that they presented in really cool looking stores. Behold the Apple store in NYC,NY – becoming almost a landmark for all tourists…

We’ve come a very long way since the days that computers were meant exclusively for geeks. We live in a world today where it’s actually cool to have the latest technology and it’s almost necessary to sell your product in a showroom in order to get traction in the market. Many companies have taken Apple’s approach (some even before Apple) to focus more on the design of their showrooms than necessarily the product itself.

Nintendo is a great example of this….their new store “Nintendo World” is a cross between M.I.B. style chairs and plasma screens making kids go crazy.

Samsung – in an effort to promote their UMPC has also openned a new showroom in the Time Warner building which looks more like a jewerly store than really a technology store…

And when you reach Apple’s status of having Mac stores become ubiquitous around the country, you can do cool things like put grass on the top of your stores in the middle of Michigan Avenue in Chicago…

Things to do before senior year ends: Play soccer up there….

Just my $.02





2 responses

28 07 2006

Soccer on the roof of the Apple store…I am so down.

“Hi. I am the Apple Campus Rep at Northwestern. We would like to have an event on your roof. What do you think?”

Think it would work? Haha.

11 01 2007

i love my beamer!

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