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Apple Inc. is a leading and a well-known company in the United States. In 1978, this organization was established, and it is widely known for its electronic and software applications, and for its cellular and smartphones. Reports from Apple show that this group has set an entirely different trend in the electronic applications market (Apple Inc. n.d.). The company has approximately thirty-five thousand employees distributed all around the world. The team has been making sales of over 20 million dollars annually for the last few years. Therefore, it is considered one of the most appreciated and respected companies in the U.S. The reason behind the success of Apple Inc. is owed much to the organization’s excellent marketing strategy. These strategies play a significant role in achieving the company’s desired goals.
Role of marketing within Apple Inc. and in the management process
Marketing plays a huge role in the accomplishments of any business. Almost all aspects of business rely on a successful marketing strategy. Marketing is a process through which a service or a product is introduced and advertised to potential consumers (Weerawardena 2003). This method includes advertising, public relations, promotion, and sales. Without this process, a business or company may not be able to access their customer even though they offer the best services or products in their respective industries. Lacks of sales may lead to the shutdown of any business. Apple’s intricately crafted marketing strategies have played a significant role in promoting its brand and products towards unmatched levels of popularity and approval. Some of the parts of marketing include spreading the word, achieving higher sales and creating brand loyalty, maintaining the company’s reputation and establishing a healthy competitive advantage.
Spreading the word
For any business to be successful, the services and products they offer need to be well-known among the potential customers (Hersh & Aladwan 2014). Apple’s marketing strategy has helped them to make their products familiar to everyone in almost all the countries of the world. Their products are highly valuable because of its popularity. When Apple produces a new product, many network carriers are always eager to announce to their targeted consumer base that they offer this product. To several people, it may seem that these providers are doing Apple a favour by selling their products. However, the sellers are marketing themselves through the popularity of Apple. It is through the company’s services that they can lure customer and the target market towards their businesses.
Through its unique marketing strategy, Apple has been able to obtain massive popularity that it never advertises its product through print and broadcast media. However, it sometimes produces content for social media and online distribution (Johnson et al. 2012). Network carriers sponsor most of the advertising messages related to Apple products.
Achieving higher sales and creating brand loyalty
After the word is spread about a particular product to potential buyers, it increases the chances of it being purchased (Roper & Fill 2012). With the help of its marketing strategy, Apple has been able to dominate it the industry because of the popularity of its products. The company has been able to make a large number of sales annually through the globe. If Apple Inc. did not have a good marketing strategy, it would not have been able to make any purchases, and the company would not have been successful. For sales to increase and to obtain a loyal customer base, an organization needs to offer unique product usability and consumer experience (Hersh & Aladwan 2014). However, their well-planned strategy, Apple has been able to create a significantly approved product and a sustainable brand loyalty base.
Maintaining Company reputation
The success of most companies mainly depends on a solid reputation. Marketing develops brand name recognition for an organization. Many individuals know that Apple products are relatively expensive compared to their competitors with the same product. This aspect has however not slowed down the sales of the company. Premium pricing is part of Apple’s marketing strategy which had proved to be very successful for them (Fogliasso and Williams 2014). The high-price strategy has played a significant role in promoting the company and maintaining an approving perception among its loyal customers. Some buyers believe that expensive products have an excellent reputation and can be used to present exceptional quality and importance. It is through this concept that Apple has been able to obtain the top positions over their competitors.
Establishing a healthy competitive advantage
Marketing encourages an environment for healthy competition within the marketplace. In the 1980’s Apple was struggling to maintain its sales and often defeated by other companies. The company’s poor performance at that time was due to its poor product strategy. When Steve Jobs returned to the company in 1996, his first objective was to get rid of all products that were not profitable and restructure the product strategy. He created an approach that has its basis on the idea of simplicity and premium user experience. This policy is beneficial, and it contributes to the excellent performance of Apple products. It also gives the organization a more considerable advantage over their competitors.
Marketing and the management process
Marketing also plays a prominent role in the management process. It is through this means that the leaders of Apple can define the long-term goals of the company. They can come up with objectives that will be used to guide the company’s activities. Managers can also access and come up with new methods of penetrating the marketplace and achieving more sales through marketing (Hersh & Aladwan 2014). For any business to be prosperous, it needs to understand how to change their operations to respond to ever-changing trends and requirements. Leaders in Apple understand this and have marketing strategies that always keep them ahead in the industry.
