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Why an Apple store is never just a store. Its a win for Malaysia

Why an Apple store is never just a store. Its a win for Malaysia

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Come 22 June, Apple fans in Malaysia will be able to fully immerse themselves in the Apple retail experience when doors to the brand's first official retail store in The Exchange TRX opens. This will mark the tech giant's sixth flagship in the Southeast Asian market following three stories in Singapore - including the floating Apple store - and another two in Thailand. 

While the interior of the store is yet to be revealed, the new store is located at the al fresco park located just along the mall's outdoor dining terrace. The store takes on a more contemporary design, as indicated by the tiered exterior, setting it apart from the other Apple stores in the region. 

According to industry players MARKETING-INTERACTIVE spoke to, the new retail outlet is an essential part of the brand's expansion into the region.

"The opening of Apple's first flagship store in Malaysia is a monumental event for several reasons. Firstly, it signifies Apple's commitment to expanding its presence in Southeast Asia, a region with immense growth potential. This move underscores Malaysia's importance as a key market in Apple's global strategy," said Bowie Tiong, business director of Havas Malaysia.

Don't miss: 7 global brands who have tapped on incredible Malaysian artists

"Secondly, it provides a direct channel for Malaysian consumers, like me, to engage with Apple’s ecosystem, experiencing the full range of products and services firsthand," she added.

Peter de Kretser, CEO of Go Comms agrees, saying that from a PR perspective, the impending launch of one of the world's largest brands entering Malaysia is extremely positive news for the brand and the country. 

"For Malaysia, the Apple store opening represents yet another credible 'brand-beacon' for global brands selecting the market as a strategic location to setup operations with the increase of production and sales locally together," said de Kretser. "For Apple, another major landmark in the continued foray into the ASEAN domain, building global footprint and dominance, bridging a closer rapport with specific brand fans." 

A unique retail experience 

Apple has, over the years, continued to pioneer the branding experience at every level of its operation. By creating a unique retail and design offering, customers are often enchanted by the distinctive allure the brand advances, making a connection with consumers.

"Innovation at the centre of the Apple ethos, further extrapolates its creative interactive retail experiences providing visitors with an immersive excursion, further fuelling positive sentiment with its audience," said de Kretser. 

Ambrish Chaudhry, head of strategy, Southeast Asia and India at Design Bridge and Partners, added that launch of a new apple store is an event. This is especially since Apple creates a distinct identity for each location, playing a big role in enhancing the overall brand experience. As such, Apple has a lot of expectations to live up to - not only through the store's look and feel, but also through the service performance and community building at the store, explained Chaudhry. 

"Apple understands quite well that the store acts a stage in more ways than one. Apart from showcasing products, Apple does a great job of hosting relevant events that excite their community of loyal followers, and the staff are well trained to make customers feel at home and relaxed," said Chaudhry. Adding that, 

Apple has a way of making its presence felt with the first store they open in any city, and Malaysia is no different.

"Already Apple's external face is endearingly local and has been nicknamed the building with the ‘tudung saji’ (food lid) roof after the traditional food cover found in Malaysian homes. A great way to come across as both approachable and iconic. A tough tightrope to walk," said Chaudhry. 

Tiong added that the Apple Store in Malaysia has already garnered positive feedback for its innovative design and brand integration with many admiring the seamless blend of modern architecture with local cultural elements, explaining that: 

The store is not only a place to shop, but also a landmark to visit.

Keeping ahead of the competition 

Apple's approach to fostering customer relationships through events, workshops, and personalised services sets a new standard for retail excellence in Malaysia, said industry players.

"This holistic approach to retail sets Apple apart from its competitors, who mostly often focus solely on transactional aspects," Tiong added. 

Meanwhile, de Kretser is of the opinion that the brand are adept exponents at building the brand hype and hysteria. 

"Two weeks out from a store opening and the brand has got the market bubbling at the prospect of the doors opening with consumers frothing at the mouth," said de Kretser.

"Perception, as they say, might be everything but it will be no surprise when Apple match it with reality and once again showcase why they’re sitting atop the apple orchard once again," he added. 

Photo courtesy of Trevor Hill, general manager of The Exchange TRX. 

Join us on 12 June 2024 for an exciting experience as Content360 makes its debut in Malaysia! Brace yourself to join the crème de la crème of the content marketing industry hailing from across the region. Immerse yourself in a dynamic atmosphere, and uncover the latest trends with thought leaders and solution providers from the realm of content.

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