Case Study: Marketing Strategy Analysis of Apple iPad

To survive in the global and competitive business environment, it is essential for a companys to conduct extensive research so that they can develop a strong brand image from the initial stage as it leads to greater financial benefits for the company. The marketing plan of Apple’s iPad is the topic where an effective marketing strategy is developed to ensure its success in the global competitive market where major plays such as Sony, Compaq and Dell have a significant impact upon Apple’s strategies. Apple’s latest iPad is the revolutionary product which is a portable mini device used as a pc anywhere with its wide range of options and innovative design.

Marketing Strategy Analysis of Apple iPad

Apple’s marketing strategy will be focusing upon the product design, brand positioning, price and promotion of iPad in the global market. This will be linked to the research and analysis of the environmental forces and SWOT analysis to understand the company’s position. Apple’s market strategy will be incorporated with the generic business strategy which is towards growth and maintaining a strong position in the market through its innovative products. Apple will use competitive marketing strategy for its iPad where two such strategies can be developed which are differentiation and Focus to make iPad a success in the global market. Marketing planning and strategies can become highly effective if Apple focuses upon its strategic human resource management and make continuous efforts to redesign its marketing plan to survive successfully.

Company Description

Apple Corporation is a highly successful organization that aims to advance in the technology field through its high quality and innovative products. The success of Apple is primarily based upon its innovation and dynamic technological advancement it takes to give its customers the ease and luxury to use its products. Apple’s latest product iPad is launched to compete with existing computers and tablet technology, as it is a portable high tech device for the usage of all needs of an individual whether personal or business use.

Environmental Analysis/PEST Analysis

This analysis will help in identifying the factors that affect the organization’s ability to perform efficiently in the global markets.

  • Political Forces: The political factors affect the organization’s ability to operate efficiently in foreign markets. Therefore, Apple’s operations are affected by political conditions of developing countries in Asia where it is unable to meet its organizational targets successfully. The increasing suicide bomb rate and terrorism is another reason that limits the ability of Apple to operate in some countries. Moreover, the changing legal requirements regarding the sales tax, import and export duties also affect Apple in terms of its rising costs and limitation to have access to a greater market.
  • Economical Forces: Economical factors affect organization’s ability to expand its business and achieve organizational objective of growth. The recent recession has slowed down economic activity and resulted in increase of prices of law materials, which have increase the costs and ultimately the prices of products. Apple faces low demand due to the big economies collapsing and going under stabilization phase, which has forced countries to boost their economy by discouraging imports and encouraging exports.
  • Socio-Cultural Forces: In today’s business enjoinment, people belonging to different backgrounds, experiences, values and cultures work together in multinational organizations with common objectives of gaining success in competitive global markets. Therefore, this creates a critical challenge for organizations to help employees develop positive and interpersonal relationships so that all people can work productively while respecting other’s culture and backgrounds. Apple has focused upon the cultural values of its employees as well as customers to achieve positive long-term relationships through maintaining an organizational culture which is highly flexible and culturally diverse.
  • Technological Forces: Apple concentrates on the technological advancements of its work operations. The highly competitive and global business environment has forced organizations like Apple to become highly efficient through technology and internet revolution. Apple focuses upon innovation which can be achieved by meeting the new technological advancements and by being efficient in providing better quality and innovative products to its customers through advanced technology.

SWOT Analysis

The SWOT analysis assists organizations to identify the strengths and weaknesses of an organization which are internal and opportunities and threats which are external. This will help in understanding how Apple can utilize its strengths and opportunities and overcome its threats and weaknesses to survive in the global competitive market.

  • Strengths: Apple is a successful organization and its iPod has a high market share in the global market due to its brand perception and image as a high quality innovative brand. Moreover, in the IT industry, Apple holds a strong position by catering to the needs of the dynamic market with its extensive research and developments that enables it to satisfy its customers with highly innovative products. Apple has maintained its brand name in the global market and the customer loyalty is increasing at a high rate.
  • Weaknesses: Apple provides highly innovative products in the market but it is having issues with the quality of its products as recently the Apple iPad was reported to have a faulty screen and it had replace all those products. This is one major weakness of Apple’s products. Moreover, the company has a relatively weaker research and development system as compared to other major competitors and needs to put more emphasis on building strong reliable products as its brand name portrays.
  • Opportunities: Apple has many opportunities for growth and expanding its range of products and services. It can develop iTunes and music player technology into cell phones and iPad devices. It can focus upon developing Podcasts for radio shows through internet and can enhance its iPad into more sophisticated and reliable device to be used by every individual. The IT industry is full of rapid and dynamic changes and there is growing demand for innovative and technologically advanced products so for Apple, there are unlimited opportunities to avail for growth.
  • Threats: The major threat for Apple and its products is the intense rivalry among competition in the technology industry. The competitive global environment has brought critical challenges for Apple to maintain a competitive and strong position in the global market. Moreover, Apple’s iPod and iPad are subjected to demand which can go down at any time due to saturation and substitutes in the market. Hence, to meet with changing trends and globalization, Apple requires extensive research and development to create a diversified range of products to be successful.

Marketing Objectives

The objective of Apple’s iPad device is to capture the market by creating awareness and persuading customers to use this device. Its emphasis will be entirely upon positioning iPad in the global market as a highly reliable device which is a need for every individual in today’s busy hectic life.

The marketing plan of Apple’s iPad should consist of two major objectives that help to achieve organizational success in today’s global business environment. First of all, Apple focuses upon its customers through thorough market research and planning then the second step starts by integrating all organization’s functions which are related to the marketing plan of the organization. After this, Apple becomes competent in planning and implementing its organizational core objectives to achieve positive results.

