The Marketing Strategies of Apple

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The Marketing Strategies of Apple, Inc.

BUS 330/Principles of Marketing

April 11, 2011

For the past 30 years, Apple, Inc. has been the pioneer in the computing industry with its landmark products. In 1976, the founders Steve Jobs, Ronald Wayne and Steve Wozniak introduced Apple Computers, Inc. to the American public which revolutionized the industry. The logo for Apple, Inc. F.K.A as Apple Computers, Inc. is possibly the most recognizable logo in history. It is just pure marketing genius on how they made this company a household name. For more than 3 decades, Apple, Inc. has introduced groundbreaking products and accessories that truly defy the technological barriers such as its Macintosh line of Mac computers and Mac OS X software or its more recent introduction of i-products, its most profitable line thus far. The company has experienced many transitions from its inception until today. From the dismissal of its co-founder Steve Jobs in 1985 to the plummeting sales in the 90’s to its triumph return in late 2000’s, name changes and updated logos however even with these transformations Apple has still remain a powerhouse in the industry. In this paper, I will examine how Apple have been able to maintain its stance in the industry by discussing their marketing mix (4p’s): pricing strategy, products offered, promotion strategy, and placement, their brand loyalty, the company’s marketing mistakes, branding identity (logos) and how Apple marketing has impacted us on a social, psychological, ethical, and political level. According to Kotler & Armstrong (2010), “marketing mix is a set of controllable, tactical marketing tools that the firm blends to produce the response it wants in the target market. The marketing mix consists of everything the firm can do to influence the demand of its product.” (p.52) Apple has successfully used the 4p’s: products, price, place and promotion to solidify their place in the industry. “Products means the goods-and-services combination the company offer to the target market” (p.52) Apple is a US based computing company that focuses on the design and manufacture of hardware products such as Macintosh personal computers and Mac laptops, then in the 2000’s expanding to consumer electronics devices (i-Pod’s and i-Phone) along with software applications: Mac OS X operating system, iLife multimedia for pictures, movies and music, and iTunes digital media player. “Price is the amount of money one must pay to obtain the product” (p.52) Apple is known to be a premium brand and it has priced its products accordingly. It does not try to compete with PC on pricing. They believe that the price takes in account the complete Mac experience of superior parts, industry-leading after sales support and its exceptional operating system. If Apple reduces its prices they will lose its position as a premium brand. Apple products may initially cost more but they last longer, have minimal to no virus issues and overall have less problems. Apple does not appeal to the average user. Its plea is to the higher income bracket consumer who will not jump ship due to a temporary bad economy. “Place includes company activities that make the product available to target consumers.”(p.52) Historically, Apple has had issues with retailers whose staff, though knowledgeable about the overall industry, were not well-versed with Apple products and relayed misinformation to consumers. This made it difficult for the consumer to learn how to differentiate the value of an Apple product vs. a PC’s. In response to this issue, among other things, Apple created the “App store” whose purpose is to provide the customer with the best possible user experience. By creating a store that devoted itself to Apple products, it not only eliminated the problem of ill-informed employees selling their products but also allowed for an atmosphere that PC and Mac users can conjugate, get excited and explore the latest technology in the...
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