Strategic Marketing Plan
Identify and analyze a company’s strategic marketing plan
Apple Inc.’s Strategic Plan
Table of Contents
- Competitor Analysis 11
- Strategic Marketing Approach 13
- Marketing Mix 14
- Recommendation 15
- Conclusion 16
- References 17
Apple Inc.’s Strategic Plan
Apple Inc. started small from making Apple computers to becoming a multinational enterprise with a well-established brand name. The company is known for designing, producing, and selling technological gadgets such as smartphones, tablets, and computers. Through the years, the company has established a good customer base who have proved to be loyal to the band. Currently, the company has advanced to producing laptops computers, iPods, IPad, Mac desktops, and iPhones. The products can work concurrently using software that synchronizes their functions in one platform.
The company is planning to launch the new and highly sophisticated iPhone 13 to rivals. The new smartphone is assumed to be costly but analysts suggest that the consumers of this product would increase similar to what has been witnessed to the predecessor of this gadget. Iphone’s capability to produce high-end products has been a guarantee to many consumers who prefer social status to just having a functioning smartphone. The new technology is purported to flood the digital market with many consumers considering it to other brands such as Samsung and Huawei due to its capability to support almost all necessary daily activities undertaken by human beings.
Billing payments, communication, and online banking comprise some of the main reasons why the demand for cellphones and personal computers has increased over the past few years. For a company like Apple to continue benefiting from this lucrative opportunity and remain a major shareholder in the consumer market, it needs to solve certain technical problems and continue to invest in the apparent research and development. Ultimately, consistent advertising and promotions would help the company maintain its current position in the market. To support this factor, Apple has developed a new iPhone esteemed to solve technical issues and help consumers to achieve their goals with ease.
Since its conception, Apple Inc. has been deemed as a computer company whose motivation relies on the distinct and imaginative consumer. With the introduction of a new CEO, Jim Cooks, operations in the company have changed drastically taking it to new levels. First, the firm launched new generations of computers followed by other gadgets such as portable music players (iPod) that altered the traditional ways of listening to music. Soon after this invention, the company resorted to creating a new device designated to ravel the technology market, the smartphone market. Released on January 9, 2007, this handheld device became available to the consumers twenty days later. AT&T mobile communications became the first company to sell the iPhone only with their cell carrier
The device is fully compatible with computers, software, and online applications from Apple. Respectively, developers decided to incorporate iTunes, an application that resembles the Microsoft Operating System, hence aiding its users to enjoy a mirage of utilities such as emails, document synchronization, viewing videos, playing music, and reading the calendar. iPhone is a piece of multitasking equipment with the ability to address various needs of consumers with just a click of a button or a touch of an icon.
Apple’s new devices are currently in the growth phase of their product’s life cycle. The company’s profits keep escalating and surpassing the expectations established in the current marketplace. Every year, iPhone continues to outshine its competitors and outdoing the street expectations owing to the number of products being sold. In like manner, the company has expanded its sales to the international market making it realize significant profits. In 2015, iPhone was able to double its revenue in the first quarter by selling more of its products in China than in the U.S. and other markets, collectively. This marked the start for the product to become one of the most successful technological gadgets ever made. As long as the firm keeps on innovating the device, iPhone will remain in the growth stage rivaling all its competitors. The company’s design team has always been adept to ensure they create a product that suits the consumer’s wants. Currently, the company is anticipating introducing a new model, iPhone 13, with promising cutting-edge technology at affordable prices. As long as the company keeps listening to its consumers and innovating desirable products, its potential in the global market would be unmatched.
iPhone has a standard and a well-sustained customer loyalty base in conjunction with enhancing a closed environment that allows all Apple products to synchronize and seamlessly work together to support all Apple products and services. Also, the company is a leading innovator in the smartphone industry. The company regularly enhances the previous technology to suit the current technological demands of consumers. In connection to this, Apple makes premium products that are highly desirable suggesting that a significant number of potential consumers would prefer the new iPhone over other smartphones from competitor companies (Magwizi, 2020). Also, strong financial performances from the previous years indicate that Apple is making realizing its potential in a highly competitive environment. Lastly, the brand name for the company’s products has put Apple on the map as the most preferred producer of quality cellphones.
