Apple Inc is using the Apple brand to launch competition in the computer market globally. There are a number of competitive markets posing great challenge to the success of the Apple brand. Personal computer industry and related software companies such as Macintosh is one big competitor. Macintosh has products such as iPods and digital music. Apple Inc is instituting strong presence to compete Google in its advertisement through its Apps business. Apple computers have a business strategy which involves the creation of innovative products and services that are associated with the digital industry. “Apple’s main capability is ensuring that they deliver exceptional experience and competence through excellent user interfaces. The firm’s production plan is founded around this with iTunes; iPhones with it’s their touch screen applications that are re applied in the iPad. This Apple application is playing an important role in its marketing strategy. It also applies marketing principles and considers factors affecting marketing”.
Apple has a marketing strategy aiming its focus in emotions. The brand personality also focuses on lifestyle and imagination. In addition, it is also aimed at regaining liberty and innovation, passion and hope through technology. This brand is also about bringing simplicity and reducing complexity with people driven product designs. The Apple brand is loved and has a sense of community with its users of its products.
For any business to succeed, it has to involve in marketing and innovation. It is the responsibility of managers to create a strong customer base through marketing. Innovation involves creating new business dimensions. According to Biythe, (2006) the first marketing principle is the product. This involves individual goods, product line and service provision. The product or service provided is the most important part of the business. Apple Inc has to ensure that the Apple computer meets the standards required before it is advertised. In order for a product or service to successfully win the interest of consumers, it must be distinct.
Apple Inc has ensured that its product is unique with specific features that are not available in competitors’ products such as Macintosh. In addition, the products should offer a non-arguable value to the buyer at all times. This principle can be verified using the supply and demand schedules. If the demand is low then it means marketing is not properly done. It can also imply that the products in the market are substandard. For this first principle to succeed, the company has to include certain features in the product. Apple Inc has included their products accessories, installation and instructions in all their marketing plans. Other inclusions include: services available, warranty and packaging. Apple Inc is offering warranty to its customers.
The second marketing principle is location and distribution channels involved. This entails getting the product to reach the customer in time at lower cost. Managers of any company must ensure they know the location of their customers. Knowing the location of the customer helps in planning and arranging for transportation of products to reach the target market (Eadie, 2009). Equally, the consumers have to know the location of the manufacture of the service provider. If customers do not know the location of the products, they cannot buy the products. For the success of this marketing strategy to be achieved, firms must employ various strategies and tactics for its success. Apple Inc has put distribution systems put in place to ensure that Apple computers reach the customer in good time. Apple Inc uses middle men, and outlet stores for an efficient distribution. Apple Inc has ensured that its products are available in the retail shops through its distributors to avoid any shortages from being registered.
The third important marketing principle is pricing. For example, Apple Inc is has laid strategies to ensure that its product prices are relevant and competitive. Competing companies like Macintosh and Nokia pose a great challenge which it has to keep pace with. The fact is that price meets its own demand. Pricing is affected by the degree of product innovation in the market . When there is more innovation in product production or service delivery, there is value added to the product and service affecting its price. Apple Inc is handling this is by setting prices that is appealing to the customer. At the same time, the pricing procedure should also give the company chance to maximize on profits (Ryan & Jones, 2009). In addition, price flexibility is essential as well as level pricing allowing the company to wok within targets. When a new product is coming into the market, it is important to have an introductory price and discounts. This is am marketing strategy that allows the company to attract more customers (Doyle, 2008).
Promotion is an important aspect in marketing. It involves constant communication with the customer. Apple Inc does this by sending and receiving messages from customers then the response acted upon. For example, Apple computers have been tailor made to fit the needs of a customer, the communication for getting the customer pay for the product is known. Promotion is done through personal selling which brings the company to the customer on a one to one basis. In addition, it can be done through mass selling, sales promotion and advertisement. Media selection as well as copywriting can also be involved in promotion (Kotler & Armstrong, 2009).
The purpose of marketing plan is to ensure that considerable efforts are taken to understand and characterize the market. This involves understanding the customers with the whole business environment (Biythe, 2006). Marketing principles are control tools and components for any marketing plans to succeed. This can be made efficiently by looking at both external and internal factors. External factors are uncontrollable and include factors such as international economic environment and the rise of new technologies (Biythe, 2006). Apple Inc cannot control these factors but can strategically position itself to tackle the issues right. Internal factors on the other hand are controllable. The marketing principles above are things in the control of any company. They are dependent of factors such as Apple Inc’s budget, personnel and creativity. Apple Inc therefore has the powers to control all internal factors so as to maximize on sales.
Developing and Implementing Effective Marketing Practices
A well planned marketing strategy is an important tool in realizing company goals. The growth of Apple computers is dependent on the marketing practices. Business executives and managers should not rely on their intuition to make commercial decisions. Marketing managers should therefore be informed of the market facts in order to make the right decisions. Marketing strategy is therefore meant to help marketing managers define their business goals and achieve them. Apple Inc has set up a few steps to help it implement effective marketing practices.
