Apple, Inc Overview3
Apple’s Branding Strategy4
Apple’s Brand Equity5
Microsoft’s Marketing Strategy6
Microsoft’s Branding Strategy/Equity8
Apple vs. Microsoft Operating systems9
Apple Balance Sheet17
The psychological perception of a company is a very important aspect, often overlooked by marketing analysts. This concept reveals the company’s perception in regards to how the consumers view its reputation in the marketplace. Microsoft was perceived as old and stagnant in the last ten years, representing the "status quo,” just sitting bluntly on its own gold in an arrogant like manner. Whereas, Apple, has been noted as displaying the perception of a responsive, friendly, and highly innovative company. Microsoft has been the market leader in the computing market for decades, mostly because any opponent never disrupted its upward momentum.
Conversely, Apple targets and dominates the high end of the computing market, with more than 90% market share in computers priced over $1,000. In addition, despite a sole devotion to high-priced products in a lousy consumer environment, Apple is actually gaining market share and increasing margins via the power of its seemingly magical brand. Microsoft's approach to business is immensely different from Apples’. While the Apple branding strategy focuses on controlling all aspects of a product, Microsoft prefers to offer an array of products and services as possible without actually creating individual products. (BedBury et al. 47).
Microsoft actually produces a small amount of the software, yet because of the Windows everywhere approach, they have their hands in the majority of computers in the world. On the other hand, Apple produces a small amount of the hardware in the market place and an even smaller amount of the software.
However, Apple controls, to a great extent, both the hardware and the dominant software in its products. The primary focus of this paper is to look at both the marketing and branding strategies of each company and how they differ yet affect each other’s brand equity.
Apple, Inc. History and Overview:
Steve Wozniak, and Steve Jobs, both college dropouts, founded Apple in April 1976. Later in 1976, Wozniak was working on a box--the Apple I computer, without keyboard or power supply--for a computer hobbyist club. Jobs and Wozniak sold their most valuable possessions, a van, and two calculators, raising $1,300 with which to start a company. A local retailer ordered 50 of the computers, which were built in Jobs’ garage. They eventually sold 200 to computer hobbyists in the San Francisco Bay area for $666 each. Apple therefore ignited the personal computer revolution in the late 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals, and consumers around the world through its innovative hardware, software, and Internet offerings. Apple aims for nothing short of a revolution, whether in personal computing or digital media distribution. The company's desktop and laptop computers, all of which feature its OS X operating system, include its Mac mini, iMac, and Mac Book for the consumer and education markets. The more powerful Mac-Pro and Mac Book-Pro are for high-end consumers and professionals involved in design and publishing. Apple scored a runaway hit with its digital music players (iPod) and online music store (iTunes). Other products include mobile phones (iPhone), servers (Xserve), wireless networking equipment (AirPort), and publishing and multimedia software. Apple gets more than half of its $36.5 billion in sales in...