Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Few Things Worth Mentioning

1. Have you seen this yet? An amusing take on advertiser to consumer relationships:

2. Would you pay a retailer $99 a year to learn how to use their products? When I first heard Apple was doing its “One to One” personal training for an annual subscription cost, I couldn’t believe people would actually enroll in such a program. But while I was sitting at the Internet Retailer 2007 show last week, I struck up a conversation with someone holding on to one of the Apple Store training pamphlets.

First, here’s how it works: For $99 a year, you can go into any Apple store and receive personal training sessions on anything Apple related, whether you’re new to using an iPod or ready to master the latest pro software.

But honestly, I thought it was ridiculous at first (who would pay $99 a year to ask questions at an Apple store when you could probably just go in and ask for free?) But then, my new pamphlet-holding friend told me over 4 million people were already enrolled in the program, raking in $400 million for Apple on this new venture.

So wow, I guess people ARE using it. I looked into the service a little more. Face-to-face appointment-only Apple sessions could teach you how to start your own Web sites, blogs and podcasts, as well as learn editing through iMovie. So I guess it’s not as basic as it sounds. And, you have to admit, it’s most certainly a brilliant strategy for Apple.

3. Have you seen the new InMotion Entertainment stores at various airports nationwide? I’ve passed them several times before, but finally stopped to get the scoop last week on my way home from Internet Retailer in San Jose, Calif. You rent a movie for $5 at an airport store and return it at another after you land. Or you can return it at the same store after your round trip home. No DVD player? Rent one too. It’s a nice option if you travel often and are sick of the in-flight movies. Anyway, it’s definitely a creative retail effort. I just wonder if it’s actually working. If you’re as intrigued as I am, visit:

— Samantha Murphy

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