Guided by our SMO US-based consultant, Justin Lee: purpose-driven organization management tips, “Learn from the Strategy of Purpose Driven Brands”.

Here’s a case study from Apple.


Apple Retail Store – A case study of a store strategy starting with purpose


Successful companies always check their own purpose and formulate strategies and plans. And based on purpose, they are able to position themselves without losing sight of who they are. So, in an ever-changing environment, how can a company formulate a strategy that responds to market needs and stay true to its purpose? Take Apple’s retail strategy as an example.


In 2014, Apple responded to the rattling changes in the retail industry with the rise of e-commerce and on-demand delivery. In anticipation of something, the company brought in former Burberry president Angela Ahrendts to undertake a major evolution of its retail strategy.


Concept for realizing purpose


Apple’s core purpose, “Enriching lives,” is the starting point for its new retail strategy, and to fulfill that purpose, it’s “creating a human connection that empowers people.” We set up the key concept of “creating a connection that will become Let’s take a look at some of the initiatives within this framework.


Redesigning the store based on purpose


First, to reflect the experience-centric retail environment, Apple transformed their stores from a “store” format to an “Apple Town Square,” inspired by the concept of “creating a human connection that empowers people.” We converted it to a “gathering place” format and redesigned the space based on the purpose. Apple Town Square’s strategy can be compared to five hardware features:


  1. Plaza: an open space where everyone can relax and socialize
  2. Forums: A place where you can create, collaborate and connect with others
  3. Boardroom: A place for local entrepreneurs and app developers to learn and share
  5. Avenue: A corner that introduces the latest products and services


It’s worth noting that only one item out of the five is related to shopping, while the rest are all focused on connecting people. The great thing about this strategy is that it not only adapts to the changing retail environment, but also responds to the concept of “creating a human connection that empowers people.”

Upgrading the store’s “software”


Apple, of course, is known not only for its hardware, but also for its software. Similarly, at Apple Town Square, while the five features are likened to hardware and software, the facilities in the town square are used as an experience program consisting of various music, photography, video production, art, and application development sessions, called “Today at Apple”. Families with children, entrepreneurs, educators, anyone can attend for free every day, and people of all ages and backgrounds can visit. In this way, even in software, Apple Town Square is devoted to “creating a human connection that empowers people,” and is linked to the core purpose of “Enriching Lives.”

Influences from the context within purpose


More interestingly, this retail strategy is also influenced by Apple’s own values ​​and beliefs. One of Apple’s key beliefs is that Steve Jobs said, “Technology alone is not enough. Only when technology fuses with the liberal arts and humanities does it produce heart-throbbing results. It is in Apple’s DNA.” Engraved.”


From the beginning, Apple stores have had Genius staff members who serve as technical experts to solve customer problems and challenges. Genius is biased toward technology elements and lacks liberal arts elements. To rectify this, Apple has introduced a new art-savvy Creative Pro title as a liberal arts department that complements Genius.


Since the establishment of this new strategy in 2014 until now, it is well known that many diverse people from all over the world have visited Apple’s town square stores and are bustling.


From this Apple example, how the company is trying to draw the next retail composition by combining all elements, from store names and concepts to human resource strategies, based on purpose and values, and that I hope you can understand how it is connected to the strength of their brand. Several years have already passed since the conversion to this new strategic store, and I would like to continue to look forward to what kind of strategy they are planning next.