The major problem associated with Apple’s products is the high price. Despite hyping its new technology, Apple’s iPhone is usually high-end phones suggesting that they are on the upper end of the price range. Although the company makes its product using premium components, not every individual has the capability of purchasing this product. Another weakness is the incompatibility of Apple’s software with second-party Apps. The company has always opted to use both software and hardware that is unique from other gadgets (Sathappan, 2017). The OS X and IOS are rather different from other OS and utilizes software that cannot be installed on different gadgets. Furthermore, the seasonal nature of Apple’s products creates hiccups in cash flow and productivity, places immense stress on employees, and strains its facilities. Lastly, both the customer and the product line lacks diversification. Depending on the current reorder rated could invite stiff competition on breed complacency.
Despite having some weaknesses, Apple’s products have overwhelming demand both on its current and previous models. Every year, these numbers are being toppled by the introduction of a new model indicating that the market base is quite vast. Another opportunity is that developing countries have not fully embraced the aspect of owning smartphones. Some nations do not even know the importance of mobile phones (Magwizi, 2020). Apple has a significant opportunity to enter into these markets. Studies indicate that that by 2025, regions like India, Europe, and Africa will surpass the U.S. in mobile phone sales. Similarly, Apple is a leader in the smartphone market. Whenever the company launches a new product, it is usually a national event. The unveiling is always featured in all news outlets. This free advertisement helps to create awareness in a broader market concerning Apple’s new product.
Various renowned companies like Huawei and Samsung are making new phones that rival Apple’s products. These companies have been seen to produce quality smartphones hence rivaling the iPhone in the digital market. Another threat is that Apple’s operating system is incompatible with other devices, unlike Android which can easily be amalgamated into Windows OS. This synchronization makes potential clients consider the alternative rather than being loyal to Apple’s products (Sathappan, 2017). In connection to this, other companies’ operating systems have better integration capabilities with leading and effective application s such as Google Maps. iPhone users will be limited to enjoy these preferences unless the company gets full cooperation with third-party application developers to restructure the operating system of the new iPhone.
Apple is well known as an innovator in mobile phones, personal computers, and the electronics market. Although the company is facing stiff competition from its rivals, the firm has capitalized on its unique hardware and operating system unlike its competitors such as Huawei and Samsung, who depend on Google’s operating system, Android.
All products from Apple are usually high-end in the sense that users of these products have to be willing to spend significant amounts of their savings to not only purchase the desired products but also maintain them. In line with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, owning an Apple product signifies the means of satisfying one’s needs (Laestadius et al., 2019). For example, in Ghana, many people purchase Apple products for social status. What’s more, the company’s after-sale service is something to ponder about, therefore owners are accustomed to staying loyal.
Apple products can be utilized by both genders. Nevertheless, since the company’s products are premium-priced, only the upper and the middle class can afford to buy desired products. All the same individuals from all age groups can effectively utilize Apple products (Laestadius et al., 2019). In most cases, adults would use the Macbook or iPhone to communicate while children would resort to the IPad for playing games and watching videos, or listening to music.
In line with the company’s 10-K financial reports published in 2018, Apple has a substantial continental presence. Apple operates in America., Japan, China, Europe, and Pacific Asia. Concerning America, includes North and South America, Regarding Europe, includes all European counties in conjunction with the Middle East, Africa, and India (Laestadius et al., 2019). In China, this segment includes China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. As for Pacific Asia, this division includes Australia.
Apple offers its consumers a variety of products to satisfy their individual technological needs. The firm is inclined to establish the following long-term and short-term benefits to its users.
Since Apple products are relatively expensive, consumers have to be assured of the worth of their money (Dave, 2018). Apple has to design a product that is durable so that consumers can willingly consider spending their cash.
Exemplary customer service is a key factor to increase and maintain a good market share in the digital market. Focusing on customer care and after-sales service can be used to establish a loyal customer base (Wester, 2018).
