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Marketing Forms The Backbone Of Any Company

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Question:

Why Marketing forms the backbone of any company?

 

Answer:

Introduction

Apple Inc. is an American company that is ingrained its foundations in the technology and communication industry. The company begun in 1976 with the late Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Robert Wayne they started the company with the intention of bringing technology to the common man. The first invention of the company was a personal computer that became a major success in the 1980’s.

The company’s logo is a bitten Apple which, according to Rob Janoff, the person who created the logo, has a powerful connection to the urban evolution. In addition, there is an interesting conception that the bite on the Apple represents the story in Genesis where Adam ate the apple in the Garden of Eden hence getting knowledge. 

Mission Statement

The mission statement of the company is, “Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world along with the OS X iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.” (Pratap, 2016). The mission statement clearly describes the purpose of the company in the technology industry, which is to revolutionize the technological, communication and the music industry with their products.

 The mission statement has changed immensely from that of the founder the late Steve Jobs, when he created the company the mission was centred on,” To make a contribution to the world by making tools for the mind that advance humankind’’ (Pratap, 2016) . The new mission statement is mainly centred on profitability through the products and services that the company offers the world.

 

Value Statement

The value statement can easily be inferred from the company’s comprehensive vision statement. The company does believe in creating products that have an impactful effect in not only their industry but the entire globe. The major key driver of the company is based on innovativeness and creativity of its employees. The employees incorporate simplicity in each product that the company does make which gives them a competitive edge in the technological industry (Rowland, 2017).

The most outstanding aspect about the company is enshrouded in honesty and integrity. In the vision statement the company clearly stipulates that they are willing to admit when they make a mistake and are willing to work on making the wrong right.  This is an attribute that moves many people, especially in an era where companies’ are profit oriented and rarely admit that their decisions are wrong. (Rowland, 2017).

Finally, the company is centred on creating quality products in every single sector of the company. The quality products are an aspect that has made the products of the company to be more expensive than that of their competitors in the industry. When a customer purchases an Apple product they are guaranteed of quality, originality, functionality and aesthetics. The aspect has made the product popular to a distinct target market.

Slogan

“Think different”, is a slogan that does resonate with Apple Inc. The slogan was first used by the founder the late Steve Job in 1997 when he came to Apple. In 2009, the slogan was updated to cover the wide range of products that the company has introduced into different sectors of the economy. The Think different slogan substantiates the products the company does make from those of its competitors. The company has begun creating different slogans to sell their different products, but the renewal of the slogan is an indication that the entire company does believe in its potential to sell their products to a larger market (Dormehl, 2016).

Market Orientation

Apple Inc. is market oriented as it carries out extensive advertising for their products before and after their launch on the market in 2015 the company invested $1.2 billion in advertising. The company does this to stipulate demand for their products in the market and ensure that they are able to make immense profits from each of their products. Additionally, the company at the launch of the recent iPhone makes they introduced bigger screen a reflection that they are listening to what their customers want (Lowe, 2013).

Apple Inc. Products

The company has the following core product lines that it offers to the market, they include: iPhone smart phone, iPad tablet computer, iPod portable media players, Apple Watch, Apple TV and Macintosh computer (Adinolfi, 2015).

Role of branding in the company’s marketing strategy

According to Kahney 2017, in Apple Inc. the company’s branding strategy has enabled to set itself apart from competitors and enabled them to identify their own distinctive market niche for their products. The Apple Inc. through its branding strategy, it is identified in the entire globe on the aspect of unique and quality products. Each single time they are releasing a new product there is renewed market frenzy where customers rush to purchase the product despite the cost.

 

Company

SWOT analysis provides a better perspective of Apple Inc.’s internal analysis. It delves in the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (Kasi, 2016).

