Intro to Marketing
The iPod Takeover: A Marketing Analysis
When Apple introduced the iPod they produced something much more than an MP3 player, they produced a machine that had changed the music industry forever. Any machine that plays back mp3 files is known as an mp3 player, but while there are hundreds of different ones on the market, people refer to all of them as “iPods.” iPod is now a household name just like microwave, vacuum, and television; a direct result of the marketing brilliance of Apple.
When Apple created the iPod they created its software counterpart, the iPod software known as iTunes. The plan was simple, this new innovative software would help sell their hardware and create a new and unique product. When the iPod was first released Apple targeted the trendsetters who were willing to pay anything to be the first to take part in “the next big thing.” The iPod was also very convenient because instead of carrying around cases of CD’s you could have one tiny little machine that held all the music you had.
Apple also allowed people to pay them in order to be able to sell accessories for this new product, also known as licensing. Accessories are a way for Apple and its third party distributors to make even more money on the iPod. The iPod headphones have become so famous that “they have actually been blamed for increased numbers of street robberies” Another marketing technique Apple used was versioning, which meant they would discontinue service to the old products and only produce new ones, forcing users to continue to purchase new and advanced iPod’s. Over the years countless amounts of iPods have been created from the original iPod all the way to the latest iPhone 4s with a built in camera, 4g internet capabilities, and tons of new features we never thought we’d see.
Another unique aspect of the iPod is its online music store, iTunes. This is the first online music store that was ever accepted by the general public and the music industry. Whenever a song was sold on iTunes it was more likely that the buyer would replace the existing mp3 player with an iPod. Almost all of the money that Apple made from the sale of a song went to the artist. Steve Jobs the CEO of Apple at the time that iPod came out said that the whole point of iTunes was not to make money but rather to continue selling more iPods. Apple planned its marketing to attract a loyal cliental that would buy the latest products, trendiest accessories, and partake in all Apple innovations and ideas.
The actual design of the iPod itself is brilliant and nearly flawless. All the keys and buttons are labeled with their exact functions and what they do for the system. It takes no time to learn how to use it and an owner rarely ever needs to open up the instruction manual for advice. The uniqueness and almost perfect design of the iPod and its software are all patented and cannot be replicated by any competitors. Any competition who would like to mimic an iPod will have to come up with their own design and interface, because of these things Apple has made it difficult for other companies to produce a top of the line mp3 player and is also the primary reason that the iPod remains the top mp3 player on the market.
At first the iPod was sold to reach out to a certain demographic; the trendsetters and money spenders. Apple accomplished this through glossy design and high pricing. Once they reached this demographic they released a lower priced product that had slightly less capabilities but nonetheless it was still an iPod. This made the iPod more than a small portable mp3 player, it was now a fashion statement and necessary accessory to all. As a result of its convenience celebrities were seen sporting iPods and suddenly the iPod became the “in” product of its time.
Apple created a huge advantage for itself when it came out with the iPod and I would...
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