Robert Scoble has an interesting article up at Fast Company detailing a number lessons about retail that Microsoft can learn from Apple and Best Buy. In a nutshell, Microsoft needs to copy Apple, and “find a way to not look like Microsoft.”
Yikes. If those are two guidelines Microsoft needs to follow in order to launch a successful retail store, then perhaps retail isn’t the business for them. Imagine if Pepsi’s success in the soft drink market hinged on copying everything Coke did, and trying not to look like “Pepsi.” More than a retail challenge, it sounds like Microsoft needs to revamp its image. I suppose that’s what its “I’m a PC” ads are all about, but it’s gonna take a lot more than cute kids using computers to help put some polish on Microsoft’s reputation.
You can check out the article in its entirety over here. It’s worth a read as Scoble has some interesting insight into the somewhat complex, yet seemingly intuitive, world of retail marketing.