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  1. thetawave's Avatar
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       #1  
    Excited about the Surface tablet? Want to see one in person, instead of online, or if you are lucky, at a Microsoft Store near you...(Mmmm not a chance there).

    Well great news, they are now being sold at your local Staples or Best Buy locations!!! Or is it great news?

    Let me tell you about the great maketing fail by both of these retail outlets. First, I visited Best Buy, excited that I may finally get to touch a Surface tablet and explore all the many features I have been reading about. My anticipation was high as I walked into the store. I read that they would be displayed in the Mobile department as well as the computer section of the store. I walked in and immediately saw what I thought was the tablet but shook my head in disapointment when I saw the display. Complete and utter marketing failure!!! There were 3 key immediate features that were not in play here. First, the screen was locked, and no one knew the password, not even the Best Buy GeekSquad manager, seriously?!...come on. Next, I noticed that no keyboard was present, no mention of it anywhere in the display. Finally, I went to pick it up and test the kick stand...FAIL!!! couldn't access it because the security lock on the back of the display model kept the kickstand from being opened.

    Frustrated and confused, I asked the set up manager why this "Surface" display was set up this way. I mentioned that 3 key features are going to be missed if this display is not fixed. He looked puzzled and said Mmmm, not sure what happened. I have a picture of it on my phone set up correctly from earlier this morning. I looked at the picture and sure enough there the Surface was standing tall with keyboard and kickstand out and opened as well as the new interface. Curious. I then asked "What the heck happened between this morning and this afternoon. He said "not sure". Then a strange thing happened. He went on a rant about how he hated Microsoft because they put small business competion out of business and that they are an evil empire. "I will never use a Microsoft product again" he quipped. Wow, seriously! Then it dawned on me that maybe that picture was for show, showing the display set up correctly to satisfy a Microsoft requirement, and then after the picture, they set it up whatever way the saw fit.

    If Microsoft expects to boost sales of the Surface tablet, and market this excellant tablet as it should, then they should market this product like Apple does. I would have purchased an endcap in the store with two Surface Tablets on display, one with the touch pad and one with the keypad. The display would have "Microsoft Surface" in large bold letters above the two as well as logo and other advertising materials displayed accordingly. I would put as much fanfare in the display as Apple puts in theirs.

    The Surface tablet is innovative and can be a home run if someone in Marketing gets off their lazy butts and innovate instead of procrastinate! I plan to do a YouTube video about this subject. Stay tuned! In the mean time check out a few pics of the display I snapped to show the fail in action.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails keyboard-fail.jpg   locked-screen.jpg   kickstand-fail.jpg  
    Last edited by thetawave; 12-17-2012 at 03:02 PM. Reason: forgot image
    thetawave
  2. allos autos's Avatar
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    #2  
    Quote Originally Posted by thetawave View Post
    Then a strange thing happened. He went on a rant about how he hated Microsoft because they put small business competion out of business and that they are an evil empire. "I will never use a Microsoft product again" he quipped.
    Something I don't understand is how Microsoft is seen as this evil megacorp that eats the souls of small children, yet Apple gets a free pass. The Apple marketing machine is truly miraculous.

    Quote Originally Posted by thetawave View Post
    Then it dawned on me that maybe that picture was for show, showing the display set up correctly to satisfy a Microsoft requirement, and then after the picture, they set it up whatever way the saw fit.
    Fortunately, that's not how it works. When a company pays for a display within a chain, they send a document (called a "planogram") that shows exactly how they want it set up. The company then distributes this planogram to all of its locations, and the logistics/store standards/whatever department is responsible for setting it up. Head office does not require pictures of displays or anything like that. Think about it: companies from Microsoft to Apple to Cisco/Linksys to Kaspersky to Monster, and so on, all pay for displays. Pictures would be madness. Quality control is usually maintained through random spot-checks, if at all. Vendors usually come in (unannounced) to check up on things, and if the display doesn't match the planogram, the vendor can collect damages from the store.

    I know this because I worked in a Future Shop (Canadian electronics store owned by Best Buy) for a year selling computers. I came to hate planograms.
  3. v10type-r's Avatar
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    #3  
    I had a feeling this would happen.. unless the sales staff are not already completely biased towards Apple products they will neglect MS and its Surface. MS needs to get the retail outlets some training and ensure their products aren't being treated this way.