STREGTHS

WEAKNESSES

Customer loyalty

High investment in advertising

Effective and efficient distribution channels

Reputable brand reputation and awareness

Strong financial position

Market leader based on its services and products

High product prices

High reliance on the iPhone sells to propel the company

Incompatibility of the Apple products with other products that the users have in their possession

Cannibalization

Limited penetration on the global perspective

 

OPPORTUNITES

THREATS

Diversification of their products

Creating products that are compatibility with other products and services that their customers have

Introducing more health conscious products

Venturing into mobile transactions

Investing in the mobile application market

 

Intensive competition

High inflation rates

Patent infringement lawsuits dent the company’s reputation

Hacking of customers personal identifiable information

Presence of substitute services and products

Customers

According to Dudovskiy 2017, Apple In. uses mono-segmentation approach in targeting and selling their products. The company is focussing on the customers’ behaviour and, interests then transforms this knowledge into the products that they create for them. The target market is the high earners mostly between the age of 18-45 years who are mainly professionals and students. The behavioural aspect that has been infused in the minds of most of the Apple customers is that when they purchase the product they are buying into a certain social class. The incorporation of customer needs into their products is what has made them loyal to the Apple Inc. products and services.

 

Collaborators

Apple Inc. has strong strategic alliances that have managed to propel the product outside boundaries of its headquarters in the USA. The Apple Inc. Company was ranked by Gartner a research firm into having a comprehensive supply chain that reduces the lead time for delivering their products to the customers. They have suppliers in different countries offering different parts to the company in its diverse operational sectors. The company’ has a well-established direct and indirect distribution channels that make it easier for the customers to get access to their products. In direct distribution they use the Apple online stores, retail stores and a direct sales team. (Marcus, 2014).

On the other hand, in the indirect facet they have third party cellular network carriers; value added sellers, wholesalers and retailers. The only company that can rival the indirect network of Apple Incorporation is Samsung. On the concept of partners, Apple Inc. has partnered with the world leading companies to aid them achieve their objectives. They include CISCO, Deloitte, IBM, SAP, Xero, Revel systems, Verizon, AT& T among others (Lu, 2014). All of them work in conjunction to achieve their goals that are intertwined within the Apple Inc.’s business goals.

Competitors

Apple Inc. faces stiff competition from the personal and communication technology companies. The companies that pose a threat to them in the computing world are IBM, HP, Dell and Microsoft. Their venture into the communication industry has introduced new rivals the major ones are Samsung and Google. The two companies have combined forces which make them a powerful threat to Apple Inc. (Mana, 2013).

Context

The context aspect of the 5C’s is tied to the external environment that the Apple Inc. does operate in. The external environment is better analysed by using the PESTLE model (Kasi, 2016);

Political

Laws limiting companies from exporting jobs to other countries will impact Apple Inc. as most of their production is done in China, Ireland, Czech and Korea.

The government trade restrictions

The company has invested a lot of money in political lobbying with in 2016, the company spent an estimate of $4.67 million

Economic      

The increase in the strength of the dollar does reduce the sales of the company.

Increase in the cost of labour has a negative impact in the prices of their products and profits margins.

Increase in inflation in different parts of the globe reduces the customer purchase of the products due to their high prices.

Social

On the social aspect Apple Inc. does not only sell a product but also a high class lifestyle an aspect that has drawn customers to their products.

Technological

Advancement in technology by different companies in the sector Apple Inc. is operating poses a stiff challenge to the company.

Legal

Patent infringement cases with companies like Nokia, Samsung and HTC are one of the major challenges that the company faces in its product advancement.

Environment

The company has managed to reduce its carbon footprint through proper waste disposal and is working towards electronic product recycling.

