Apple is a corporation that designs and markets consumer electronics, computer software’s and personal computers. Some of the hardware produced and marketed by Apple includes the Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad. Apple software includes the iTunes media browser, the Mac OS X operating system; the iWork suite of productivity software and the iLife suite of multimedia and creativity software. Blackberry on the other hand particularly specializes in the Smartphone and mobile-emails. Despite the fact that the two organizations are classified under one genre, they have several distinguishing features.
Apple website is relatively multi-featured website as compared to the Blackberry website. This can be attributed its size. Statistics shows that Apple is one of the largest companies in the world. In fact, it is larger than the Microsoft companies are. Hence, according to the Apple website we can deduce that it is really bigger than the Blackberry organization. Size aside, the following section of this work shall analyze the two websites basing on the three level of the organizational culture as stated by Edgar Schein (Schein, 1985). The first level would entail the artifacts level wherein we shall only consider the physical aspects of the websites. The second level would be the values or the preferences of the organizational members regarding such aspects of the organizational culture such as customer service and loyalty (Schein, 1985).The last level of organizational culture we shall dwell on would involve the unseen elements of culture and which cannot be cognitively identified in everyday interactions (Schein, 1985).
Physically, the first levels of Schein’s classification of levels of organizational culture, the two websites share almost the same layout. However, the Apple website is relatively complex in that it has extra sections with extra information. Both websites has the display of their products in one section and below each product, the current prices are indicated. However, the products displayed in the Apple website are more in that apart from mobile phones, there are other products such as Apple TV, Macbook air and iMac. Apple website also has provision that shows some of the sales promotion available at the Apple organization. Such promotion includes free customization of some of the product according to customer’s specifications, free shipping especially when certain orders are bought the Blackberry website does not have this section. One the phone section of the Apple website the mobile phones are displayed in a relatively appealing manner that entails an aspect of PowerPoint as well as eye-catching features. Generally, the physical manifestation of the two websites implies that Apple is well established and is more sophisticated than the Blackberry organization.
On the Schein’s second level of culture, the values of the organizational members (Schein, 1985), I would expound on the corporate culture as well as the users culture. As stated by Schein, this level of culture deals with the values or the preferences of the organizational members regarding such aspects of the organizational culture such as customer service and loyalty. Therefore, to vividly compare the two organizations basing on this aspect of culture, I would first review about the histories of the organization.
The organizational values of these two organizations can be elucidated if we consider the time of formation and the organizational changes that have since took place. Apple organization was founded in 1970’s. At then it was among the successful companies. However, along the way, the company starts growing and a series of executives came and went. Each of these executives had his own idea of what the Apple should be and hence some of its original character was arguably lost. However, Apple is still known for its ability to foster excellence especially by drawing talented people as its employees. Apple also rewards its individuals who made extraordinary technical contribution to the company. Apple has strong brand loyalty among its users. This loyalty is attributed to the fact that Apple has supported the continuing existence of a network of Mac User Groups in most major areas where Mac computers are available. This loyalty can be experienced especially during events like the European Apple Expo trade shows where Apple normally introduces new products each year to the industry and the public. During such events, the Mac users would meet until the Apple pulled out of the event. Another scenario that can made us believe that the users have strong loyalty to the Apples products is during the Apple store openings. Such openings can attract crowds of thousands. Some of the crowd even may come one day before the actual function. In general, the Apple organization has built a strong loyalty among the consumers for its products specifically through extensive and crowd drawing marketing strategies (Schein, 1985).
Apple store visitors also experience a stimulating, no-pressure environment where they can discover more about the Apple family. Apple retail staffs are helpful, informative, and let their enthusiasm show without being brash or pushy. Such marketing strategies create certain value attachment to the organization.
Blackberry on the other side is also well known for its being a subset of RIM, a leader in the wireless email industry. The RIM products also represent some of the most popular products. The values attached to Blackberry organization can be handled properly if we consider the historical background of the Blackberry since its adoption. The early adopters of Blackberry were the politicians and the economic elites. At that time, Blackberry obtained its trust after improving an essential communication. Blackberry was also associated with healthy economy; certain US lawyer claimed that Blackberry is fundamental for monetary distribution, especially in times of crisis (Schein, 1985).
Blackberry gained a lot of fame throughout the U.S.A. Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida could list his email address publicly, and claiming that he personally responds to hundreds of constituent emails a day. He refers to himself as the first “e-governor.” Unbelievably, he even chose to have himself immortalized in his portrait, a bookshelf around him holding a Blackberry, and beside it was his family’s photo (Higgins, 2007). The addictive nature of the Blackberry made the users brand it another name “crackberry.”
The third level of culture involves the unseen elements of culture and which cannot be cognitively identified in everyday interactions (Schein, 1985). This level, as the statement implies is relatively hard to decipher as compared to the above two levels. However, for our case, we shall start interpreting this aspect by analyzing the two terms: the term “Blackberry” and the term “Apple.” Then from their hidden meaning, we would be able to understand the last level of organizational culture.
Steve Jobs, the founder and CEO of Apple, commended the organization saying that it is the “mobile devices company”- the leading in the whole region and in the entire world and whose revenue beats that of rival companies like Samsung, Sony and Nokia. This inherent description offers Apple organization a great challenge in maintaining its position. This is depicted in its marketing strategies that are always competitive, innovative. In fact, the marketing strategy employed by Apple organization involves, marketing the minds. This statement has far-reaching meanings (Higgins, 2007).
To market the mind for example implies the absolute form of marketing that entails acquiring the loyalty through convincing the mind of consumers. This can enable them to convincingly extent the knowledge to others and eventually it would result in marketing chain.
Blackberry organization on the other hand can be deeply understood by exploring the term Blackberry and its genesis. We shall consider the implication of the term Blackberry. Some works claims Blackberry as a device used to promote an image of the self that projects social status. Middledon (2007) for example claims that the Blackberry, can be distinguished from other competing devices as it carries with it a distinct cultural identity, and has become part of the cultural universe in North America and beyond (Higgins, 2007).
Different websites offer distinct products and features, which are geared towards the success in marketing of the products. Apple and Blackberry websites offer several distinct as well as similar features which explain their extend to which they can appeal to the public. The various aspects of the websites including the choice of words used, the pictures utilized and values within the two corporations have been discussed in detail. We can therefore conclude that despite the fact that the two organizations almost share the same products, their cultural characteristics vary greatly. Blackberry is more socially oriented whereas Apple has a more commercial component in it. Therefore, it is only until we understand the deeper values that we can actually understand a given organization.
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