Apple is one of the leading companies in the electronics and technology industry, second only to Microsoft. The company was established in 1976 by Steven Jobs and Steven Wozniak, and incorporated in 1977. Although its first computers failed, it grew gradually following the success of its later products starting from 1980. The company faced stiff competition in 1980s, following the entry of other players such as IBM into the market. In 1990s, the company experienced considerable challenges, both in the market as well as in its management, which led to Steve Jobs leaving the company. However, following a return of Jobs in1998, strategic changes were made in the company; and starting from 2001 onwards the company started generating profits, enhancing its growth globally. Some of the changes made included taking over other companies, focusing on new marketing strategies, and most importantly focusing on innovation and invention of new technology. Today, Apple is among the market leaders in the various segments of information technology industry, more especially in production of phones and computers. In fact, the Company was recently ranked second, after Exxon Mobil, in the category of most valuable traded company globally.
Apples’ Marketing Mix
Apple Inc. is one of the companies that have created their brand based on the nature of products that they offer in the market. The company is well-known for producing high quality and unique products as compared to what the competitors bring into the market. Research and Development is one area that is highly appreciated within the company. As such, this department takes a large percentage of the company’s budget allocation annually. Huge investments in this area are reflected in the quality of the products that the company produces. For instance, the iPhone, iPod, and the iPad are all symbols of innovation within the company, which is a direct result of heavy investments in Research and Development. The design of most of its products is also unique, apart from Samsung; no any other company operating within its business line has managed to produce products that are close to its products as far design is concerned.
In addition, the company keeps on producing new products, or adding new features to the existing products. As such, it is rare for its products to become obsolete, like what is observed in most of the products of its competitors. High quality products have not only contributed to the rapid growth of the company, but also have given the company an edge of its competitors. A variety of products are produced by the company. Furthermore, the manner in which the company packages its products is unique. It has designed different packaging designs for a range of its product, each package containing its apple brand.
The company recognizes pricing as an important element as far as its marketing strategies is concerned. Apple’s products are among the most highly products in the market. The company produces high end products, which explains why the always have high price tags. Therefore, as compared to the quality and their products, their price is considered relatively cheap. The pricing strategy adopted by the company is seen as a way of differentiating its market. Because of the high price tags, it means that only those people earning high income would enjoy these products. Therefore, the company always tends to target the high income earners, unlike most of its competitors who produce low quality products for the other markets.
Although some of its products have a fixed price, the company offer discounts offer a range of its products. Besides, it also offers various allowances, based on the terms of sale and the products. Apple Inc. utilizes two major pricing strategies. First, is the Cost Plus Pricing strategy, in which the company sets prices for its products based on the production cost plus a profit margin. The second strategy, and perhaps the most important one, is the Value Based Pricing strategy. According to this strategy, the company prices its products based on the understanding of the consumer perceptual value. This means that its products are priced based on the manner in which consumers value the company’s brand in general.
It is imperative to note that the company’s products are highly controlled. The company has established various outlets globally to supply its products. In addition, it uses selective wholesalers and retailers to distribute its products. Particularly, retailers and wholesalers are allowed to distribute smaller consumer products, and in most cases are relatively cheap. However, larger, and in most cases, more expensive products can only be obtained from the outlet stores of the company. The company has established online purchasing services, for those people who, for one reason or the other, cannot be in a position to physically visit its stores. For those making online purchases, their products are commonly transported as parcels to their destination in any part of the globe. Besides this standard distribution channels, Apple also distributes its products through Apple mini-store, a form of vending machine which are located in areas such as malls, airports, and department stores.
Promotion is perhaps the most important factor when it comes to marketing Apple’s products. In fact, the company has been very aggressive in promoting its products. Through advertising, the company has managed to create awareness of its products globally. The manner in which adverts are presented has been one of the strengths of its advertising strategies. For instance, at the time when the iPhone was launched, Apple started with 4TV which offered entertainment and information sharing concerning the device as well as through focusing on new strategies of advertising. Newspapers, television, radio, and billboard posters form a large part of the company’s advertising strategies. Furthermore, personal selling is also another factor that the company relies on in promoting its products. In this case, the company has employed sales representatives who interact with the customers with an intention of persuading them to buy the products. This is very important especially when promoting relationships with potential clients. Moreover, the company utilizes sales promotion to stimulate demand for its products. Sales promotion entails offering incentives to customers to generate product demand.
Undoubtedly, Apply is among the best companies when it comes to marketing their products. Through its effective marketing, the company has managed to develop its brand not only in the United States where it was established, but also within the global market arena. The company produces high quality products, which come with a high price tag as compared to other related products. As such, in most cases the target market of the company comprises of the high income earners, because they are the only who can afford the products.
Despite its effective performance in the market, there are a few issues that the company should take into consideration, which could contribute to even a better performance. For instance, the company should consider increasing its distribution channels. Currently, only selected dealers are allowed to supply its products. Increasing distribution channels would promote distribution of the products to areas they are currently inaccessible. Besides, they should consider regulating their prices to accommodate the low income class. Currently, only the high income class can enjoy its products. Therefore, including the lower income people would augment its annual sales.