Market information collection and customer wants

The company uses market intelligence to determine the needs of the customers. They analyse the purchasing trends, the music downloads, comments in social media sites and analysing their competition. The information is used in designing products that have more features, but enhance the customer experience. A product should not only be about experience, but also lifestyle or status, Apple Inc. products are a symbol of high class lifestyle based on their unique features and prices (Dudovskiv, 2016)

  1. Competitors

The major competitors mentioned in section two of the report are Samsung, Google, Microsoft, IBM, HP and Dell. The competitors have substitute products to what the Apple Inc. is offering (Kasi, 2016)

  1. Change in the context of business

The increase in competition in the industry has sparked major changes in the context of business. It is not only about the creation of products, but also the creation of experiences that customers can relate to (Keegan and Green, 2013 p.34). The aspect of branding is what has propelled the Apple Inc. to greatness compounded with their immense passion in innovative products. Being a market leader has led the company into many patent infringement laws that taint its image (Bhasin, 2016)

  1. Role of collaborators

As discussed in section two of the report Apple Inc. has many collaborators who play different roles in advancing the position of the company. The suppliers ensure that they reduce the lead time in manufacturing the products of the company. The distributors ensure that the customers have access to the products and are readily available to offer after sale services. The partners are present to facilitate the innovation of the products through their consultations and investments in the company (Themostvaluablebrands, 2016).

Target Market

According to Kotler 2014, target marketing refers to identifying a suitable consumer market and creating products that meet the needs of the market. Targeting marketing is enshrouded in market intelligence and research conducted on the consumer market. Apple Inc. targets the high-end customers who have disposable income that they are willing to spend. The company is targeting the youths and professionals located in the urban areas with their diverse products.

The age bracket is from 18-45 years and has created different products that appeal to the different generations in that age demographic. When it comes to positioning their products, Apple Inc. uses the emotional appeal to advance their products prominence in the minds of their customers. When customers purchase their products due to their marketing prowess, they believe they are purchasing three things, quality, class and innovativeness (Dudovskiv, 2016).

Marketing Tactics

Product

The company has  different products that serve various needs of their customers they include  iPhone smart phone, iPad tablet computer, iPod portable media players, Apple Watch, Apple TV and Macintosh computer.

Price

As discussed in the report the products sold by Apple Inc. are highly priced to reflect the quality they are offering. Their products range from $649 to $1799 based on the type of product the customer is purchasing. The company does use price skimming where they set the products higher in the market when they launch their products. By the time their competitors duplicate the products the company would have made immense profits. Additionally, the company also uses geographical pricing strategy whereby they offer the same products at different prices in different parts of the globe (Bhasin, 2016).

Place

As discussed earlier in the report the company does utilize direct and indirect positioning strategies to sale their products and services. The online stores, retail stores and direct sales team as the direct channels. On the indirect channels, they utilize exclusive third party cellular providers, retailers and wholesalers to sale their products (Lu, 2014).

 

Promotion

As discussed in the report Apple Inc. does invest a lot of its resources in marketing the products that the company has to offer. Their promotions are elegantly simple and they tend to resonate with their targeted customer market. The company has back to school offers on their product which does target the youths joining colleges. Furthermore, the company has its own YouTube video channel that has nearly 3 million subscribers and an estimated 140 million viewers. (Bhasin, 2016).

People

The company has invested in their employees and aspect that has resulted in low turnover in their company. The employees are dedicated into enabling the company to achieve its end objectives. The vertical integration structure in the company has made it easier for the top management to relate to employees. This has resulted in employees being supportive, kind and readily to assist the company’s customers (Adinolfi, 2015).

Process

The company is focussing on the creation of quality products. The aspect has resulted in them outsourcing most of their production in the countries they are certain that they will get quality parts within the shortest time frames. Apple Inc. does concentrate on the incorporation of simplicity in the various features present in their products. The aspect of simplicity does not only in their graphical user interface incorporate in their products, but also on their website (Themostvaluablebrands, 2016).

Physical Evidence

Apple Inc. is a brand that is known worldwide for its high quality and innovativeness. The company has physical stores in different parts of the globe that reflect the class they are offering to their clients. The social class is not only on the pricing aspect, but on the way their stores are organized and decorated. In addition, their online presence ensures that customers are able to get in touch with the company through the various social sites and on their website that is 24 hours operational (Marcus, 2014).

