Best Buy Geek Squad: Introducing Vertical Market IT Services?
Best Buy’s Geek Squad, which employs nearly 20,000 IT support professionals, appears to be pursuing a vertical market growth strategy. One example: Geek Squad is offering the American Institute of Architects (AIA) members a 10 percent discount on all online, in-store and in-home technology services. If the offer gains momentum, it’s a safe bet Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) will sharpen Geek Squad’s vertical market focus.
Still, Best Buy faces plenty of challenges . The Big Box retailer is attempting to improve customer service while competing more aggressively against Amazon.com and online retailers. Plus, Best Buy is trying to fight off an unsolicited takeover bid from founder and former CEO Richard M Schulze.
In the IT services market, Best Buy also has some opportunities. mindSHIFT, the company’s managed services and cloud services arm, already has vertical market expertise in health care, among other areas. I suspect we’ll see Geek Squad and mindSHIFT, over time, connecting the dots between their vertical market promotions. Already, Geek Squad offers a $49.99 per month plan that offers 24/7/365 phone support plus on-site agent support.
It’s common, by the way, for MSPs to focus on vertical market associations and related engagements. HEIT (no owned by CSI) built relationships with multiple third-party financial services associations, ultimately becoming a giant player in that market.
Will Geek Squad find similar success with architects? Too soon to say.