Marketing Strategy

The marketing plan of Apple iPad is based upon extensive research and planning so that it can expand its operations worldwide where the marketing strategy aimed to promote the following key elements to strengthen its brand image. The major brand elements are the superior quality, friendly usability, design and reliability of the product. It can be promoted as a product that not only provides an ease to an individual’s life but a reliable cost effective solution to all computer related problems. The following are the major components of the marketing mix that can help in understanding the product and how it is to be marketed in the global market.

The marketing growth strategy of Apple mainly aims to provide superior quality and innovative products and services. This strategy helps in increasing customer loyalty and building a stronger position in the global competitive markets. Innovation is the success key of Apple. In today’s highly competitive environment, developing innovative products is a major key towards achieving success. This requires extensive research and development by the businesses to be successful. Although, innovation has become a key towards success but it has high financial risk because the customers can dislike the new invention and it can go into waste.

  • Product Design: iPad is the new invention of Apple with extensive Research and Development. It is the latest technological device which is mini pc device equipped with high compatibility mode and ease of usage for users. It is a fully equipped device where a user can take pictures, watch movies, download large amount of data and send/receive emails, attachments and documents. It is designed for personal and business usage where a user can be highly digitized and connected to the world within seconds with no hassle. iPad is the new revolution introduced by Apple to provide ultimate user friendliness and access to all technological advancements together in one mini device.
  • Brand Positioning: Initially, Apple’s iPad target market can be the professionals and businessmen who require portable easy accessible devise for their usage. And then, young customers comprising of students will be targeted through emphasizing upon its innovative and trendy design that provides unlimited options will start gaining popularity and acceptance in the global market then it can expand and broaden its market segments by satisfying a larger market segment by positioning iPad as a need for every individual.
  • Promotion: Apple’s iPad promotional strategy will mainly focus upon word of mouth advertising and point of purchase strategy where consumers will be encouraged to discover and try out the product themselves. Apple’s latest iPad requires extensive marketing through television and other media sources to achieve high customer response. Television is an effective medium of advertisement ad Apple’s advertisement has given it more importance and this industry is flourishing through these innovative ads.
  • Price: Apple’s iPad will be charged at a premium price from the start to show and prove that it is a superior quality and innovative device than any other available in the market. As it is an innovative product, it will be promoted in the market as a premium priced device that has value for the benefits it provides. This way the consumers will consider Apple’s iPad as a highly reliable and portable pc device that can make their life faster and efficient in terms of both work and entertainment which will lead to its brand image strengthening through this marketing strategy.
  • Place: Apple has to focus upon building long term relationships with its suppliers, wholesalers, and retailers worldwide because this way its supply chain management can become highly efficient. As the economic activity has slowed down, it resulted in increase in the prices of oil, which has ultimately increased the costs of production for Apple and reducing its cost effectiveness. Also, the concept of E-commerce has greatly helped Nestle to automate its systems through E-shopping and E-supply chain management.

Implementation Plan

Now, we can develop an effective competitive marketing strategy where two such strategies can be developed which are differentiation and Focus to make iPad a success in the global market.

  • Differentiation: Apple’s strategy of differentiation has its focus upon producing unique and innovative products for its customers which are not provided by other competitors in the global markets. The major success key of Apple is that it offers superior quality and innovative products and services to its users with prime emphasis upon innovation and design. Therefore, marketers must focus upon their advertisements that promote these five actors to influence consumer buying decisions. This will create a buzz in the market and gradually the image as a premium high tech pc device will strengthen all over the world which will contribute towards its brand equity. The spread of this innovation will be influenced mainly by its attractiveness, quality, price, promotion and durability. Customers make high involvement purchase decision for innovative products as it involves high risks. Moreover, Apple being the first one to enter the market with a highly innovative device will lead to its strong brand image building in the competitive global market.
  • Focus: Apple can focus on more than one segments of the market and develop its brand image in these market segments for its latest iPad. The target segment for iPad will be the upper and higher middle-income group who want to improve their lifestyle with revolutionary gadgets. Through this strategy, Apple will be able to focus on its resources and plan towards a selected target segment for managing it effectively. To survive in global business environment is very challenging for iPad, therefore conducting thorough market research will help in achieving the core organizational objectives.

Evaluation and Control

To meet with the intensified global competition, Apple requires extensive research and planning for its success in the future. The highly dynamic and uncertain global market brings serious challenges for Apple’s iPad to survive successfully. The major competitors of Apple such as Compaq, Sony and Dell Co have forced Apple to focus upon its brand equity in order to maintain its brand image worldwide. Apple can meet and control the challenges and obstacles arising in its way of growth through its long-term business strategy where effective marketing plan emphasizes upon innovation and building customer loyalty.

Firstly, focusing upon the Strategic human resource management, Apple can create a competitive advantage that is not imitable by its competitors. As Apple is known for its quality and innovation as the first energy drank, it has captured a very large customer base as compared to its competitors but to maintain this customer base or increase the number, it must focus upon developing sustainable competitive advantage through its human resource which ultimately leads to excellent customer relationships.

Secondly, the 4 Ps of marketing also require changes and continuous improvements to survive in today’s highly global business environment. The marketing campaigns can emphasis upon the design and reliability of the iPad in future to make the most reliable functioning device in the market. This will strengthen the brand equity as well as help in surviving successfully in the competitive global market. The positioning of Apple can be altered according to the market trends, the children and teenagers can be the target for iPad in future.

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