S Steve Jobs wanted customers to understand the Apple Store "with a single look" as if Gods were on Olympus. In fact, the outlets seem to speak for themselves. They are bright, neat and covered with glass. They can not differ more from the great labyrinths they are supposed to replace.
They could not profit margins either. Since its launch on the market in 2001
When we think of "tech," we rarely think of retail stores, and when we think of "tech workers," we rarely think of low pay "geniuses" that they employ. Most media reports about technology companies encourage us to forget that the vast majority of their employees are not programmers in Silicon Valley: they are the suicides of telephones, the call center staff, the delivery staff, and the deliverers smiling shop assistants who use the Majority of Apple's workforce.
The Apple Store was designed explicitly as a brand message rather than a source of technical knowledge. Ron Johnson, the former manager of Target who designed the concept, said in the Harvard Business Review, "People come out of the Apple store to make the experience – and they're ready to pay a premium for it … Apple is in Relationship business Just like the computer business. "
Johnson and Jobs wanted ambassadors whose alleged role was not to sell products – clearly, the Apple Store employees do not get a commission – but to create positive customer sentiment and trust in the brand when it collapses. It was hard to do that when all your belongings were accumulated in a large electronics store overseen by third-party employees who lacked any special expertise or interest in what you wanted to sell.
The aim was to take full control of the brand image during humanizing . The problem, however, was that people can be quite unruly.
Luckily for Apple someone had worked hard to fix this bug. In 1984, a group of professors at Harvard Business School published a book entitled "Managing Human Assets," which aims to improve the organization of the workplace for a new era. The book was based on the first new compulsory course at Harvard Business School in a generation launched in 1981. Ron Johnson started his MBA at Harvard the following year and graduated when the book itself was published.
Earlier, the book argued that work discipline could be achieved in a relatively straightforward way from top to bottom, but now something else was needed. "The limitations of the hierarchy have forced the search for other mechanisms of social control," the authors said. The mechanisms they proposed were essentially to treat employees as nominal stakeholders in business success, but within narrow limits that would increase shareholder profitability, they would not jeopardize shareholders' profitability.
Many of these ideas put Johnson into practice. He found the first cohort of Apple Store employees by personally interviewing each manager and providing jobs to the optimistic collaborators who worked for competitors. He sent the first five managers through the Ritz-Carlton training program to learn the concierge skills. He then developed a training program for the in-house production of geniuses. (Jobs allegedly hated the term first and found it ridiculous.) When properly worded, he asked his lawyers to apply for a trademark the following day.)
How do you create a dedicated, happy, knowledgeable workforce that can go through it? implausible as a complete battalion of geniuses in cities across the country? More importantly, how do you do it all without the stick of the authoritarian chef or the carrot of a hefty commission?
Apple's solution was to encourage a sense of commitment to a higher calling while flattering the employees that they were the few to portray it. By unlawfully raising the Bar Association, which triggered a long series of interviews to eliminate the mercenary or misanthrope, Johnson soon attracted more applicants than there were jobs. Those who wanted to go through the exhausting recruitment process were, almost by definition, a better "fit" for the brand's ethos of ethos, and more receptive to the fiction that they were not selling things, but in an oft-repeated phrase: "enriching people's lives "as if they had received a job at a charity.
"When people are recruited," explains Johnson, "they feel honored to be in the team, and the team respects them from day one because they made it through the glove. This is completely different than trying to find someone with the lowest cost, available on Saturdays from 8am to 12pm. "
Although not the lowest these eager employees' costs were still low compared to the industry average, to the amount they earned for the company, and to the $ 400 million that Johnson spent in his seven years at Apple had earned.
Lower wages also had a different, less obvious effect. As the Apple Store Managers of the New York Times explained, the lack of commissions meant that the work was not good enough to support the relatives: Older workers were functionally excluded from representing the brand without any formal policy or policy formal directive was required accompanying specter of discrimination lawsuits that it would raise. The use of psychology, not the maximizing calculus of economic rationality (money), allowed Apple to transform attitudes and wages into executive requisites.
The feeling of higher calling and flattery, of course, does not stop with the hiring process. Do it through the gauntlet and you will be "chattered in" by the existing workers: they will receive standing ovations as if they would receive a prize. The clapping, according to the employees, continues until new employees, perhaps after a confused delay, also begin to clap and become part of the performance from an outside auditor – part of the team. Leave the company and you're "crazy".
Products are clapped, customers waiting overnight to buy them are clapped, their purchases are clapped, clapping is clapped. Clap clap clap. "My hands are popping out of the whole clap," said a manager. Clapping, cheering, ecstatic commitment provided the team with a ready-mixed glue that put the teams together, affirming both the brand's character and the cult dedication of its employees.
It can be expected that Apple Store employees, as their name implies, are tech gurus with incredible intellectuals. Their real role, however, has always been to use emotional illusion to sell products.
The Genius Training Student Workbook is the vaguely funny title of the handbook from which Apple Store employees learn their art. Potential geniuses are taught to control the customer experience with compassionate communication and relieve tensions to make them happy and their purses loose.