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MacBook Pro: Targeting, Positioning, Marketing Mix Report


Executive Summary

With new Apple laptops coming to the market every year and the old ones still being produced, there is a high need to repurpose the older versions and sell them to new audiences. This report will focus on giving recommendations about how to promote the previous version of the MacBook Pro to a new audience. The analytical process used during the report was associated with tying the features the MacBook Pro provides with a specific segment of customers. It was found that users with creative professions or hobbies tend to require reliable editing software and simple design, so it is recommended to market the older version of the MacBook Pro to architects, photographers, designers, bloggers, and film directors who all have a common interest in user-friendly editing software.

Introduction

Customers are always reaching for the “next new thing” that comes to the market of technologies. However, products that have already been introduced to the market can serve as efficiently as the new ones (Holland 2016). While there is a lot of information out there associated with MacBooks and the features in which they differ (Smith & Bourque 2015), there was a lack of information about consumers’ perceptions of the older and newer versions of the laptop. Therefore, to investigate how the product can be promoted, the following report comprises of three sections (Target Segment, Brand Positioning, and the Marketing Mix) to help overcome the challenges associated with the older MacBook Pro.

Target Segment

The target segment at which the MacBook Pro will be targeted will include customers whose hobbies or occupations directly relate to creativity and visual content (photography, filmmaking, etc.). These users have a need in acquiring specialized software programs to help them edit videos, photographs, and other pieces of visual art. This target segment is not of high income; however, since the MacBook Pro is on the maturity stage of the product lifecycle, it is likely that the reduced price will be attractive enough to capture the mentioned target segment.

Targeting the marketing efforts at consumers with creative occupations can be very effective in the context of the boom of Youtube, blogging, and small independent businesses, all of which depend on visual presentation and require high-quality editing software that will be reliable. This target segment is the best opportunity to grow sales because the segment of customers of high income and an interest in technology has already moved to newer Apple gadgets and only customers of lower income with a need for reliable software will care to venture into the MacBook Pro territory.

Brand Positioning

Brand Positioning of the MacBook Pro involves issues such as unique and distinctive features that competitors do not have, the appropriateness to major markets, unique value proposition, sustainability, and the ability to support/boost customers’ needs.

For this reason, the brand positioning statement for capturing the attention of the target segment is “Providing unique and reliable software incomparable to any other found on the market; the popular MacBook Pro has reduced prices to cater to the needs of the bright and the creative.” With regards to the Apple MacBook Pro, despite the brand having a strong presence within the consumer industry of laptops, it provides higher prices compared to competitors such as Lenovo or HP that offer newer hardware.

The positioning map for the MacBook is the following:

Apple vs. competitors
Figure 1. Apple vs. competitors (Positioning map n.d.).

The Marketing Mix – 4Ps

Product Life Cycle

Product life cycle is a notion that describes a period over which a product is designed, produced, brought to the market, and then removed from the market. The cycle is divided into introduction, growth, maturity, and decline of the product. The overall idea of the product life cycle is employed in marketing for deciding whether the product is still relevant to advertising, lower prices, develop new packaging, and explore opportunities in new and more relevant markets (Investopedia n.d.).

MacBook Pro is currently on the maturity stage so it is at a high risk of transferring to the decline stage if nothing is done. Therefore, when it comes to deciding on the best solution for solving the problem of high prices, it is advised for MacBook Pro to reduce the price for finding the best spot for maximizing the volume of items sold.

Currently, businesses, artists, programmers, and full-time university students working towards a degree are the most frequent users and buyers of the MacBook Pro laptop. In the case of university students, they use the MacBook Pro because it has all the basic features for doing research and writing papers. Programmers and users with creative occupations or hobbies use the laptop because it offers features that make their work to be finished more quickly and efficiently.

Regarding targeting specific consumers regarding the Diffusion of innovations, MacBook Pro still has a segment of potential consumers who may be interested in purchasing the laptop, especially if prices decline. Users with high-income rates that are interested in innovation are unlikely to purchase the MacBook Pro due to the availability of either Apple or other brand alternatives that can fulfill their usage rate since the MacBook Pro does not offer the latest hardware.

However, the laptop can be of particular usage for customers, whose hobbies and occupations required them to have various editing software such as video or photo editing. Despite the fact that such customers may not have the highest income, the decline of prices on the MacBook Pro can become a catalyst for their purchasing due to the laptop’s combination of powerful software and reasonable prices.

