On Saturday, I wandered into an Apple store to have a Genius fix what I believed was a broken iPad. As it turned out, the iPad was fine: it simply needed a reboot.
But the store associate who helped me didn’t simply send me on my way. Not even close. He provided me with a brief explanation of iPad physics and then proceeded to spray the device with a cleaning mist and then polished it with a fine cloth as if he were preparing a diamond for sale.
While the young man worked enthusiastically on this zero revenue interaction, it felt to me as if it was really Steve Jobs at work. The man who invented Apple–who envisioned and nurtured it–may be dead but his ghost is still wandering through the stores — if not the corporate headquarters.
Which leads to a key point: Jobs is known as the man who reinvented computing, music and the telephone but equally important and often overlooked in the hierarchy of his achievements, Jobs radically transformed retailing. I have long held that a central tenet of marketing is to prompt people to cross the delta from LIKE to LOVE. If you can drive people to love what you sell, you will leave the world of like in the dust.
This is precisely what Jobs did and what Apple stores continue to do as a salute to his legacy. Everything in every Apple store is an object of lust: you want to buy it all. Even when you don’t need it. Even what you haven’t budgeted for. The fact is, it’s Christmas every day in Apple Land and you don’t want to walk out into the streets without a shiny, beautiful, cool, sexy, glittering jewel from the mind of Steve.
Do yourself a favor: drive over to an Apple store today and soak it all up. Hang out for awhile. Browse. Buy something. Yes, you will add revenue to Apple’s coffers but more important, you will find a way to raise the bar on your own business.
Jobs may be gone from HQ but he’s still teaching those who want to learn.