Published on: February 22, 2018
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Hi, Kevin Coupe here, and this is FaceTime with the Content Guy.
I had the chance recently to be in Chicago, where I visited the new Apple Store, relocated to the banks of the Chicago River at Michigan Avenue, overlooking the River Walk and Esplanade. I know there is a lot of discussion about whether Apple has lost a bit off its fastball, but I’ll tell you this - they sure know how to build gorgeous new stores. The top of this store, in fact, is designed to look like the top of a laptop. It is spectacular.
An exchange I had at the store, though, was a graphic reminder of something we talk about a lot here on MNB - the importance of having everyone in an organization not just on the same page, but conversant in the same story, understanding and able to communicate the same narrative to consumers.
I went inside the new Apple Store and went over to where one of the employees was demonstrating and answering questions about Apple’s new HomePod, its entry into the smart speaker business. This fellow showed me some of the things that HomePod does, and waxed rhapsodic about its speakers and sound quality, which have gotten a lot of good reviews.
But then I asked him the money question: “I have five Alexa-powered smart devices from Amazon at home. Why would I want to replace any one of them with a HomePod?”
He looked at me and said, “I don’t really have a good answer for that.”
He then told me that Apple is scheduled to come out with a software update to the HomePod that will improve its functionality.
My next question: “Wait a minute. The HomePod wasn’t ready in time to be sold for the holidays. Why not wait to release it until the updates were ready, rather than put it out and tell people it is going to get better?”
His response: “I don’t really have a good answer for that.”
Look, on the one hand, I want to give this guy credit. At least he was honest.
But in Apple’s case, I suspect that this a question that it is going to be getting a lot. They can’t just have an answer at headquarters in Cupertino. They have to have the answer in every one of its stores, and everybody who works there has to know what it is.
I remain an enormous Apple fan, but this one of those instances where, indeed, the company does seem to have lost a little off its fastball.
I remain curious about why I would want to replace any one of my Alexa-powered devices with a HomePod. But my daughter also informed me that I was wrong when I said we had five of them at home.
We have seven. And one in the office.
That’s what is on my mind this morning and, as always, I want to hear what is on your mind.
- KC's View: