Apple Business Strategy
It’s hard to find somebody who has never heard of Apple Inc. and products of this company. Apple is one of the most successful companies in the world. The history of Apple began in 1977 when the company presented its first personal computer Apple II. During the next three decades, it managed to notably expand its range of products.
Thanks to a business talent of Steve Jobs, the company created the most popular mobile devices in the world, such as:
- the portable music player iPod
- the iPad tablet
Mobile devices skyrocketed the company’s net worth and reputation. These products became truly iconic, representing the spirit of the modern age and proving that Apple invented one of the most effective business strategies in history. Let’s take a closer look at its business strategy and think what makes this company so outstanding.
Most people are used to thinking of Apple as of the innovation company, but what exactly makes us think so? The truth is, Apple didn’t invent the desktop computer. It didn’t create the first portable music player nor did it introduce the first smartphone, and yet we speak of Apple as of a game-changer and the great innovator.
The history of the company had its ups and downs. Desktop computers Apple II and Macintosh received some good reviews and could be called successful, but such a success didn’t last long. IBM presented its new products that became much more popular. In 1985, Steve Jobs left the company that got stuck in a struggle against powerful competitors. It kept losing its positions on the market until Microsoft presented its Windows operating system and became an absolute leader for decades.
The reason of such a downfall was the Apple’s product strategy. Most products sold by the company were unnecessary for the market, in fact, they were even somewhat confusing for the customers. The Macintosh line of products was, probably, the most vivid example of the unprofitable strategy, which couldn’t remain unnoticed by Steve Jobs. In 1996, he came back, and the first thing he decided to do was to get rid of all the products that couldn’t bring profit to the company. He changed product development forever, making simplicity the new philosophy of Apple that was bound to succeed.
Since then, the company’s product strategy was based on innovations that served the only goal — to make its products as simple as possible, removing everything that users don’t need, focusing on features that add value, and introducing new functional approaches. Apple didn’t invent new products. Instead, it took already existing products and started improving them, making simplicity a distinctive feature of all Apple devices and creating a completely new user experience.
Such a new strategy of product development made Apple a real game-changer. After the company introduced its iTunes, the music industry changed forever, focusing on the promotion of digital recordings. The popularity of tablets and smartphones changed in a direct relation to Apple’s innovations. After the company introduced iPhone in 2007 and released iPad in 2010, it became clear that we live in the era of mobile devices.
Another secret of the success is complementation. Apple creates one user experience for all its products, from Mac desktops to iPhones to iPads. All these devices are similar in terms of functional features and design so that any new device feels familiar to a user who has already bought another Apple product. Apple ID allows users to synchronize and manage user data on all devices, without even noticing the transition.
Branding and Marketing
A successful business strategy is impossible without a proper marketing strategy. Given that the market doesn’t stand still, Apple’s marketing approach also changed throughout the history. As it stands now, the company acts rather straightforward, taking advantages of its status. The modern marketing strategy of Apple includes premium positioning and many elements of cult marketing.
Apple is a premium brand that keeps its positions due to a few important factors:
- Fashionable features and increased usability;
- A premium pricing strategy;
- High-quality customer support;
- A smart distribution strategy.
To support a premium brand image, Apple also modifies its product development. Any flagship device introduced by Apple has certain exclusive features that make it stand out. Sometimes these are technological features, such as high-end Retina technology for displays. On the other hand, it’s an original Apple design that includes metal cases of MacBooks and glass-and-metal iPhone design. Apple also offers many unique software solutions that work on all devices and make them simple and convenient for everyone.
However, there are many people who are not so excited about technological solutions of this company, claiming that there are the same products released by the competitors. Nevertheless, Apple’s positions remain strong, and there is a reason why.
Apple sticks to a premium positioning and maintains a premium pricing strategy. Being compared to any other product on the market, an Apple device always cost more because the company appeals to a stereotype “the more expensive, the better.” Consumers like the idea of a price determining the quality of the product, and such a tendency gets even stronger when this product is associated with a certain social status and a sense of exclusivity.
The distribution strategy allows Apple to fulfill customers’ expectations, selling its products in concept stores that support the idea of exclusivity and help the company maintain its premium branding policy. These stores create a distinctive retail experience, due to carefully organized showrooms and a distinctive minimalist industrial design of interiors. The broad network of service centers provides a great customer support which motivates customers to remain loyal.
Cult marketing gives this company a number of advantages along with a set of unique opportunities to sell more products. All Apple devices are complementary and use the same specific software.
First of all, it gives Apple more opportunities for the software optimization, taking into account features of the used hardware. As a result, all users notice that Apple products are reliable. These devices work fast and don’t have many drawbacks associated with open source based products. Secondly, complementary devices motivate users to stick with Apple products instead of trying something new. Every Apple customer who likes, say, iPhone, is expecting the same experience from a tablet, so he or she will likely buy iPad instead of an Android tablet.
Apple’s marketing strategy offers users universal solutions, combining a perfect user experience with the feeling of exclusiveness, and social factors. Therefore, not only sells Apple high-end products, but it sells the whole lifestyle based on the philosophy of simplicity and satisfaction.
Of course, these are just a few aspects of Apple’s business strategy. These features are the main reasons why Apple is so popular and iconic brand. However, there are many other specific strategies that allow this company to succeed in business at all levels.
Apple is a famous outsourcer, in fact, this company doesn’t own any production facilities. All hardware parts are either purchased from other manufacturers or made by outsourced companies. This approach allows Apple to minimize operating expenses and focus on developing marketing and product design solutions.
This company also has an effective recruitment strategy that involves various retention practices. Apple builds strong relationships with stakeholders, and its social responsibility strategy is another thing that maintains its success.
is an independent blogger currently writing for the essaywriters.reviews
. In addition to reviews on writing services, John has a practice in the field of innovation of high tech, education, business strategies, marketing.