Anyone who has been around Best Buy in the past 10 years knows they pride themselves on something called “the smart friend.” That’s what Best Buy most wants to see when it looks in the mirror.  Friendly, technology-agnostic associates in blue shirts who ask just the right questions to help people find the perfect solution customized for their individual needs.  They don’t push.  They don’t show off their techno geek jargon.  And they are downright likable.

Unfortunately, what they have ended up with looks more like this Gift Center For Him.  Which is nothing more than a listing of promoted items that give customers absolutely no help in actually  finding a gift for Him.  Compare that to the interesting, helpful and entertaining Pogue-O-Matic from New York Times technology columnist David Pogue and you get WHAT BEST BUY SHOULD BE DOING to build credibility and loyalty with its shoppers.

With a website that screams SELL SELL SELL, Best Buy has lost an opportunity for a deep relationship-building balance that could truly separate it from the WalMarts, Costcos and Targets it finds itself competing with.  It’s website says it competes on one thing: Price.  Ask KMart.  I am pretty sure that’s an unsustainable business model.

Note to Brian Dunn: Spend a few minutes on the Pogue-O-Matic, then march over to Barry Judge and demand to know why Best Buy is being beaten by the New York Times in the “Smart Friend” department.

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