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Numbers let your Compare Apples to Oranges--or Windows

Marketing results data is often proprietary, but Apple Computer is proud to share the results of designing its new Apple Stores for a better customer experience. Thanks to Tim Manners of Reveries Cool News of the Day for spotting this story and to USA Today's Jefferson Graham for such a thorough analysis. Not surprisingly, this story appeared in the "Tech Investor" section of the paper.

Faced with stalled performance in the 1990's, Apple hired away from Target the executive who had helped bring Michael Graves work to redefine mainstream shopping. At Apple, this executive, Ron Johnson, studied the Ritz hotels for lessons, finding welcoming inspiration in the hotel bar for the phenomenally popular Genius Bar at Apple Stores.

The Geniuses — tech support staffers clad in black, offering free advice from behind a sleek, barlike counter — were an afterthought when Apple expanded into retailing in 2001, another non-traditional tool to bring in shoppers and draw attention that Apple computers were not getting at traditional computer retailers. The concept has become so successful that 100,000 people visit the Geniuses every week. And the stores represent nearly 50% of Apple's retail sales.

Read this entire free-to-access article. It's full of the type of numbers and context that help people learn best practices in marketing.