Sunday, November 25, 2007

“Lifestyle” Sells. What Can Fee-Based Advisers Learn?

Investment advisers and financial planners who work for fees rather than commissions can surely learn from these two Washington Post articles.

Learn what? You 'll have to figure that out yourself. The Senior Assistant Blogger is way too 20th century.

When You Need Another You:
Three years ago, [Ezra] Glass co-founded a lifestyle-management company in Rockville named Serenity Now, a name inspired by an episode of the television show "Seinfeld." It's modeled on similar lifestyle-management firms in vogue in Europe, where clients pay a membership fee for round-the-clock advisers who can cater to their every need, including entree into chic clubs and restaurants. Glass's clients pay a membership fee that ranges from $450 to $1,500 a month.
Apple Retail Stores Revamp:
It's not uncommon to find people dropping in to hang out, use the Internet or let their children play on the Macs on low-legged tables. Personal blog entries, complete with snapshots of the authors in the store, are sometimes written on the spot.

"We try to pattern the feeling to a 5-star hotel," said Apple's retail chief, Ron Johnson. "It's not about selling. It's about creating a place where you belong."

* * *
The "one-to-one" personal training service that Apple stores launched two years ago is also becoming more popular, Johnson said. He declined to give specific growth figures.

For $99 a year, a customer gets up to one hour a week to learn about a wide-range of subjects tailored to the customer's interest or abilities. The program is for beginners and experts alike and can cover how to set up computers, make movies, build Web sites or put together a scrapbook or family newsletter.

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