Due to Apples secretive attitude, finding real evidence of real goals is difficult. What we can deduce however is that although iPod sales are starting to slow they still want to maintain high turnover and profit. I think Apples main stratergy is there appeal to their customers. What you find in general with many of their products more btter looking than the competitions. One thing we can see is Apple building on the popularity of the iPod. It appeals to the Mass market. Now appeal less as a computer company and more of a electronics company and seem more user-friendly. Apple have a differentiation stratergy.
Apple products are known to have a unique appeal, with its sleek designs a userbility. Due to this it gets a lot of attention from consumers and the media. Without much advertising or marketing on their part. They give something new and unique to talk about which everybody gets pulled in to. The iPod appeals to the mass market, everyone is a potential customer. Young or old. They have music, literature and podcasts all avaiable for the iPod owners. The simplicity and sleek design is what attracts people. Although the latest ones (the touch) are expensive, and may be aimed at higher and older earners.
The marketing mix consists of four elements: Products, Price, Place and Promotion, better known as the 4p's. The marketing mix can only be made when the target customer is known, which I have done above. This product allows consumer's to download not only their favourite music but also books and photos. Nowadays with the latest versions of the iPod you can watch videos and surf on the internet with one small device. Apple have introduced updated versions of the iPod starting from the first iPod in 2001 to the iPod touch (refer to appendix D).
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These are extension stratergies to increase the product life cycle of the iPod. When initially launched into the mp3 market, Apple utilised pricing strategies in the form of psychological and skimming prices. Most of the websites have the iPod touch. 'The high price is on the basis of the companies popularity, and the unique design of the 'touch'. It will also attract an image of quality with their products.
By promoting the iPod it will satisfy the needs of the customers. Consumers will gain better understanding of the product and how it works. All in all advertising and promotions will bring more awareness to their products and potentially more sales. Apple's promotion strategy, was the surprise element that it attached just before they released the iPod. There was a heavy speculation and curiosity regarding the product and everyone was watching out for it. It allowed fans and enthusiastic tech and entertainment media to spread the word of the gadget even before its release.
Just when iPod was launched Apple advertised extensively for the iPod, this is where the infamous commercial showing a man listening to the songs on his iPod and dancing. A similar stratergy has been used throught the release as with increasing the popularity of iTunes. Apple has many distribution channels, from their online Apple Store, to their retail stores and many resellers around the world. Indirect distribution where third parties are involved in the sales process are also used. These resellers will sell to the smaller firms who cannot aford to buy directly from Apple.
The iPod is available to purchase at most major stores within the UK. From specialist electronic stores to supermarkets. Stores from Apple retailers to Tesco sell the iPod. They are also available all over the internet from places like Amazon to ebay. A countless amount of retailers will stock the iPod such is its popularityThis has been reflected in their strategies to expand through the introduction of newer more innovative designs and this is why they are market leaders in the mp3 market. Apple has a lot of few different range ranges of iPod products, like the shuffle, the nano, the video and touch.
All of which have different prices. This is a good strategy as it appeals to a wide mass market. The fact that Apple append very little on Advertising on their products compared to many of its firms, is down to the general buzz and interest of their products. There teasing with products entices the media and technology enthusiast tin wanting more. However this may not always be the case, for apple to consider more advertising may be important. The differentiation approach sets Apple apart from its competitors however Microsoft is challenging Apple. They have the money and resources to match.
It would be fairly foolish to think that Apple is too strong in the market. They need to continue to invest a lot of money in R+D. With products like the iPhone and the Touch it can be said they are going in the right direction, in achieving innovative, unique designs. I also think Apple have a huge opportunity in supporting the whole education system. It has the money and resources to do this. Possibly negotiating contracts with schools and universities, for pod casts even computers could put Apple in a challenging position in the computer market.
Having agreements with universities, and schools can increase there popularity and awareness. "Apple has nearly 250 stores worldwide and now derives 20 per cent of its revenue from them. And those numbers are growing. In the quarter to the end of September 2007, for example, Apple reported that its retail stores accounted for $1. 25bn of the company's $6. 2 bn revenues - a 42 per cent increase over 2006. " Since the release of the iPod, about half of Apple's revenues come from music and iPods. Interest in the iPod and iPhone has made other apples products popular, like the Mac whose sales have increased.
Apple has demonstrated how to create real, breathtaking growth by dreaming up products so original and imaginative that they have taken industries by storm. To maintain control in the mp3 player market, they need to maintain their quality and strategic marketing plans if they want to keep ahead. Apple leads the industry in innovation and many other things like design features. Sony, Microsoft, Creative are all right behind Apple. The battle of the MP3 players will surely be an excellent example of competition that breeds better products, with Apple taking the first step with the iPod Touch and iPhone.
The iPod was ground-breaking technology that was absorbed by mainstream culture, and now has become the epitome of portable audio. Companies such as Apple will need to be self-motivated if they are to stay ahead of the game. Differentiation and innovation is the key in maintaining their dominance. Apple has a high competitive advantage because of its excellent product image. They use simplicity and lustrous designs to appeal to customers. The electronic market gets connected more and more with the entertainment market. With already the market leader in the digital sales market, it would not be surprising to see Apple move in to TV.
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