    Too many times have I gone into electronics stores and have been given the "why would you want that?" statement when it came to inquiring about Windows Phone, Windows RT tablets and Windows 8.

    It irks me pretty bad.
  4. power5's Avatar
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    #4  
    I make planograms, and I hate that not a single box boy can read them and setup the display correctly. I do not do this type of display, but same concept applies. If its a ikea chair or something that the box boy paid for he will take hours figuring out the instructions to set it up, but if its something he is getting PAID to do, he will do a **** poor job as fast as possible just to complete the task.

    Yes apple PR could sell school books for the next century on how to market a product line in the united states.

    To be honest, BB is not interested in selling many mobile devices it seems. All the phones at my BB are non working display units EXCEPT the iphone. Again, apple genius somehow.


    BTW not trying to attack any poster, just my job frustrations with most retail staff.
  5. thetawave's Avatar
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       #5  
    Thanks for the info. Yes you are right. I actually worked for a third party company that did a "reset" for Best Buy. Although our group did a good job following the Planogram, sometimes the Planograms were really bad and we had to improvise.
    thetawave
  6. inteller's Avatar
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    #6  
    i bet you anything the picture he had was indeed to send to corporate as a planagram verification. Caught red handed!
  7. power5's Avatar
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    #7  
    I take a great bit of pride in how well I put together my instructions on my displays. I would say the biggest problem is that BB was trying to use their tablet hardware to secure a device that should have been setup like laptops. Though I do not believe the surface has a cable lock ability.
  8. power5's Avatar
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    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by inteller View Post
    i bet you anything the picture he had was indeed to send to corporate as a planagram verification. Caught red handed!

    No way. A customer came in and reorganized the area.
  9. Jastow's Avatar
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    #9  
    I didn't see any at the best buy I went into this past weekend(san Antonio) and wondered wtf? Luckily one mall has a Microsoft island with surfaces and phones on display, and a Microsoft store is opening up across from apple at the nicer mall. Also, its pretty common (in my experience) to find laptops/destops locked, leaving you unable to explore the device.
    Sent from my RM-820_nam_att_100 using Board Express
    Last edited by Jastow; 12-17-2012 at 06:13 PM.
  10. inteller's Avatar
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    #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by power5 View Post
    No way. A customer came in and reorganized the area.
    you forgot the /s
  11. stephen_az's Avatar
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    #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by thetawave View Post
    Excited about the Surface tablet? Want to see one in person, instead of online, or if you are lucky, at a Microsoft Store near you...(Mmmm not a chance there).

    Well great news, they are now being sold at your local Staples or Best Buy locations!!! Or is it great news?

    Let me tell you about the great maketing fail by both of these retail outlets. First, I visited Best Buy, excited that I may finally get to touch a Surface tablet and explore all the many features I have been reading about. My anticipation was high as I walked into the store. I read that they would be displayed in the Mobile department as well as the computer section of the store. I walked in and immediately saw what I thought was the tablet but shook my head in disapointment when I saw the display. Complete and utter marketing failure!!! There were 3 key immediate features that were not in play here. First, the screen was locked, and no one knew the password, not even the Best Buy GeekSquad manager, seriously?!...come on. Next, I noticed that no keyboard was present, no mention of it anywhere in the display. Finally, I went to pick it up and test the kick stand...FAIL!!! couldn't access it because the security lock on the back of the display model kept the kickstand from being opened.

    Frustrated and confused, I asked the set up manager why this "Surface" display was set up this way. I mentioned that 3 key features are going to be missed if this display is not fixed. He looked puzzled and said Mmmm, not sure what happened. I have a picture of it on my phone set up correctly from earlier this morning. I looked at the picture and sure enough there the Surface was standing tall with keyboard and kickstand out and opened as well as the new interface. Curious. I then asked "What the heck happened between this morning and this afternoon. He said "not sure". Then a strange thing happened. He went on a rant about how he hated Microsoft because they put small business competion out of business and that they are an evil empire. "I will never use a Microsoft product again" he quipped. Wow, seriously! Then it dawned on me that maybe that picture was for show, showing the display set up correctly to satisfy a Microsoft requirement, and then after the picture, they set it up whatever way the saw fit.

