In what was something of belated move for Google, they finally opened up their own brand store in London, over in the UK. Admittedly, this store was housed inside of a PC World Curry's store, but it was a space completely devoted to showing off Google products and services, which is what matters. The space has only just opened, and I haven't had a chance to visit it yet, but I will do that soon. This got me thinking however; why doesn't Google open more of these?
Google is a company that has many different products and services available to the average consumer, and many of them people use on a daily basis. Some of the most important Google offerings include; Search, Android, Drive, Google Docs, Google Earth, Chrome, Google Play, Chromebooks, the Nexus line, Android TV and more. Simply put; this is a lot of stuff for consumers to just find and see if they enjoy. Google might be a company that knows how to market their products online, but as we see Android take off and become more successful with products like Android Wear, Google needs to be in the consumer's face more.
We know Google as a company that has excellent online products, and a lot of average consumers think the same, but do they really know Google? You could ask say, a hundred people off the street that use Gmail and Search every day if they knew Google made phones and tablets and over half would probably say they had no idea. Ask a similar question to a Microsoft or Apple user and they'd be able to name things like the Surface tablet and of course the iPad, the MacBook Pro and so on. Google's new store in London shows off Chromebooks and other Google products as well as services like Google Earth and tips and tricks about staying safe online among other things.
The Internet is most definitely a part of our daily lives, and so are Google services, but being able to walk into a store, have a conversation with someone about a product is much more powerful than a funny YouTube ad. Even I, someone who spends a lot of time online researching new products and reading game reviews, still enjoys talking to someone about something and asking questions. This is why the Apple Stores are so successful, not because they're all made of glass and look all fancy, but because there is staff on hand to answer questions and make that customer feel valued.
Google might be on top right now when it comes to online services, and that'll probably continue for a long time, but Microsoft and Apple are wising up. iCloud has become more useful, and Microsoft is more willing than ever to partner with other people. Dropbox has become more useful than Drive in so many respects as well and I use it far more than I do Drive, despite having tenth the amount of storage. Google needs to start marketing to customers in smarter, more intimate ways and experience stores like the one recently launched in London would help to do just that.