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Strategic Marketing: Apple Inc. Report

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Updated: Jul 21st, 2021

Apple Inc.: Organization Description

Products

Apple Inc. was founded in 1977. The company specializes in the production and marketing of digital and mobile communication devices. Some of the most well-known products of Apple are iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, Mac, iPod, iCloud, operational systems such as iOS, Mac or OS X, and a wide range of mobile applications and software (Apple Inc (AAPL.O) 2015). In addition, the company manufactures and offers a variety of accessories and services supporting their core products.

The main features of all the Apple products are their portability and accessibility. All the Apple digital devices are able to synchronize with one another and provide the users with an effortless experience as to a multitude of combined purposes such as web browsing, listening to music, communication through mobile networks and the internet, entertainment, and review of video files, to name a few (Apple Inc (AAPL.O) 2015).

Customers

Apple targets several different groups of customers. Apple products are rather easy to operate, and this makes them suitable for the advanced users of digital devices and those who only use their basic functions. As a result, Apple devices and software are purchased and employed by the individuals of many age groups.

Besides, Apple manufactures a wide range of applications and software to satisfy the needs of those who use the devices professionally and those who buy them for everyday use and entertainment purposes. The largest segment of the company’s customers is represented by the Millennials. These are the individuals aged 15 to 35 who are known for their heavy reliance on the computers in their personal and professional lives.

Approaches to Customer Relationship Marketing

The two segments that impact Apple Inc. and its relations with the stakeholders the most are the sociocultural segment and economic segment. In an economic segment, the asset rank of the personal computer turns the struggle for market interest to be more severe and excessive.

The entire computing commerce has been entering the period when nothing but the determined and tenacious continues to live. However, the wide popularity of the personal minicomputer with the probable income is an attraction to those competitors with the statistic of personal computers in use growing from five million in the 1980s to sixty-five million in the 1990s.

In the socio-cultural segment, the personal computers have entered the digital era and are widely used in various fields such as science, healthcare, and education. However, Apple’s pre-eminence in the retail has been outdistanced to Dell through the whole of the 1990s. When Apple had reclaimed its reputation, it appeared to be a stimulant for the readjustment and reset (Bryman & Bell 2015).

Benefits

Targeting the younger generation as the main consumer, Apple benefits due to the demographic growth of this population segment. The paying capacity of the Millennials (people born between 1981 and 2000) is growing as they enter the modern workforce. Another significant advantage of Apple lies in the customer loyalty.

The company managed to build a broad ecosystem of products and services that penetrates multiple spheres of the consumers’ life and satisfies a variety of needs. That way, in many cases buying one Apple products the consumer becomes encouraged to purchase more goods and services offered by Apple. Finally, the stable and strong brand image of Apple attracts wealthy buyers who acquire the company’s products due to the brand reputation positioning it as a luxury.

Limitations

The company operates in an oligopoly market where the number of competitors is relatively low. However, the rivals of Apple are strong and create a threat to the success of the brand offering similar goods of high quality and for lower prices. In that way, the smartphones and tablets produced by Samsung and Xiaomi begin to take over the client base previously dominated by Apple. The company is criticized for its high prices and the abuse of its reputation to force the buyers to purchase new Apple goods.

Finally, the latest products of Apple, such as iWatch never managed to impress the consumers. The company that used to be associated with its visionary leader Steve Jobs is now struggling to learn how to exist without him facing the risk of being evaluated as washed out. At the same time, the rapidly growing demand for portable devices and services attracts more competitors to the market and forces the manufacturers to innovate.

Stakeholders of Apple Inc.

Apple reflects the welfares and apprehensions of a number of important stakeholders in its strategies and packages for commercial social accountability. Stakeholder assemblies execute variable difficulties in diverse features of the industry. In Apple’s situation, the subsequent stakeholders are the most important: customers/consumers, Apple’s workers, investors, personnel of distributors and providers (Clarke & Boersma 2015).