    If Microsoft expects to boost sales of the Surface tablet, and market this excellant tablet as it should, then they should market this product like Apple does. I would have purchased an endcap in the store with two Surface Tablets on display, one with the touch pad and one with the keypad. The display would have "Microsoft Surface" in large bold letters above the two as well as logo and other advertising materials displayed accordingly. I would put as much fanfare in the display as Apple puts in theirs.

    The Surface tablet is innovative and can be a home run if someone in Marketing gets off their lazy butts and innovate instead of procrastinate! I plan to do a YouTube video about this subject. Stay tuned! In the mean time check out a few pics of the display I snapped to show the fail in action.
    If it bothers you ask for the number and name of the district manager. Outing poor handling by a specific retail store here will accomplish nothing. They bought the stock from Microsoft and cannot afford to have merchandise sit or they will be in bankruptcy court even sooner. Bad mouthing one of their major suppliers of technology products is also something that needs to be reported up to the district level. That is not their policy and is a good way for them to end up in litigation with their suppliers. As for any BB manager making critical comments about Microsoft, that is just a bit surreal. You would think they would know that Bill Gates, et al, helped rescue BB the last time they were teetering near collapse.
  12. theefman's Avatar
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    #12  
    Its like WP7 all over again.....
  13. inteller's Avatar
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    #13  
    pretty much, and a large portion of it is based on a blind misguided hatred for some evil entity called M$ that doesn't exist. Really, some people "hate" Microsoft because somebody heard from somebody who heard from somebody who heard from somebody that somebody else's friend lost their homework assignment one time when Windows 95 crashed on them.

    It is like hating Mercedes because someone told you Hitler used to own one.
  14. allos autos's Avatar
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    #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by power5 View Post
    I make planograms, and I hate that not a single box boy can read them and setup the display correctly. I do not do this type of display, but same concept applies. If its a ikea chair or something that the box boy paid for he will take hours figuring out the instructions to set it up, but if its something he is getting PAID to do, he will do a **** poor job as fast as possible just to complete the task.
    [...] just my job frustrations with most retail staff.
    I shared your frustrations. I was in sales, and I'd occasionally lose a sale because of incorrect setup. If your salespeople can't find the product, the customer can't buy it. In my experience, it was usually because the stock person thought s/he could come up with a better solution than the people whose job it is to come up with those darned planograms.
  15. johninsj's Avatar
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    Pm me the store address I can provide direct feedback to the account team.
    Sent from my Windows 8 device using Board Express
  16. Gken's Avatar
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    #16  
    and this boys and girls is why best buy will go out of business in a few years. Just like circuit city, bad execution of employees and a business model that is totally outdated. I love tech and always share my information when I go out and buy something if something has a question, but man most of the employee know jack-s**t if you know what I mean. This really is a sad story. That got me to wondering. Are the kiosk things in best buy run by actual apple reps, or just best buy anyone know?
  17. balama's Avatar
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    #17  
    wow
    that keyboard photo brought back visions of my trusty old road warrior Radioshack TR100/Cambridge Z88 from the late 80's.
  18. inteller's Avatar
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    #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by Gken View Post
    and this boys and girls is why best buy will go out of business in a few years. Just like circuit city, bad execution of employees and a business model that is totally outdated. I love tech and always share my information when I go out and buy something if something has a question, but man most of the employee know jack-s**t if you know what I mean. This really is a sad story. That got me to wondering. Are the kiosk things in best buy run by actual apple reps, or just best buy anyone know?
    they are run by apple trained employees paid by BB. They have a doted line to Apple reporting wise, which is why you see the Apple kiosks in super shape all the time.
  19. typhon62_1's Avatar
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    #19  
    I tried to see one at BestBuy in Geneva IL. Couldn't see one anywhere and asked someone in the PC/MAC section if they had one set up. The guy looked at me like I was stupid and pointed me to the iPad's. I said I read that BB was supposed to be selling Surface now and they should have one on display. He then said he heard WP8 sucked and BB was more than likely waiting for the 1st service pack before they start selling them??? I said Surface doesn't even run WP8! The guy then just walked off.