Apple’s corporate objective and the role of marketing to meet them
Apple Inc. has stable and a clear organizational purpose that has enabled the company to obtain ultimate success and popularity in their target market. Corporate objectives assist in defining the goals that a particular group aims to achieve. Some of the corporate purposes in Apple include maximization of shareholder wealth and profits, sales and social responsibility. These objectives are substantively based on the organization’s mission statement (Apple Inc. n.d.).
Maximization of the shareholder wealth and profit
When an organization tries to maximize the wealth of its shareholders in the company, they also increase their prices. When stock prices go up, the value of a firm increases, thereby improving the net worth of the people who own the business grows. Apple aims at enhancing the value of the company and maximizing the use of resources that have available to them (Apple Inc. n.d.). This organisation’s marketing strategy help in making decisions that align with this goal and generates the optimum growth in the company. Even though a few people have criticized maximization of shareholders’ wealth, it helps in increasing returns, offering strategic consistency and avoid making impulsive decisions.
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One of Apple’s objectives is to expand their sale even further to consumers who do not yet own their products. Sales not only improve through advertising but they have a marketing plan that increases their distribution networks (Apple Inc. n.d.). Their marketing strategies facilitate the increase in distribution through offers more of their products to internet providers. These providers may be able to sell their internet plans together with the iPhone. Through promoting the modern generation of Apple products, the providers can sell their program. Another strategy for increasing distribution is through the provision of their products to third part retailer stores and use of flagship stores.
Another objective of Apple is improving its social responsibility to the society. The company’s marketing plan led to the establishment of Apple Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs and initiatives. This program aims at helping various people around the world. Its objective is to support local communities, educate and empower workers (Apple Inc. n.d.). The company also wants to use its popularity among people to protect labour and human rights while also promoting gender and minority equality. Apple’s marketing strategies play a significant role in developing the company’s social responsibility, and it encourages others to take part in helping others. Other aspects included in the social responsibility objective include water and energy consumption, waste reduction, and reduction of carbon emission (Fogliasso and Williams 2014).
A situational analysis is a critical aspect of any marketing strategy. It helps to identify the factors that affect the organization from a macro, micro, and internal level. In doing so, managers and executives can make informed decisions that influence the company’s success positively. This section will offer an overview of these environments using analytical tools.
Apple has cultivated a global image of competency and delivery of high quality products. This appearance is a result of an excellent and comprehensive marketing strategy efficiently executed. Understanding this marketing strategy requires developing an understanding of the company’s marketing mix (Banfi, Bhandari, Gordon & Umblijs 2013). It is a combination of the 4Ps of marketing and their influence on the organization’s success.
Apple has achieved considerable success by marketing a wide range of products to enthusiastic consumers. However, one has to acknowledge the Macintosh, which is the product that branded the company a market leader in consumer ICT. The Macintosh has remained a valuable aspect of the organization by producing high-quality and high-performance computers that are effective for demanding tasks (Time n.d.). The IPhone was the third and currently successful product provided by the company. It revolutionized the smartphone market that had been dominated previously by the Blackberry. The IPhone is a highly successful commodity that incurs improvements on a yearly basis to maintain its edge in a highly competitive environment. Just like the smartphone, the IPad introduced a fresh take on tablet computers. It has retained its sleek and powerful design to date, thereby preserving its consumer appeal and consequently, its profitability. The company has also produced other products such as the Apple TV ad watch that is appealing consumer electronics. Therefore, Apple has maintained its profitability by relying on a diversity of high-quality products. This strategy has been productive since the organization has cultivated a strong following of consumers who are loyal to Apple products.
Apple products use the price strategy as a way to set it apart from its competition. The high-quality products sold by the company perform excellently thereby proving superior to its competitors. For this reason, the company charges premium prices for these high-end products. The MacBook computers retail upwards of $150,000 while the IPhone retails at slightly less. These costs are exorbitant, but emphasize on the premium quality that consumers should expect when using Apple products.