The design for the company’s new product has to be well-thought-out as it will determine the level of threat they will face from their competitors (Wester, 2018). Since the company disseminates new products every year, the design has to correlate with the preferences of the time the product is developed.
Apple can stand out in the technology market if it can effectively invest in the current technology that is trending in the market (Allurwar, Nawale & Patel, 2016). Since everyone is looking for an exceptional phone, Apple could consider incorporating all the necessary tools in the highly anticipated Apple 13. Achieving this milestone will put the company ahead of its main competitors and in the process generate significant profits.
Apple’s main revenue contributor has been the iPhone, amounting to more than 60% of the total revenue. However, the increasing competition and saturation of smartphones on the digital market threaten Apple’s market share. Fortunately, the developers of this gadget have been able to diversity its functions such as linking it with accessories and services such as wearables (Apple Watch), mobility ($1Bn investment in Didi Chuxingii), Energy (Apple Energy, LLC), and Machine learning (Tuplejump acquisitions, Turi and Perception).
These adjustments in promoting the firm will empower Apple to be more innovative and adaptable in addressing clients’ needs. As a result, this new marketing strategy will give Apple a superior chance to identify and analyze the moves of its competitors having the option to remain rigid with its popular products (Allurwar, Nawale & Patel, 2016). Previously, Apple was behind its rivals with more durable screens for their2 cell phones, which might have negatively affected its global market share. Notwithstanding, these issues were recognized and fixed with next to zero loss of customers.
- Investing in research as well as development to generate new products and technologies
- Produce and sell merchandise directly
- Increase the company’s brand value as well as market share
- Set Apple as a premium brand
In the smartphone industry, Apple seems to be leading in terms of innovation as well as sales. With its newest product the iPhone 12, the company has taken away a significant market share including those belonging to Huawei and Samsung. Nevertheless, the level of competition in the technology sector is relatively high. Analysts have suggested that Apple is also in the contest for a similar customer base with companies like Amazon, Hewlett-Packard Company, and Google. Similar to Apple, the companies tend to invest heavily in research and development together with marketing. Scholars have suggested that low switching costs are the main reason why competition in this sector is rather high. This is to say that consumers are not restricted to a specific brand in the market. Michael Porter’s five forces can be utilized to compare the competition in the technology market.
- Competitive Rivalry
The competition level in the current smartphone industry is rather high (Kabeyi, 2018). Nevertheless, Apple has imposed strategic measures such as increasing the number of stores in developing countries and being aggressive in terms of marketing its products, which have propped its brand on a universal scale.
- Threats of New Entrants
The threat of new entrants is relatively low (Stornaiuolo, 2016). The amount of investment that start-ups have to factor in to effectively compete with Apple is rater high. Similarly, Apple has the biggest as well as efficient distribution networks, with an effective supply chain.
- Threats from Substitute Products
Apple is among the leading technology companies dealing with different items and offers a wide variety of each product. However, since the competition level is high, it becomes evident that the modern market is saturated with smartphones (Kabeyi, 2018). In connection to this, competitor business and advancing their gadgets so that they could effectively rival Apple’s products.
- Bargaining Power of Suppliers
In Apple’s case, the bargaining power of its suppliers is negligible, majorly because of its size and scope (Stornaiuolo, 2016). Apple has always tried to propose the least possible prices for the desired products they acquire from suppliers. This initiative has been considered effective since it is guaranteed to sustain the cost of management as well as gain a competitive advantage. Similarly, the industry has a significant number of established suppliers indicating that a company like Apple has a wide range of options to outsource its desired products.
- Bargaining Power of Buyers
The bargaining power of buyers in the modern digital market is high. This is because of the low switching costs offered by competitor companies (Stornaiuolo, 2016). Consumers could easily switch to different brands whenever they feel unsatisfied with Apple’s products.
Since Apple’s current as well as future products need extensive customization to satisfy customers’ needs, it is vital to organize the functions of the marketing processes by consumer groups. This initiative will allow the company to concentrate its marketing efforts entirely on the needs as well as the specification of each target customer segment. The consumer groups which will be used to organize the company’s efforts include the medical industry, education, and business organizations (Kundu & Chakraborti, 2020). Each group will be controlled by a sales manager whose work will be reporting to the marketing director. Each group has an obligation of marketing the new product within their customer segment. Also, each group has the authority to make their own decisions on how they will market their products.