Apple arranges clienteles as its highest stakeholders in planning commercial social accountability approaches. This stakeholder assembly is collected from separate and organizational purchasers of the production of the company. The key concern of clienteles is to obtain operative and competent production that is judiciously assessed. Apple merchandises have advanced value points (Barrow & Barrow 2012).

Nevertheless, Apple’s quality pricing approach is suitable because it equals the extraordinary excellence and aesthetics of the production. The corporation has environmental packages for “recycling and responsible sourcing to address customers’ demands for business sustainability” as well (Apple Inc. 2015, para. 14).

Consequently, Apple’s commercial social accountability determinations gratify the welfares of clienteles as the topmost stakeholders of the industry. Personnel are the second-priority stakeholders in the tactic of the company towards commercial social accountability. This stakeholder assembly is collected from workers at Apple’s amenities.

In the hardware field, just over 6% of the worldwide desktop computer market and below 10% of the portable computer market belonged to Apple in 2000. This percentage is rather small and immediately throws Apple towards the bottom of the list of the world’s most renowned producers of customer electronics.

The products manufactured by such brands as Dell, HP, Compaq, and IBM are the leaders of the market while Apple‘s share for the both products decreased by half in the period between 1995 to 2010 (Jinjin 2013).

At the same time, in the market of consumer electronics, iPod is taking part in a challenging rivalry against Hard Disk Walkman and MP3 players, portable multimedia players, Mini Disk and Hi-MD players and even the mobile phones with a certain multimedia functions that are also included in the substitutions group (Jinjin 2013).

The bargaining power of buyers appears to be immense. The primary target customers of the company are the scholarly institutes, institutions of higher education and academies in the education field, and market buyers. Apple’s dominating status in the education field, unfortunately, has been misplaced by Dell Company.

Attempting to retain its position in 15% of the retail in this field, Apple has to convince those companies to obtain the efficiency of the Apple production and then produce the ordering scheme. In extension, the acquisition of the production by the educational and governmental organizations appears to be largely corresponding to Apple’s transactions, so their bargaining power is high.

Apple ought to commit its effort to organizing a tight connection with competing companies from top to bottom in order to retrieve the market share in this area of activity. The separate customers at the moment tend to gain thorough and complete information about the production they are buying.

For the most part, the customers want to find much better utility at the decreased financial value. However, they usually do not have the capacity to affect the whole financial system straight to particular magnitude. As a result, the bargaining power of buyers has been decreasing slowly. On the contrary, the customers possess a lot of alternative trademarks in the hardware and software area; moreover, they would appreciate a reduced alteration of price when they determine to select another inclination (Ackerman & Eden 2011).

The most displayed opportunity for the Apple Company is that PC is growing into an increasingly popular device; as a result, there always is an expanding consumer request, not only from particular customers but also from administrative and scholarly institutions. Furthermore, the appearance of advanced electronics provides an advantageous opportunity to enhance the already existent production and introduce several innovations (Arena & Bozzolan 2014).

Today, personal computers are one of the most popular commodities, and this fact makes the battle for market share more intense. The appearance of substitute products presents a threat in the market of consumer electronics. In the field of education, Apple’s dominant position had been taken over by Dell throughout the course of the 1990s. Its performance at the global level also faced a number of challenges.

For instance, Apple is in the 9th place with 2.4% market shares. The leaders of the company and its shareholders are concerned by fact is that between 2005 and 2010 Apple’s share of the market for its various products became twice lower than it used to be previously (Jinjin 2013).

How Apple Should Plan and Implement Relationship Programmes with Stakeholders

The most compelling threat to the company is the fact that the possession rank of PC causes the struggle for retail share to be acute. Moreover, Apple is enduring the damage caused by the loss of the market shares and dominant status. Furthermore, the development of alternative production establishes a compelling threat to the electronic customer market.

The main approaches to customer relationships include critical thinking and constant improvement, a well-organized supply chain, a customer-centred service approach, outstanding ‘Switcher’ drive, and the maximized influence of the brand. These strengths ensure the current expansion and advancement of Apple in a prosperous way, along with winning the new consumers from the competitors (Landrum & Daily 2012).