    I left the store really pissed off. I hope MS goes in there and knocks some heads.
  20. Daniel Ratcliffe's Avatar
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    #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by typhon62_1 View Post
    I tried to see one at BestBuy in Geneva IL. Couldn't see one anywhere and asked someone in the PC/MAC section if they had one set up. The guy looked at me like I was stupid and pointed me to the iPad's. I said I read that BB was supposed to be selling Surface now and they should have one on display. He then said he heard WP8 sucked and BB was more than likely waiting for the 1st service pack before they start selling them??? I said Surface doesn't even run WP8! The guy then just walked off.

    I left the store really pissed off. I hope MS goes in there and knocks some heads.
    Get me a plane ticket there, I'll take my golf clubs with me too. Heads, gonna roll.

    "Fortune cookie said: 'Outlook not so good'. I said: 'Sure, but Microsoft ships it anyway'."
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  21. Saint Michael's Avatar
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    #21  
    Quote Originally Posted by Paladinleeds View Post
    Get me a plane ticket there, I'll take my golf clubs with me too. Heads, gonna roll.
    Norway is gonna back Your play. That guy needs a good wooping
  22. thetawave's Avatar
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    Gken

    The store in Louisville Ky on Shelbyville Rd has a dedicated Apple rep to work their kiosk. He does an excellent job representing Apple and is very knowledgable. If you are every in that area and need something Apple related, he is your man. Apple products sell very well at this location because of his interaction and knowledge of the product, his people skills along with a good product. I did demos at that location for Lexmark and Sony and was amazed at the attention the Apple area received. The Surface tablet needs a similar setup in order to let people know how great this tablet is...
    thetawave
  23. zzdarkwingduck's Avatar
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    #23  
    I checked the BB out in stafford, va at lunch, Surface was jammed next to a couple other tablets. Did see a couple guys there just to look at them and were going to buy them. Probably did their research online and just wanted to see it in person before making the final decision. Best buy will continue to degrade and disappear if they keep this business model up. I remember reading how the CEO wanted to restructure the entire company and follow apple's customer oriented service model, but shareholders and upper management tried to crucify him cause it would cost too much money to restructure that way.
  24. inteller's Avatar
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    #24  
    Quote Originally Posted by thetawave View Post
    Gken

    The store in Louisville Ky on Shelbyville Rd has a dedicated Apple rep to work their kiosk. He does an excellent job representing Apple and is very knowledgable. If you are every in that area and need something Apple related, he is your man. Apple products sell very well at this location because of his interaction and knowledge of the product, his people skills along with a good product. I did demos at that location for Lexmark and Sony and was amazed at the attention the Apple area received. The Surface tablet needs a similar setup in order to let people know how great this tablet is...
    that was the point of the MS holiday stores. MS should just lease space inside the store and staff it with their own people. That's the only way they can guarantee a quality presentation.
  25. #25  
    I have a friend who is handicapped that I have helped decide that a Surface is the best device for him. We can pin all his favorite websites to the start screen and using a stylus (he currently uses the eraser end of a pencil on a laptop touchpad) he can use the touch screen interface with ease.

    Anyway, I haven't been able to get him hooked up with his new Surface yet because I have had to be out of town. This morning we talked on the phone. He was at our local mall this past weekend and he wheeled his chair into the Best Buy Mobile store there. He wanted to play with the Surface while waiting for his wife. He asked if they had it. The gentleman working there told him that they would never carry it because Microsoft wanted them to sell it for less than cost and they weren't going to buckle to Microsoft. My friend asked if the "big store" was going to have them. He also replied no for the same reason.

    I informed him that manager or salesperson was full of bovine excrement and that we would get him his shiny new Surface on Thursday at Best Buy or Staples. Microsoft needs to find a way to get this situation under control. People are just making up crap. <rant>If they were my employee I would fire them on the spot. I don't care if you don't like a product you get the sales you can get. It is not your job to convince people to buy your favorite product. Do that on your own time?</rant>
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