Best Buy calls on iPhone to fortify mobile division

MINNEAPOLIS: Best Buy plans to use the September 7 debut of Apple's iPhone at nearly all of its 970 stores to raise awareness of its mobile division.

MINNEAPOLIS: Best Buy plans to use the September 7 debut of Apple's iPhone at nearly all of its 970 stores to raise awareness of its mobile division.

Jeff Dudash, PR manager at Best Buy, said even though the retailer launched Best Buy Mobile last year, it has less than 2% of the mobile market. The launch of the iPhone at Best Buy stores will help build momentum for its mobile division, which the retailer recently expanded to all of its stores, he added.

“Because it's a high-profile device, the iPhone will be bringing in a lot of people who have never thought to come to Best Buy for mobile devices,” Dudash said. “We're trying to make sure they have a good experience.”

The company has trained about 200 of its employees to speak to the media on behalf of Best Buy. Media targets for the launch include telecommunications press, traditional retail and consumer media, tech press, and broadcast outlets.

Dudash said the communications team has already received interest from these media outlets. Although it tweaks its angle for each outlet's audience, the overarching theme remains to position Best Buy Mo-bile as a serious player in the market. Through its messaging, the retailer will also emphasize a variety of other mobile devices and accessories available to customers. For example, on September 2, MetroPCS announced it would provide its handsets and service at more than 200 Best Buy locations.

“At the end of the day, what drives customers is choice,” Dudash added.

“That's what we're focusing on.”

The marketing push will be evaluated by the sales it generates and through a proprietary survey to measure customer satisfaction, he said. Dudash added that the retailer worked with PR agencies in preparing for the iPhone debut, but declined to name them.

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