Role Consumer Research and Branding In Marketing – Case Study of Apple Inc
In the current competitive global business environment marketing plays an imperative role in the success of business organizations. Effective marketing entails comprehensive research on the market and the consumers. A marketing plan is considered to be a strategy through which an organization seeks to create and increase the level of demand for its products. This paper seeks to explore some of the imperative issues pertaining consumer research and branding in development of an effective marketing plan. Purchase decisions by consumers are based on various factors which consumers consider. In addition, an organization has to ensure effective development of the brand to ensure competitiveness in the market.
In order to develop an effective marketing strategy, one needs to take into account the 4Ps of marketing which are; price, place, promotion, and product. These are among the major issues that affect customers’ purchase decisions. The marketing department needs to determine the pricing strategy that will be used (Kolb, 2008). This is mainly because the price of a product is likely to influence consumer perception with respect to the products. As a result, most of the marketing officers are required to identify their target market before the formulation of the pricing strategy. If the company wants to specialize in the production of products that target the premium market, it has to price them accordingly. This means that products, which target the premium market, should be priced higher than those targeting the lower income market.
Most of the products that are being offered by Apple Inc. are geared towards the premium market. All of the Apple Inc. products run on the latest technologies thus being able to enhance the user experience as well as improve on the effectiveness of the devices. Most of the apple products are designed in a manner that makes them appear to be aesthetically attractive and technological masterpieces. This serves to attract more customers towards buying Apple Inc. products and recommending them to other people.
The marketing department needs into take account of the place where the product will be retailing. The marketers need to understand the cultural values and traditions of the people living within that geographical area. This is will enable the company to offer services and produce products that are in line with the rising needs of consumers living within that specific geographical area. The marketing officers also need to look into the place where the Apple products will be sold. This can be related Apple's Inc. marketing as it markets products targeting the premium market (Edelman, 2010). As a result of this, the retail outlets in which Apple products will be sold should be designed in a way that Apple Inc. is able to attract premium customers.
Target marketing is aimed at increasing awareness and reliability of Apple products. In these stores, consumers and non-consumers will be able to visit the store and interact with the various products that are being offered by the company. The stores will also facilitate the retailing of various Apple products that are offered by the company. The stores will have personnel whose responsibility will be to take offer product support to customers. Their responsibility will be to enable customers to understand the manner through which the various products function. Additionally, they will be tasked with the responsibility of offering repair and maintenance services if owners of various Apple Inc. products.
Apple Inc. should set up store in all of the major cities across the world. This is because Apple Inc. is a well renowned brand thus the company can generate numerous sales through setting up retail outlets in all of the major cities across the world. The organization has been targeting emerging markets emerging markets ensuring achievement of competitive advantage. This will serve to facilitate Apple's achievement of competitive advantage that comes along with being among the first movers into a market. By increasing its presence in the emerging markets and major cities across the globe, Apple Inc. will enhance the degree of awareness on Apple products in these markets (Roe, 2004). As a result, a company has a high probability of increasing demand for its products, as well as a fortified brand. This will enable the company to introduce more new products in the market in a manner that is relatively easier courtesy of the brand equity, which the company will be enjoying.
The company puts forward a broad range of products that are derived from five product categories. The following are the main product categories of Apple Inc: I phone, I pad, I pod, Mac, and I tunes. I phone is a type of mobile phone that is produced by the company. The company targets the high end market emphasizing the premium features such as display, processor, camera, and physical characteristics of the device. The company has managed to develop four models of the phone. The three models are I phone 3, I phone 4, I phone 4s, and I phone 5. The fourth model of the phone is expected to be release any time in the course of the year 2013 and the fourth model will be known as I phone 6.
I pad is a form of a computer that can be used when hand held. In terms of weight, the device is light, and it is capable of performing most of the functions that can be performed by a computer. As a result, I pad is an extremely effective and efficient product, when it comes to presentations. It enables the presenter to be able to use technology conveniently to enhance on the quality of the presentation (Chappelet & Ferrand, 2012). Apple has managed to develop four models of I pad namely, I pad mini, I pad 1, I pad 2, and I pad 3.
With regard to the Mac, Apple Inc has managed to develop several models. An Apple Mac is the name that is used to refer to the computers that are created and designed by Apple Inc. There are several models of Apple Mac, which include Mac Book air, Mac Book pro, Mac mini, Mac mini server, Mac pro, and iMac. The company puts forward a broad range of products that are geared towards catering for the entertainment needs of consumers. An example of such a product is known as I pod (Kolb, 2008). The company has managed to develop four models of I pod namely, I pod Shuffle, I pod Classic, I pod Nano, and I pod touch. In line with music, Apple Inc developed a mechanism through which consumers of Apple products can be able to procure music from an online store that is known as I tunes.
Promotion is the last element of the marketing strategy. Promotion aims at creating awareness and the development of brand equities. There are various ways through which the company can be able to market its products. For instance, it can market its products through a medium such as social media. It can do so by setting up company profiles on major social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. It is from these profiles that the organization can be communicating with its customers. This profile can be used for the purposes of marketing the various products that are being offered by the company. The profile can also be used to enhance communication between the organization and its customers (Edelman, 2010).
These social media sites enable customers to air views with respect to the products being offered by Apple Inc. thus facilitating them to make adjustments where need be. The company also needs to increase its budget for television commercials. This is because it is through placing an advertisement either online or on television that the company will be able to get in touch with a broad audience in the most cost effective manner possible. The company should blend other marketing techniques including; branding, sales promotion, graphic designing, and packaging in order to achieve its company objectives.
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