Diffusion of innovation is a theory that postulates that every market consists of customer groups that have different levels of readiness or willingness to adopt or buy a new product. Moreover, diffusion of innovation implies that an innovative product diffuses through the existing market in waves rather than in one straight course. The majority of market consumers show specific patterns in the adoption of new products or services, with “innovators” making up 2% of consumers, 14% of early adopters, around 34% of the early majority, 34% of late majority, and laggards making up 16% of the total population of customers (Business Dictionary n.d.).

If applied to MacBook Pro, the target segment of customers is more likely the “late majority” who could not afford the laptop when it had initially launched, but those who need to get the product to fulfill their requirements as the price dropped.

Type of Consumer Product

The MacBook Pro is an unsought product, which means that consumers do not think about it normally unless there is a need in purchasing it. On the other hand, Apple products have become widely popular due to their innovation, high quality, and convenience, and are readily available around the world, so it is worth to look at the MacBook Pro as a shopping product for customers of a higher income since the laptop is purchased much less but is being compared with other alternatives more frequently. In this case, the marketing efforts should be targeted at outlining the advantages MacBook Pro has over competitors to capture the audience of creative customers with specific software needs.

Product

If to recommend the product design using the “three levels” conceptualization (core product, actual product, and augmented product), the level one refers to the following list of benefits: user-friendly software, reliable hardware, and streamlined design. The actual product is a laptop that combines the most effective features with a lower price compared to other Apple laptops. The augmented product is the warranty, support from the Genius Lab, as well as other benefits.

Place

Since the MacBook Pro is not the newest product, it will be easier for the company to sell it online on the official Apple website. Apple stores are rather designed for new gadgets that come into the market. Moreover, the positioning against competitors calls for the worldwide availability, so it will be more effective to make the MacBook Pro an online sales product.

Promotion

In promoting the product, it is crucial to place a focus on the design and the reliability of the laptop. Billboards and online ads should include close-up shots of the laptop since the Apple design has always been attractive. With the message of “combining immaculate design with high quality and reliability,” the MacBook Pro ads should be targeted at capturing the attention of creative and visual people.

Price

The price for the MacBook Pro should be lower than other Apple laptops due to its decline in popularity. The estimated price should be around the $1000 mark since the key competitors tend to show lower prices compared to Apple:

Laptops Surface Pro 3 Dell XPS 13 Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro Apple MacBook Pro
Price $799 $799 $1299 $999
Mix Current Recommendation Explain how your Recommendation will more-effectively support and communicate your Brand Positioning.
Product A reliable laptop that combines design with a variety of features. No changes in the product. An Apple laptop does not need improvement; rather, it should be presented as a timeless gadget.
Place Online sales and stores. Online sales only. Online sales will be more convenient for customers around the world.
Promotion No effective promotion. Target ads at users with creative professions. New ads will attract the new audience.
Price $1299 $999 Lowering the price of the laptop will make it more affordable to those who always wanted to buy it.

Conclusion

MacBooks are usually focused on experiences (Haslam 2017). With newer updates coming to the market every year, the older version of the MacBook Pro needs to lower its price and be targeted at customers who require reliable software. This ties in with social responsibility of not consuming more resources to create a new product but rather repurpose a not-so-new laptop that will still be amazing for customers around the globe. Since Apple is known for lower power consumption (Dudovskiy 2017), targeting the older version of the MacBook Pro at a new segment of customers could be an efficient solution.

Reference List

Business Dictionary n.d., Diffusion of innovation. Web.

Dudovskiy, J 2017, . Web.

Haslam, K 2017, . Web.

Holland, P 2016, . Web.

Investopedia n.d., . Web.

n.d. Web.

Smith, M & Bourque, B 2015, What’s the best MacBook for your money? Hint – you can forget the touch bar. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2020, November 18). MacBook Pro: Targeting, Positioning, Marketing Mix. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/macbook-pro-targeting-positioning-marketing-mix/

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"MacBook Pro: Targeting, Positioning, Marketing Mix." IvyPanda, 18 Nov. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/macbook-pro-targeting-positioning-marketing-mix/.

1. IvyPanda. "MacBook Pro: Targeting, Positioning, Marketing Mix." November 18, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/macbook-pro-targeting-positioning-marketing-mix/.


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IvyPanda. "MacBook Pro: Targeting, Positioning, Marketing Mix." November 18, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/macbook-pro-targeting-positioning-marketing-mix/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "MacBook Pro: Targeting, Positioning, Marketing Mix." November 18, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/macbook-pro-targeting-positioning-marketing-mix/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'MacBook Pro: Targeting, Positioning, Marketing Mix'. 18 November.

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