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A Modest Proposal To Apple Management: You Need To Sell Apple-Logo'd Merchandise

A Modest Proposal To Apple Management: You Need To Sell Apple-Logo'd Merchandise

by , 9:00 AM EDT, August 14th, 2001

Dear Apple Store management:

I have a big complaint about the Apple Store.

No, it's not about the products in stock. I love the fact that this is a store where there's nothing but things Macintosh. It's not about the employees. What better way to sell Macs than to staff the store with energetic Mac users? No, it's not the location. Even though I never go to the Mall of America, except when visiting relatives talk me into taking them, I think the choice of location was a no-brainer.

What is it that I criticize about the store then? It's the lack of Apple-logo'd merchandise. Whenever I go to Macworld Expo in San Francisco, a large portion of my spending money is set aside for that 45-minute drive down to the Cupertino campus so that I can buy a truckload of hats, shirts and paraphernalia with Apple logos on them. Every single time, I go there and spend money just so I can have something new to wear with an Apple logo on it.

There are those who would agree with me. A prime example is Mac Surf Shop, an on-line retailer of Mac-related clothing. These guys are a mainstay of the Mac community, because there are many, many of us who like to express our "Mac-ness," and are willing to pay to do so.

I'm totally surprised that this cornerstone of product brandness and image consciousness wasn't included in the Apple Store launch. I don't think I need to elaborate this point any further. I'm sure that my fellow Mac users will make replies to this column echoing what I am saying here: If Apple wants to get its name in front of the shopping public, there is no better way than emblazoning it on T-shirts, hats, tote bags, cups.

This is already being done at the Cupertino campus. Actually, a sizable portion of floor space was devoted to the above items.

I'm embarrassed to even be pointing this out, because I "know" (yeah, right! Apple lets me in on its plans) that Apple retail execs have already begun plans to include such merchandise in future store inventories and in "inventory upgrades" to the four recently opened stores. Surely Apple wouldn't be so shortsighted to ignore such a cash cow. I'm sure that Apple management already sees the value in selling the public clothing that provides the company more and better advertising than years of advertising in the major media. Last year, we were shocked that Steve Jobs screamed at some guys for selling Apple-logo'd watches on the Macworld Expo floor. Now we understand. Little did we know that Apple was plannng to sell its own watches, among other stuff, at its own stores.

I'm glad that you guys will soon be offering the most rabid Mac fans among us the opportunity to display proudly our Mac addiction, because I'd hate to have to resort to weak attempts at reverse psychology if this decision not to include Apple-logo'd merchandise came from the top.

After all, no thinking person would be able to look at the loyalty of the Mac user base and not immediately see that we would be more than willing to advertise your brand, and pay you for the chance to do so.

God, I'm glad I didn't even have to write this column. After all, Apple would NEVER be so short sighted as to prompt me to write such a rant.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Rodney O. Lain swears that he doesn't wear Apple-logo'd stuff every chance he gets. He'd never lower himself to freely advertising a bunch of capitalist pigs! He's even considered canceling his "iBrotha" column because it condones conspicuous consumption of Apple-logo'd status gadgets. Proletarians of the world, unite!

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