November 24, 2003

Verizon sales pitch goes interactive

Verizon Wireless is using the Twin Cities to experiment with a new kiosk display in four area malls that it hopes will put some hip-hop style f'shizzle into the company's sales pitch.

Verizon Wireless' kiosks at Rosedale, Southdale, Maplewood Mall and Eden Prairie Center recently installed several large touch-screen monitors that let passers-by play with the games, ring tones, text messaging and other features Verizon sells through its "Get It Now" brand of data services.

"We were looking at new ways to reach the youth market," said Alex Ross, director of stores for the company's Great Plains region, which includes Minnesota. "Youth are very Internet savvy they like to try things out for themselves."

The company chose the Twin Cities for its test, Ross said, because it had the best kiosk locations in its malls.

In addition to the touch-screens, the kiosks at Rosedale and Southdale feature 44-inch screen plasma TVs that are designed to attract the MTV generation. Kiosk employees also were freed from Verizon's white-shirt and tie dress code. "Trendy" is how Ross described the way employees are instructed to dress.

If the displays are judged a success at the end of their three-month trial, copies could pop up at some of Verizon's several hundred other kiosks and its 1,200 stores across the country next year.

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Posted by Craig at November 24, 2003 02:28 PM