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Apple, one of the most successful companies in the market offering computing and mobile phone devices has managed to create a fanatical brand loyalty following with its customers.
Typically, that had been partly due to the able leadership of Steve Jobs who managed to steer the company from a loss making company to position it in the market to compete with big companies like Microsoft, a dominant player in the computer software market.
Apple products that compete with Microsoft products include NeEXSTEP-based Mac OS X, which are deemed to incorporate more security features than windows applications, and Apple servers, which have also given Microsoft a challenge in the market.
In addition to that, the innovation and competitive spirit characterizing Apple enabled the company to bring into the market iPhone and iTunes with the view of attracting new customer loyalties and a whole new generation of customers.
However, after Steve Jobs passed on, a completely new scene has set in with the challenges of ensuring the company maintains its position in the market and continuous to create new customers and new customer loyalties while mainlining old customer loyalties. Typically, therefore, the action plan to remain in the market and maintain its position is discussed with its variants as follows.
Product Line with Value Driven Strategy
One of the marketing strategies that Apple recognizes as giving it an edge to its fierce competitors is a market driven value creation strategy in its products line. Typically, the company projects to integrate the value creation strategy focusing on its wide range of products (Chazin, 1).
Although the value driven strategy is not a new marketing strategy in the product marketing mix, yet the new approach is to factor superior quality products, add value to the successful brand image of its products, and innovatively make its products unique to give it an edge against its competitors, a strategy to incorporate into the Apple’s SWOT analysis.
Among the approaches, that Apple focuses on is uniquely differentiating its wide range of products that includes the iPod. Uniqueness ensures that ever-dynamic customer perceptions and behavior, demographic trends, and other factors that influence customer behavior are factored. Typical examples include the design and technology that dynamically drives product innovation to meet ever-changing consumer behavior.
In addition to that, the company projects to use target marketing as a strategy to focus on demographic trends while innovating to meet the market segments with their uniqueness (Schultz, 3). Thus, the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) are among the factors incorporated into decision-making and positioning Apple products when making entries into specific market segments.
Thus, a number of products identified with different market segments include Peripheral products such as printers, Wi-fi Based Stations such as Airport Extreme, iPhone such as the iPhone3G and iPad, and Servers including MacOS X Ser, among others.
It is important to note that research and development of company products plays a critical role in driving the company competitively further in the market. However, these products are uniquely valued targeting each market segment. Another marketing strategy includes pricing.
It is of value for the company to continue focusing on what people do with their products as one strategy to move the company to another level. In addition, another strategy is to integrate features that enable users to image themselves in the screen. Typically, empower the younger generation through the devices, and incorporates the users to help in distinguishing Apple products from their competitors.
In addition to that, the company has to lay a future strategy that provides a wide selection of product lines with new and a variety of features that satisfy customer needs. Among the factors to consider, include color, connectivity with the internet, and size of the devices, memory capacity, models, and weight.
Pricing is a tool that allows new and existing companies in the market to compete and maintain their customer bases who provide them with sustainable profits. One of the strategies that Apple will consistently apply in to maintain its position is to make market entries at low costs for its innovated products, competitively evaluate current products and their prices, and provide them with competitive prices.
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In addition to that, a skimming strategy adopted by the company should be taken to another level by uniquely identifying and targeting a specific market and expanding on the findings from the market behavior into other markets.
Branding is a tool used to capture customer loyalty through appreciation of the cleanliness, consistency, ease of use of the products, and quality are additional features to integrate in Apples products. Typically, therefore, there is need to understand customer needs and expectations in the brand, and lay a strategy to woe and maintain customer loyalties (Chazin, 3).
In addition, it is important for the management to appreciate the underlying benefits and impact branding has on the products. Areas to evaluate include product uniqueness and distinctiveness against competitors such as Microsoft to ensure sustainability of the brand name in the market, and the ability for the organization to make financial benefits from brand loyalties (IIiev, Lindinger & Poettler, 2).
It is therefore important for the organization to avoid branding errors such as brand under-positioning to avoid scenarios where the brand is not understood clearly, over-positioning to avoid limited awareness of the brand, double positioning to avoid the issue of customers failing to appreciate claims asserted on the products (Chazin, 2).
One of the strategies to move the company forward is the packing of its products. Packaging delivers on brand promise by package simplicity that remains true to the brand (Chazin, 4). Packaging should always reflect the brand name of the company and send strong loyalty messages with many visuals to explain company products.
Distribution is a key factor in determining access to the customer base. One of the approaches and tools used in distribution channels includes a web presence, which provides customers with a physical presence. In addition to that, the Apple stores provide one of the most efficient methods of reaching the customer without market hitches.
One of the strategies that Apple has to incorporate strongly into the marketing its future strategy is the product promotion strategy through adverts and publicities.
That calls for the company to make decision to offer products at discounted prices and the flexibility and search tools on the internet for customers to locate nearby service centers and promotional offers (Schultz, 3). In addition to that, the company future strategy is to offer free shipping services or products bought online.
On the other hand, it is important to consider in the company promotions new entrants into the Apple community. These includes introducing Apple products to schools and universities, strategizing to capture customers in their early years, and design user friendly interfaces such as used in schools.
Chazin, Steve, M. Marketing Apple. 5 Secrets of the world’s Best Marketing Machine. Web.
IIiev, Valentin. Andreas, Lindinger & Guenther. Poettler. Apple Computer Inc. Strategic Audit. 2004. Dublin Institute of Technology.Web.
Schultz, Randall, L. Principles of Marketing. 2003. Web.