The Marketing Strategy of Apple, Inc.
Executive Summary
This report entails an analysis of Apple in terms of its marketing strategy. The unique approach to product lines and development that has resulted in the success of the company over the past two decades was also found to guide its approaches in marketing. The marketing strategy of Apple consists of understanding its approach to the products it selects for manufacture because the company only produces those items it can innovate better than the competition. This represented a critical marketing analysis point because while Apple has products that other companies produce, these companies compete with Apple instead of the reverse being the case.
The above is a critical understanding that impacts marketing because Apple products are considered by most consumers to represent the epitome of fit, finish, utility and features rival products emulate. As such, the company has developed a brand/product identity marketing approach that uses a simplistic marketing strategy. This positioning has been developed over decades of product introductions and innovations represented by iTunes, the iPod, iPad, iPhone and other products that have enabled the company to market from a position of strength. This approach has its downsides in terms of excluding various product specifics such as operating specifications and other details which are not useful in terms of aiding in consumer purchase decisions. By this it is meant that the public eagerly awaits Apples next product upgrade or innovation. This report found that Apple uses its brand as the foundation for marketing foundations to advance product exposure and awareness.
Apple is known as the industry innovation leader and has the most comprehensive consumer electronic product lines. The company places a high degree of reliance on cross selling that is based on one?s experience with Apple products to gain further sales for other product lines as opposed to marketing to specific segments where this broad stroke approach does not hone in on target market and consumers of opportunity. Apple places undue reliance on premium pricing and product positioning which has permitted rivals such as Samsung to gain market share using segmented marketing strategies. The above are key consumer behaviourist aspects that help to explain a key approach to Apple?s marketing strategy. This analysis of Apple uncovered an unorthodox approach to marketing strategy in terms of omissions in market segmentation, product details in advertising (print and broadcast) that causes one to wonder if its marketing strategy might be more effective if it included more traditional approaches.
Table of Contents
1.0 Introduction4
2.0 Accessing Apple?s Marketing Success7
2.1 Market Segmentation8
2.2 Relationship Marketing12
2.3 4/7 Ps13
2.4 Market Orientation15
2.5 SWOT and Competitive Analysis16
2.6 Behavioural and Consumer Purchase Behaviour Theories18
3.0 Future Challenges and Recommendations22
Appendix 1 – Table 10 – Apple Segmentation Analysis35
Table 1 – Why Apple is a Marketing Success6
Table 2 – Apple Products10
Table 3 – Apple 4/7 Ps14
Table 4 – PEST Analysis16
Table 5 – Apple SWOT Analysis17
Table 6 – Apple Competitor Analysis18
Table 7 – Consumer Behaviour ? Behaviourist Approach19
Table 8 – Consumer Buying Behaviour and Apple20
Table 9 – Consumer Behaviourist and Buying Behaviour Factors25
Figure 1 -Apple Advertising Simplicity Examples7
Figure 2 – Recent Apple Ads as Examples of Simplicity –
The?Shot on iPhone 6? Campaign8
Figure 3 – Apple Ad Examples of Brand / Product Marketing11
Figure 4 – Apple Magazine Ad Examples12
Figure 5 – iPhone Contribution to Apple?s Revenues23
Figure 6 – Smartphone Sales Globally23
Figure 7 – Africa Smartphone Sales24
Figure 8 – Global Smartphone Sales Forecast, 2015 to 201724
1.0 Introduction
In terms of this report, it was determined that it would be beneficial to discuss key terms that represent the underpinning for certain understandings. Marketing is a process that is utilised to move a product or service to the end consumer (Sheth and Sisodia, 2015). Key aspects that are a part of these process includes the thought, mechanisms and research that go into the concept of creating a product or service, understanding who the end purchasers will be and why, along with the design of varied promotional / marketing approaches and their channels (Sheth and Sisodia, 2015). Apple adheres to the above by innovating and making new products that are conceived to fill or meet consumer needs under a brand/product approach (Diaz and Morrison, 2014). These aspects are important because they represent the duality of the marketing process that recognises the significance of the product or service as a part of the process used in terms of key assessment and analysis points.