Conclusion                                       

Based on the analysis, Apple Inc. is more market oriented than sales oriented in getting their products to their specified target market. Despite the challenges the company faces, the number of opportunities in the industry is a ray of hope that customers’ will continue enjoying innovative products from the company

 

References

Adinolfi, J. (2015). Apple saved USD4.1 billion hedging against a rising dollar, says Stifel. [online].Marketwatch. Available at: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/apple-saved-41-billion-hedging-against-a-rising-dollar-says-stiffel/ [Accessed 12 May. 2017].

Armstrong, G., Adam, S., Denize, S., & Kotler, P. (2014). Principles of marketing. Pearson Australia.

Bhasin, H.(2016). The marketing mix of Apple Inc-Apple company marketing mix. [online]. Marketing91. Available at: https://www.marketing91.com/marketing-mix-apple-inc/amp/ [Accessed 12 May. 2017].

Dormehl, L. (2016). Apple keeps think different slogan alive with renewed trademark. [online]. Available at: https://www.cultofmac.com/41031/applekeeps-think-different-slogan-alive-with-renewed-trademark/[[Accessed 12 May. 2017].

Dudovskiy, J. (2016). Apple segmenting, targeting and positioning.[online]. Available at: https://research-methodology.net/apple-segmentation-targeting-and-positioning/ [Accessed 12 May. 2017].

Hague, P., & Harrison, M. (2011). Segmentation in B2B Markets. B2B International: Market Research with Intelligence, 3-9.

Kahney, L.(2017). Apple: it’s all about the brand.[online] Wired. Available at:https://www.wired.com/2012/12/apple-its-about-the-brand/ [Accessed 12 May. 2017].

Kasi, N.(2016). Marketing basic:Pesstle analysis of Apple inc. [online]. Available at: https://marketingmixx.com/marketing-basic/pestel-analysis/44-pestle-analysis-of-apple-inc.html [Accessed 12 May. 2017].

Keegan, W. & Green, M. (2013). Global marketing. Boston, Mass. ; Munich [u.a.]: Pearson.

Lamb, C., Hair, J., & McDaniel,. (2014). Lamb/Hair/McDaniel - Marketing. [online]. Cengage.com.Available at : https://www.cengage.com/marketing/book_content/lamb_9781285091860/videos/ch01.html[Accessed 12 May. 2017].

Lu, C. (2014). Apple had the best supplychain in the world for the last four years-here is what you can learn from it. [online]. TradeGecko. Available at: https://www.tradegecko.com/blog/apple-had-the-best-supply-chain-in-the-world-for-the-last-four-years-here-is-what-you-can-learn-from-it/ [Accessed 12 May. 2017].

Mana, H. (2013). Critical analysis of using the marketing strategies of branding Apple Inc (Undergraduate). University of Wales.

Marcus, P. (2014). Four things Apple’s PR strategy can teach us   - Harvard Public Relations. Harvard Public Relations. Retrieved 28 May 2016, from https://www.harvard.co.uk/2014/09/four-things-apples-pr-strategy-can-teach-us/

Morris, D.(2015). Will tech manufacturing stay in China? [online]. Fortune. Available at: https://fortune.com/201/08/2/tech-manufacturing-relocation/[Accessed 12 May. 2017].

Pratap, A. (2016). Apple mission and vision statements analysis. [online] Chestnotes. Available at: https://www.chestnotes.com/2016/12/apple-mission-and-vision-statements-and-analysis/ [Accessed 12 May. 2017].

Proctor, R. A. (1991). Marketing information systems. Management Decision, 29(4).

Rowland, C. (2016). Apple’s vision and mission statement. [online]. Panmore Institute. Available at: https://panmore.com/apple-mission-statement-vision-statement[Accessed 12 May. 2017].

Spillard, P. (2014). Organization and Marketing (RLE Marketing). (p.33).Routledge.

The most valuable brands.(2016). [online]. Forbes. Available at: https:www.forbes.com/powerful-brands/list[Accessed 12 May. 2017].

Wilmshurst, J., & Mackay, A. (2002). The fundamentals and practice of marketing.(p.129).Routledge.

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