Place and distribution
The way that an organization distributes the product is vital to its success. Every business should aim to establish a reliable and efficient distribution channel that will maximize consumerism while minimizing the cost of sales (Shahhosseini & Ardahaey2011). Apple has applied three crucial approaches to distribution. Firstly, the company uses specialized Apple stores that retail the company’s products. These exclusive outlets also provide support to customers. Apple also makes partnerships with authorized dealers who have permission to distribute Apple products on behalf of the company. This approach is practical since it allows the company to penetrate new markets without making substantial investments in stores. Finally, the organization has an Ecommerce platform that has proven a useful point of sale. Consumers can select the products that they want and make the purchases as they await the delivery of the item. These distribution channels increase the organization’s market share.
The promotional strategy refers to efforts by the organization to attract customers by appearing appealing. These plans include advertising, offering discounts, providing additional services, and other ‘pull’ efforts (Shahhosseini & Ardahaey2011). Evaluation of Apple indicates that the company relies mainly on the advertising aspect of the promotional strategy. The company rarely provides offers or discounts. However, the company excels in advertising. They have built a reputation for creating highly effective advertisements that not only highlight product uniqueness, but also displays the premium nature of these items (Moorman 2012). In doing so, the company reinforces the image of high-performance and high-quality lifestyle brands. Apple’s brand is quite strong, and its exploitation acts as an effective ‘pull’ strategy.
To perpetuate a high-end lifestyle brand that is strong and appealing to the public
The company places significant emphasis on creating and maintaining a high-end lifestyle brand. The firm uses promotional advertising, conferences, and quality production to reinforce the idea that the company is highly competent and desirable to its consumers. Maintaining this image allows Apple to harness the power of its brand and leverage it for sales.
Leverage product superiority for sales
Apple is famous for producing high-quality and high-performance products. MacBooks are practical tools for conducting intensive tasks that require a lot of computing power. Similarly, the IPhone and reliability of the iOS guarantee smooth and secure performance. As such, the company can leverage this reputation to grow its market share.
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Opportunities and Threats
The external environment is highly influential on the performance of the company. It plays an integral role in manipulating consumer trends as well as organizational strategies (Helms & Nixon 2010). Apple’s primary opportunity is the growth in ICT that is currently underway across the globe. The increased adoption of technological devices such as smartphones, tablet computers, and computers have increased demand for its products, especially among its loyal consumers. However, the company is vulnerable to two major threats that can affect its bottom-line. Firstly, the ICT industry is highly competitive. Despite producing high-end products, the business may suffer from competitors who take advantage of the cost approach to gain market share. Therefore, Apple’s premium products may be a barrier restricting people from purchasing its products. Secondly, economic volatility threatens the company’s high-end lifestyle. In the case of an economic slowdown, consumers stop spending on luxury items such as the premium Apple devices.
Customer profile and market segments
Market segmentation refers to a process of classifying consumers based on particular characteristics that make them ideal buyers for the product. The segmentation process can utilize geographic, demographic, economic, and psychological profiles to identify potential consumers (Dibb 2010). Apple relies mainly on the economic and psychological approaches to determine its market segments. From an economic perspective, Apple products are premium items, thereby requiring high-end customers. Only people with a middle to high-income status can afford to buy and maintain Apple products. Therefore, the ideal Apple customer is economically well off. Additionally, the company also taps into consumer psychology to identify the groups of the people most likely to purchase Apple products. These behavioural profiles of such people include a predisposition to efficiency and quality over prices. Additionally, these people also possess a strong sense of brand loyalty to assure repeat business after every device improvement.
Apple is one of the world’s largest technology companies. It has achieved this success through years of innovation and improvements of their products. The organization has maintained an image of competency through retail success, maximizing sales, and social responsibility. In addition to organizational values, the company has utilized marketing to promote its products and brand substantially. Marketing has helped the company’s management acquire additional customers and a strong name. A comprehensive strategy that includes proper and impactful interactions of the marketing mix has ensured its continued success and a loyal customer base. An assessment of the organization indicates a robust strategic use of marketing concepts to increase sales. However, the high-end lifestyle brand is vulnerable to competitors using the cost approach to gain an edge as well as economic volatility that undermines consumers’ buying power. Nevertheless, continued pursuance of the company’s target consumers will help Apple maintain profitability.
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