The Forbes website posted a very short story about Angela Ahrendts, exiting as the CEO of Burberry to head up Apple’s retail operations. If you thought Apple had broken a lot of ground in technology retailing already, hang on.
You might remember Ahrendts as the pretty, stylish, and all business-gravelly voiced guest on stage with Marc Benioff during recent Dreamforce extravaganzas. Her face was plastered on a wall of the Moscone Center too. Ahrendts took on Salesforce and its social approaches to all things related to customers and transformed Burberry stores around the world to the point that the iconic fashion brand also became the hip tech retailer inserting technology and information into the customer experience.
The result has been a shopping experience that puts the customer into a mindset that envisions the experience of ownership and that’s a long way from simply having a great shopping experience. Hey, if you’re shopping at Burberry’s you are going to spoil yourself so the shopping part of the experience hardly needs work.
So, Ahrendts will presumably bring her avant guard retailing savvy to Apple and perhaps help transform it further from purveyor of consumer technology to one that helps customers make a statement about themselves through their technology choices. Maybe she’ll even upgrade the geeky T-shirts the staff wear.
That’s a smart move for Apple. Given the recent activity in wearable technology such as the watch (for which Apple owns the trademark on iWatch) fashion might be the next tech battleground. The only question in my mind is what role Salesforce might play in this configuration.
(Cross-posted @ Beagle Research, LLC)