The primary weakness of the company is the compatibility of their production, which encloses the software demand of the Apple Inc. by the quantity of hardware demand. Despite the fact that a lot of attempts have been made, the consumers still remain unsatisfied. Other compelling problems include an on-going decreasing level of financial accomplishment. The company ought to strive for the efficiency and increasing financial outcome.

The company should plan and implement relationship programmes with the stakeholders on the basis of their core competencies (Hawthorne 2014). The core competencies of the company are its ingenious conceptions and electronics founded the on operating system; they are potent and vigorous. “It’s not enough to set high standards.

We must work every day to make sure they’re upheld” (Apple Inc. 2015, para. 10). This is one of the main mottos of Apple, as development and accountability are the company’s key intentions in reference to itself and the stakeholders.

To enhance its relationship with the consumers, the company is to make itself for connected and conduct regular surveys as to the changing needs of its buyers. The communication between Apple and its customers is to be built in a form of an on-going dialogue. That way, the company will be able to identify the strength of its brand reputation, the expectations of the customers, and the areas that can be improved or adjusted to generate a better product satisfaction.

In addition, the company is to continue innovating and satisfying the consumers with new devices that should be ingenious in their origin, agile in presentation, and possess the ability to store a big amount of information and have the fast processing velocity (Gualandris & Klassen 2015). The relationship with the investors is to be maintained through the principles of transparency and sustainability (especially now, after Apple has lost its key figure Steve Jobs and there is a threat that it may lose the edge).

The loyalty of investors is ensured due to timely reports of the company’s performance and its participation in the programmes targeting the principles of environmentally responsible manufacturing. Furthermore, the Supplier Code of Conduct of the company constantly changes in order to keep the bar high and to ensure that Apple adheres to the strongest principles of safety, human rights, and environmental liability.

This aspect is highly important to the distributors of the company. As for the relationships with the employees, Apple has to work along the lines of its empowerment policy that states that all employees must be treated with respect and dignity and it is the worker’s moral right to work in an ethical environment. Precisely for this reason, since 2007 6.2 million employees were trained; 2.3 million – namely in 2014 in order to perceive the Code of Conduct and local regulations.

To sum up, thriving to satisfy all of its multiple stakeholders, Apple is to develop a range of approaches to address the segments with different needs. Such action would require a lot of resources and innovation. Several years ago, Apple introduced its smartphones and tablets that immediately made it the leader in the mobile communications and digital devices markets.

Today, when similar devices are widely produced by the main competitors of Apple, the company requires another “blue ocean”. The best way to find it is to attract and retain new talent. In an innovating company such as Apple the inflow of fresh and educated human resources is the key factor in the future progress and relevance in the market. That way, the programmes targeting hiring and the selection of the best candidates is another core need of Apple.

References

Ackerman, F & Eden, C 2011, ‘Strategic management of stakeholders: Theory and practice’, Long Range Planning, vol. 44, n. 3, pp. 179-196.

Apple Inc. 2015, . Web.

2015. Web.

Arena, C & Bozzolan, S 2014, ‘Environmental reporting: Transparency to stakeholders or stakeholder manipulation’, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, vol. 22, n. 6, pp. 346-361.

Barrow, C & Barrow, P 2012, The business plan workbook, Kogan Page Publishers, London.

Bryman, A & Bell, E 2015, Business research methods, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Clarke, T & Boersma, M 2015, ‘The governance of global value chains: Unresolved human rights, environmental and ethical dilemmas in the Apple supply chain’, Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 3, n. 1, pp. 1-17.

Gualandris, J & Klassen, R 2015, ‘Sustainable evaluation and verification in supply chains: Aligning and leveraging accountability to stakeholders’, Journal of Operations Management, vol. 38, n. 1, pp. 1-13.

Hawthorne, M 2014, . Web.

Jinjin, T 2013, ‘A strategic analysis of Apple computer Inc. & recommendations for the future direction’, Management Science and Engineering, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 94-103.

Landrum, N & Daily, C 2012, ‘Corporate accountability: A path-goal perspective’, International Journal of Business Insights & Transformation, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 50-62.

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