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Working with a team of professionals helping small businesses to achieve higher returns from their marketing and business strategies I could say that Apple’s marketing strategies have proved to be a great success for small businesses which have adopted them.
Small businesses often seek to adopt successful marketing strategies of major companies like Apple. For twenty years or so. Apple Computers principally manufactured personal computers including Apple II Macintosh and Power Mac.
Its sales and market share declined considerably during the 1990’s until Steve Jobs who had been removed from the company and returned to the company in 1996.
Steve Jobs introduced a business model of simplifying designs of products and making them in a way that the general public was familiar with.
A true measure of a concept is its simplicity
The renewed success story of Apple began with the introduction of iPod in 2001, which was a great success along with iTunes Music Store in 2003.
This established Apple’s dominance in the consumer electronics and media sales industries, which induced the company’s management to discontinue using the word “Computer” in its title. The company was able to achieve great success as the technology leader in its respective markets.
The company gained a great recognition for its range of smart phones and media players, which had made Apple as one of the largest publicly traded companies with a market capitalization of US$ 626 billion as of September 2012.
The success of Apple was large due to its innovative strategies supported by unique marketing and selling ideas, which made it possible to indentify and incorporate the requirements of target markets and then deliver products that satisfied customers better than competitors did.
Apple continuously makes discernible changes in its products, offers a greater variety to customers than other companies, and makes things easier for customers by providing the highest quality of innovation. Apple achieves great sales volume of its products by urging employees to meet their set targets, and the management helps employees by constantly bringing improvement in the quality of the company’s working environment.
Apple, Inc. concentrates on consumer requirements and desires for new technology and fulfils expectations of the society. Apple, Inc. is a highly corporate social responsible company, which plays an important role in communities that it serves.
Apple has recycled more than 21 million pounds of electronics all over the world and has implemented iPod recycling plan offered at its retails stores in the US.
Societal perceptions are addressed by making environment friendly products and disposing off old products in an eco-friendly manner. The reason for recycling the company’s products is to preserve resources and increase the life of its products and materials used by the company.
One of the most effective Apple’s strategies that any small company can adopt is making way for innovative thinking and processes within the organizational setup.
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One issue that most individuals do not pay attention to is the fact that Apple introduced a new way of doing business, which was translated into both its product and management strategies.
The overall business attitude at Apple promoted by Steve Jobs is that there must be always a better way to do anything. However, it should be noted that the idea of innovative business process is not specifically related to Apple’s strategy.
This process was actually suggested by Peter Drucker about fifty years ago. He emphasized on the fact that the innovative process was not about individual personalities but a shared belief within organizations that there should be a better way for getting things done, which was the basis for innovation.
Service Impression Management
Another very successful Apple strategy is incessant enhancement in the management of services. The service itself may not be that great, but by effectively managing progression and good communication, it is still possible to overcome competitive forces.
Apple’s success took place because it had been able to convert each challenge or failure into an opportunity that assisted it to make its customers for a lifetime.
Apple has realized that managing the company’s reputation amongst customers and backing it by delivering highest level of quality service were the key to success.
Any small business can set up a process for ensuring excellent customer service at all points by concentrating on areas where service personnel can impress customers even when they have complaints.
The company may not be able to provide best products, but the way it handles its customers and the impression that it leaves on them are usually more important.
In all Apple stores, customers can observe uniformity in everything from t-shirts worn by service personnel to the level of confidence exhibited by the staff to communicate with customers. The staff delivers exceptional service that impresses customers and makes them feel valued.
Companies can follow Apple’s practices and create common attributes for their colours, sounds, shape, communication methods, and other business areas.
A company can hire and organize experienced and well-trained personnel who is able to deliver positive attributes of customer service. The adoption of innovative ideas in every aspect of business saves millions of dollars in investments for business.
A lot of the companies regularly apply Steve Job’s principles with a great success. In fact, there is a book based upon these principles named “Innovation Ideas and Opportunities for Growth”, which shows that innovation is what a business needs to achieve a better growth rate.
Mac Apple Store
The company collects most recent data and makes marketing decisions by understanding and ascertaining the customers’ requirements. Apple is quite famous for its high profile advertising campaigns and has produced some of the most striking campaigns in the history of advertising.
However, the strategy has always been prone to keep ads as simple as possible. It sticks to the basic essentials as it is evident in its latest ads for iPhone 5.
Instead of promoting powerful processors and other features of its products, the company simply highlights very basic functions, which include picture quality and email experiences.
Another effective way that Apple has used for promoting its products is personal selling through knowledgeable sales representatives, who are thoroughly familiar with the company’s products and ways of serving customers.
The sales representatives stay up to date with the requisite knowledge for selling new products by the company on a regular basis. Apple employees are highly trained.
They engage themselves in learning about new technologies so that they have no difficulty in understanding features of the company’s products and customers’ troubleshooting.
It is understood that consumers who do not have the need to use particular technology on a daily basis may become overwhelmed and reject the product.
This is a situation where the knowledge of the young sales representatives becomes most evident as they help customers transit from the “old world” to the “new world” of latest technologies.
This not only creates a better perception of Apple’s products, but also enhances Apple’s image and increases trust of people for the brand.