The impending Apple Watch launch will be fascinating to watch for a number of reasons. Because the Apple Watch bridges the gap between technology and fashion, it remains to be seen if the allure and utility of the device can convince millions of consumers to wear what effectively amounts to a piece of jewelry.
With respect to selling the Apple Watch in-store, Apple retail employees will play a more pivotal role in the sales process than ever before. With a confusing matrix of bands, materials, and pricepoints to choose from, consumers will look to store employees for information and, as it turns out, fashion advice.
According to a recent report from 9to5Mac, the Apple Watch training process for retail employees will include protocols for dispensing fashion advice.
Apple is encouraging employees to build relationships with customers to understand their purchase plans, stylistic wants, and fashion needs. Apple has created multiple sample personas … to prepare employees for the launch. Apple also asks employees to recommend different fashion and style choices. Employees have been told to make comments such as “you seem to have a fun style. I think the Pink Sport band would match your style perfectly,” or “the white strap looks great on you.”
What’s more, Apple employees will be instructed to gauge appropriate Apple Watch styles on a person by person basis based on a customer’s lifestyle and existing accessory choices.
This certainly represents an expanded role for retail store employees who will have to bring their “A game” to the Apple Watch shopping experience. The Apple Watch is unlike any other product Apple has ever launched in that it doesn’t necessarily sell itself in the way that the iPhone does or the iPod did back in the day.
Consequently, store employees will have to be extremely well-versed in what the Apple Watch does, how it works, and why it’s a compelling device that warrants a multi-hundred dollar purchase. And to top it all off, store employees will now have to exhibit a degree of fashion savvy to boot.
It’s a tall order, to be sure, and you can bet that Apple Watch training will be intense and thorough.
Still, one question looms: Would you take fashion advice from an Apple store employee or would you find the dynamic somewhat fake, pointless, and perhaps patronizing?