Building Up: Apple’s Retail Stores are Now a Community Hub

This time around, Apple’s classic branding does not stop at sleek minimalist designs. The larger-than-life concept is beyond the tip of our forefingers. Apple Inc. has set out to build a community starting with the biggest product: the Apple store.

Needless to add, Apple’s rebranding has yet again struck a chord with its reverent community.

Earlier this year, Apple topped the list of the most intimate brands, according to the latest MBLM Brand Intimacy Report 2017. MBLM defines brand intimacy “as a new paradigm that leverages and strengthens the emotional bonds between a person and a brand.” The top-ranked brands in the list  “continued to outperform S&P and Fortune 500 indices in revenue and profit over the past 10 years.”

Building Up: Apple's Retail Stores are Now a Community Hub
 Apple Tops the MBLM Brand Intimacy Report

Apple unveiled the future of its retail store starting with the Apple Union Square in San Francisco. The brand will no longer be known as the ‘Apple Store’; the word Store thrust from the retail location names. What looks like a minor shift at face-value, Apple makes a larger impact by simplifying the branding of its retail store. The company has stressed that it wants to be more than a store.

And it has.

Building Up: Apple's Retail Stores are Now a Community Hub

Ex-Burberry CEO, and Apple’s SVP of retail, Angela Ahrendts is steadfast on her mission to “draw people out of their digital bubbles”.

The store would feature an artist sketching or a musician playing guitar. A community hub where you can actually sit, talk and spend the time.  An education center with special classes for students.

Building Up: Apple's Retail Stores are Now a Community Hub

The company is more than a place to buy an iPad or Mac. A new label where you can try the products before you buy.Now the stores feature gigantic 6L video screens and lush scenery. The Plaza is open to the public 24×7 with free Wifi Access. Local entrepreneurs and business customers receive training at The Boardroom.

Building Up: Apple's Retail Stores are Now a Community Hub

The re-modelling reflects the company’s obligation to the community to “help foster human experiences”. In 2016, at least 95 stores were redesigned as community centers/town squares across the globe. 2017 has witnessed ongoing projects across the globe.

Apple Taipei 101 opened as Apple’s first store in Taiwan. The hub is set to host “Today at Apple” programs, including creative sessions on photography, video, art and design, coding etc.


Perhaps the iPhone’s last great growth market, Apple has been broadening up in India. The company is gearing up to launch two brick-and-mortar stores of 10,000 and 15,000 square feet each. The building would have enough class to make them tourist attractions. Standing out from their direct competitors, Apple Stores are setting a delectable standard across the globe.

This brew of marketing strategies draw attention to the brand value; yet another milestone for Apple’s brand insignia. For instance, when the brand vouches transparency, it makes a forthright statement with their glass paneled front doors. The revolutionary tech brand upholds customer satisfaction. When a new store unveils, the employees welcome the customers and celebrate with free T-shirts/merchandise. Popular feedback about the store is a testament that Apple has done re-branding right!

From the change-in-name to building a community, the inspirational brand strategy reflects the massive shifts that retail is undergoing. The debate between online shopping and the dearth of physical retail stores is fragmentary. What is evident is that retail stores have to up their game and distinguish their store spaces. E-commerce giants like Apple focuses on eliminating replication and mixing entertainment with retail. The stagnation in Apple’s consumer electronics sale has pushed the company to competition. The re-branding strategy not only increases footfall in their physical stores, but also creates closeness amongst the consumers.

The clever, and humongous hack on Apple’s brand strategy, we’re yet to unravel if the new concept would attract the desired target audience. What it is a testament to, is an original and innovative in-store experience.
Apple’s innovative strategies persistently embolden an encore!

author avatar
Norin Salim