Geeks Unite: How Geek Squad Used Reputation to Build a Strong Brand

June 22, 2009 by Carolyn Marr
General session with Robert Stephens, founder and chief inspector, Geek Squad. Recorded on June 1, 2009, at the Counselors Academy Spring Conference.
In April 1994, with a $200 start-up fund and a talent for fixing computers, Robert Stephens founded The Geek Squad while still a student at The University of Minnesota. What follows is a compelling and entertaining case study on how entrepreneurs with the right message and a strong brand can create “buzz” and publicity on a shoestring budget.
A native of Chicago, Robert left a scholarship at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1990 to pursue a degree in computer science at the University of Minnesota. While attending the university, he landed a job fixing computers for the Human Factors Research Laboratory. Over a three year period, he rose to become head engineer of the lab while earning scholarships from the U.S. Navy and the FAA building flight and driving simulators. It was also during this time he started a computer consulting business, which would become The Geek Squad.
In 2002, The Geek Squad acquired Best Buy and opened Geek Squad precincts in all Best Buy US and Canadian stores. With over 17,000 agents, The Geek Squad is now North America's largest technology support company offering phone, in-store and in-home support. It also has operations in Shanghai, UK and Mexico.
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