Distribution & Reach is the cornerstone of Innovation. It basically addresses the context and conditions of the customer to access an enterprise offerings; products, processes and services at the rate of use. Apple was and is considered a benchmark for an Innovative enterprise. The question that looms large in this age of marketing is, does it measure up to the standards of what innovation really should deliver to its customer universe (business ecosystem) or is it just hype?
The Apple Store is a great example of Customer Experience. It changed the way customers perceived and bought a computer or similar products just like how Intel changed the way OEM’s ordered the microprocessors for the computers they manufactured. The concept was to tie the customer at the chi-ching moment with the life time of experiencing a product; thereby deserving loyalty of the customer for the entire ecosystem that helped build the product. Apple similarly has brought different players from its ecosystem to pay for the shelf space at their retail stores.
Therefore the moot question as to why Apple could not replicate this to its virtual world of Apps Management? If I buy an Apple Product in USA, I’m tied to an APPS Store in the US and if I buy an Apple product in India, it ties me to the Apps Store in India. Apple is a global business and does not recognize me as a global customer. What it needs to realize is that, its 70% or more of its footfall in local retail stores globally is usually tourists (local and global). So why would an innovative company deny me a global access to its products, processes and services globally? It is definitely not the restrictions of the Indian government that prevent it from offering me a seamless interface. Amazon is not a great advertisement either for a seamless global experience; yet they do provide me a common interface. So technology is not an issue either!
In these times when globalization is spoken with such elan, enterprise processes are key to connecting the ecosystem. The reason why Apple is not able to integrate its apps stores globally is because it does not have a global process manager to connect its ecosystem. As a consequence, it will not be able to bring great apps and pricing available in one part of the world for the benefit of its customers, despite the fact that it has got the concept of building an ecosystem for an innovative business right!
Sony is a great example of a company that capitalized on its ability to mobilize its enterprise for a first mover advantage. However, over a sustained period of time, even it has realized that it is not only the first mover advantage but also the highest percentage of customer loyalty that will reward its business in a sustained manner. Please get this right – the people who stand in the queue to get the first release of an apple product are not really or necessarily loyal customers of apple. Many of them are there either to make some pocket money or brag about having a new devise or a million other reasons. Loyal Customers are those who speak about the Product, Process and Service experience to others without a prompt and bring new customers without the company spending additional money in marketing and sales on these customers or in simple terms reducing the SG&A expenses.
I’m available for the leadership and management of Apple to implement the globalization of processes and make the company a truly innovative enterprise. It is key to realize that Value is sustained when Demand is Created and Managed concurrently; where the former meets customer aspirations and the latter continues to fulfill the expectations of the implicit faith and trust that customers repose in the enterprise. If you will analyze why customers leave or businesses fail to capitalize on loyalty, you will find the gaping gap between Aspirations and Expectations of the customers being left as a void by the promise of potential and the practice of delivery by enterprise as the key reason.
PS: Capital is not just MONEY; it is the MONEY EMPLOYED FOR GROWTH.