Apple cans AppleCentre branding

 

Apple has begun phasing out the AppleCentre retail outlet brand name and will ask partners to reapply for their certifications.

Apple has begun phasing out the AppleCentre retail outlet brand name and will ask partners to reapply for their certifications.

The vendor’s AppleCentre partners now have until 31 January 2007 to develop their own branding and remove all references to AppleCentre, Apple Australia marketing director Rob Small said.

The “rebranding exercise”, which had been flagged in Europe three months ago, has also seen a new ‘Apple Premium Partner’ certification emerge to replace the AppleCentre partner certification.

Small said with the changes, AppleCentre partners would also need to reapply for their certification with Apple.

Based on passing metrics like traffic flow, signage, customer training, post sales experience, partners would be offered Premium accreditation. If partners failed to meet the criteria, or decided not to apply, they would be given Authorised accreditation.

Small would not comment on whether the two tiers had access to different pricing models, but said Premium partners would benefit from being included in Apple’s marketing campaigns.

The move, designed to “improve the customer experience,” Small claimed, would not see reseller partners short-changed by being deprived of the AppleCentre branding.

“The AppleCentre brand is owned by Apple, not independently owned retail outlets,” he said.

In a possible indication that Apple's partners have forseen such a move for some time, AppleCentres - notably NextByte, MacCentric and MacAcademy - have increasingly moved to distance themselves from the AppleCentre brand.

NextByte director Tim Kleemann said the impact from the change would be negiligable as the reseller had always had plans to develop a strong stand-alone brand.

"I've seen the new signage and marketing materials around the Premium accreditation and it looks fine," he said, "I like the training requirement [for Premium partners] as it's an opportunity to differentiate ourselves [from Authorised resellers].

While NextByte intended to apply for Premium accreditation, Kleemann said that it was unlikely that there would be any pricing advantage over Authorised resellers.

"It's a myth that AppleCentres get better pricing," he said.

Apple cans AppleCentre branding
 
 
 
Top Stories
Soft drinks and SoftLayer: A solution for hard times?
Coca-Cola Amatil's CIO Barry Simpson shares his story of cost-cutting, outsourcing and why his software developers to ride around in delivery trucks.
 
Optus considers breaking net neutrality in Australia
May charge Netflix, OTT providers for premium service.
 
AGL restructure sees CIO depart
Owen Coppage to leave after ten years.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest Comments
Polls
Do you support the Government's data retention scheme?

   |   View results
Yes
  11%
 
No
  89%
TOTAL VOTES: 2336

Vote