- Target Markets
Considering that iPhone 13 will be a high-end product, consumers of Apple’s products are mostly financially capable and willing to spend more for the predetermined user experience (Kundu & Chakraborti, 2020). Apple’s target market is set in Asia Pacific, Japan, Greater China, Europe, and America. The target audience for the new iPhone are as follows
- Professionals in media and design
- Consumers who enjoy modern technology
- Middle and upper-income individuals.
Apple establishes itself as a premiums brand by setting the price of its products and services high. This initiative was considered as the best option of encouraging favorable perceptions among consumers who associate high prices with quality products. In most cases, consumers with high purchasing power are the only ones who would want to buy Apple products. Since the introduction of the iPhone, few smartphones from different companies have been able to rival its price, especially Samsung. Critics would later assume that the presence of options will make consumers avert t cheaper gadgets but studies have proved otherwise (Kundu & Chakraborti, 2020). Despite producing high-end products that are costly, many people, including the middle class opt to use the iPhone as their daily mobile phone. Some analysts have proposed that a majority of the middle and upper-class consumers would stop purchasing the iPhone if the associated price plummets. In broader prospects, by virtue that the iPhone is premium-priced, many users will feel attached to the brand to satisfy their social status. In line with the perceptual map, the iPhone falls within the range of high price and high-quality section.
Apple markets the best quality cell phones and establishes a platform whereby these smartphones will operate effectively. The company’s mission has always been to meet or surpass customers’ expectations/needs consistently, develop the most distinct product in the market, and respond effectively to the demand of its consumers (Tien et al., 2019). The company’s design department develops the most attractive and advanced technological gadget that other competitor companies would find hard to match. Respectively, the product will have a 12-month warranty with the option to extend the contract to three years.
The company provides the best quality product customizes to suit consumer needs. The value of the new iPhone will be reflected in its premium price Tien, N. H. (2020). The company should be profound to the price flexibility of its products in line with consumer demand. Also, due to the current loss of subsidizing the smartphone, the company has to establish a scheme for its consumers to comfortably afford the product.
The company uses direct marketing. Since the iPhone is compact, light, and nonperishable it can be shipped from the point of production to the consumers’ location using U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, or United Parcel Service (Tien et al., 2019). The fact that the company can ship the product to multiple locations at any given time, customers will be loyal.
Apple’s customers tend to re-order the iPhone yearly hence requires the company to invest more in promotions Tien, N. H. (2020). The associated expenditures should aim at new products offering vial web advertising and television. The remaining amount after each promotion should be channeled toward special offers.
Despite producing high-end products, Apple should consider subsiding the prices of the new iPhones to capture a wider market. Many startups and competitors have opted to reduce the prices of their new flagships as a way of giving consumers more options. In the process, potential customers always get drawn towards purchasing these smartphones. Also, the company could offer a variety of the new model with distinct specifications and prices to suit all consumer segments. Apple also has to focus more on utilizing the suggested strengths to exploit the apparent opportunities present in the global market. Apple’s strength of brand awareness is a key to regulate the threat of buyer power since the brand is well established. Likewise, the company can utilize the advantage of being famous by increasing product distribution through marketing camping on its websites as well as other social media platforms.
Apple Inc. has been a well-established brand, especially in the 21st century. The company is aspiring to introduce a new gadget, the iPhone 13, to rival other companies. Analysts have suggested that the product will likely outshine those of its competitors owing to its sophistication and high tag price. Since the company’s brand is well established and its products are considered as premium, Apple expects to gains significant revenue from its sales. Apple’s marketing objectives include Investing in research as well as development to generate new products and technologies, produce and sell merchandise directly, increase the company’s brand value as well as market share, set Apple as a premium brand. The targeted audience for this product includes students, professionals in design and media, and middle and upper-class clients. Despite the stiff competition in the consumer market, the threats to new entrants will be low as they require significant investments to rival Apple’s brand.
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