The first thing in implementing effective marketing practices is describing the company’s unique selling proposition. This is what has set Apple Inc apart from other competing companies. The service or product that a company has that is unique sets it apart in the market. Apple Inc is set apart in the market because of its features in the Apple computer. The Apple Inc products are available with varying features as compared to those offered with Nokia and Macintosh. Marketing managers should always ask the question why they should be preferred and not other companies. The initial goals of the business as laid down in the business plan play an important role here. Effective marketing plans will tend to meet the goals set in the business plan.
The next effective plan to be implemented in marketing is to know who the target market is (Doyle, 2009). The company should know who they want to use their product and how to reach them. Apple Inc has a target group for its products. Most Apple computers are used by young people. For this reason, Apple Inc came up with products that fit this target group. This group is a target market for most companies especially those offering iPhones. Apple Inc has however managed to establish its’ products in the market because of various features that come with its products suiting the target group. Should there be different targets for different products, then a new strategy must be implemented. For example, Apple touch screen computers may be liked by ages between 15 and 25 while Apple lap tops by the ages above 25 years.
It is also important to define the companies marketing practices. This is done by putting in place all the marketing tools and their roles. All the marketing plans and methods should match the target group or market. For example, the blog readers are different from the newspaper readers. This practice has been implemented by Apple Inc. Most Apple touch screen computers are advertised through social sites and internet at large. This is because most young people are more into the internet than their older counterparts. Every company must make known their marketing tools and methods. These methods can include the use of, radios, state television, internet, public relations or direct marketing.
For the implementation of marketing practices to be successful, there should be marketing budget in place. This is because marketing is an investment that is expected to pay off in future. Investments are budgeted for so is it to marketing too. If a well planned marketing strategy is implemented, then there should be returns from the marketing. Marketing strategy should be revisited at least in every quarter to ensure that it meets the purpose. This makes its implementation realistic and goal oriented.
Social, Psychological, Ethical and Ethical Influences that impact Market
Social factors impact the buying behavior of customers directly. A consumer’s desire for a product can be affected by opinion leaders, family, their reference groups and social class plus the culture. Marketers try to win the interest of opinion leaders first. This is because opinion leaders always have a potential in forming the buyers attitude. Their buying culture can change a person’s behavior and attitude toward a given product. In addition, the role of reference groups varies with product and brands across the global market. Furthermore family buying behavior affects the buying culture of every one (Biythe, 206). Apple Inc is therefore trying to discover the buying behavior of parents. This is because the buying behavior of parents affects that of children. This is a challenge to Apple Inc in the sale of its computers because it has to learn family buying trends.
Social factors are related to the cultural lives of many people. Culture is an important part of every society and plays an important role in deciding the needs of a person. Culture influences the demand and buying culture of many consumers across the globe. Moreover, cultures are subdivided into small groups such as religion, nationalities, regions and races. Apple Inc is capitalizing on this grouping to segment its market to various small groups.
Consumer buying behavior is affected by various psychological factors. Motivation is the key psychological factor influencing the market. The level of motivation affects the buying behavior of the consumers. Each consumer has different psychological, biological and social needs. Each need is dependent of its urgency . This is because some are most pressing while others not. Perception is another psychological factor that influences the market. This involves selection and organization of information that may make a consumer like or dislike a product. Perceptual processes are affected by the selective attention given to the consumer. Apple computers are made to ensure that they are attractive to the consumers. Apple Inc has successfully won the attention and perception of its customers through this. Again, perceptual process is affected by selective distortion. Every consumer will try to interpret the available information regarding a product in line with what he/she already knows (Kotler & Armstrong). Finally, Apple Inc is trying to retain information that will finally support the beliefs of customers.
Beliefs and attitudes are psychological influences that impact the market. Most consumers always posses’ specific belies and attitudes towards specific products. This beliefs and attitudes make the brand image of products in the market. These affects buying behavior thus marketers are out to explore them. Markets are out to change the beliefs and attitudes of customers by launching market campaigns that will change the consumers’ attitudes. This is a challenge to Apple computers because they are believed to be expensive.
These are a collection of principles that are considered right in shaping the decision of both consumers and producers. Ethics can be practiced by applying the right standards of fairness in sale and production. Marketers are therefore responsible for ensuring moral rights are withheld in the market (Doyle, 2008). This is achieved by making right market decision and practice both in the organization and the market. In a market economy, an organization is expected to act in its best interest. This is aimed at creating a healthy competitive environment (Doyle, 2008).
Political situation in a country can affect the market trends in that country. When the current legislations governing the home market is favorable, then it will positively affect market capitalization. Apple Inc is keen to follow the current and future legislations to capitalize on any favorable conditions. Should the legislations be unfavorable, then Apple Inc has to employ different methods to win the market. International legislation plus regulatory bodies policies affect the market either positively of negatively. International funding and grants will improve the market because marketers will utilize the opportunity to explore the market. On the other hand, wars and conflicts because of political instability negatively affect the market.
Apple Inc has applied specific marketing principles to help it expand its market capitalization. This has been done through the implementation of all the necessary marketing practices. Apple has set unique selling propositions that set it apart with its competing partners. In addition, setting marketing tools with their roles have helped Apple Inc. Since most of its products are internet applicable, most of their advertisements and marketing tools are internet based. Apple has also advance to handle social and psychological factors affecting the market of Apple computers. It is also working to meet all ethical standards and work within the prevailing political environment in order to maximize its profit margins.