Throughout the years, Apple Inc. has continued to expand and develop its product mix, with the Mac, iPad, iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, Apple Watch and Software. Moreover, Apple generates revenue via iTunes, the App Store, iCloud and Apple Pay. The Apple electric vehicle is a result of Apple’s product development intensive strategy. In a collaboration with Tesla Motors, the formation of the electric vehicle “shows that Apple’s marketing mix is extensive in terms of product variety to address customers’ needs in different areas of their lives” (Greenspan, 2017).
Its products are known for simplicity in design, durability and convenience in usage, sold across the global marketplace “via retail stores, online stores, direct sales force, as well as through third-party cellular network carriers, wholesalers, retailers and value-added resellers” (Greenspan, 2017). Across the world there are over 475 Apple stores, offering consumers the chance to test products with customer service representatives willing to help, this engages customers and delivers customer value (Kotler, Armstrong, 2017).
Apple pricing strategy combines “premium pricing, price skimming and geographical pricing strategies” (Dudovskiy, 2017). Adoption of premium pricing results from Apple’s differentiation business strategy whereby Apple removed its cheaper iPhones with less GB in favour of only offering the more expensive, higher memory ones. This pricing strategy maintains the luxury image of the company and its products, whilst attaining higher profit margins. Furthermore, Apple also permits a price skimming strategy; setting prices higher before other competitors propose comparable products. Lastly, the application of a geographical pricing strategy involves Apple setting prices differently worldwide. (Dudovskiy, 2017).
Companies must engage consumers and communicate its value propositions concisely, its crucial to do this in order to build profitable customer relationships. (Kotler, Armstrong, 2017). Print and media advertising, sales promotions, events and experiences, public relations, digital and direct marketing and personal selling are all used by Apple to converse marketing messages across to target consumers (Dudovskiy, 2017). Moreover, Apple integrates social media as a means to communicate, building a rapport with consumers and offering direct advice/support through its Twitter account Apple Support. Social media permits Apple to easily obtain and admit immediate responses, endlessly accumulating feedback. Additional promotional tools include the Apple Store Gift Card, Apple Music Gift Card and iTunes Gift Card.
Advertising is expended to drive marketing campaigns, communicating simple, rationally persuasive messages, whether it’d be the 1997-2002 Think Different campaign, or Apple’s 2014-present Shot on iPhone campaign. “Advertising helps build the value of brands, groups, causes and even individuals in people’s minds (Landa, 1966), Apple’s marketing message has always focussed on design, combined with the simplicity, advancement and functionality of products. Successful campaigns such as the “Think Different” campaign qualified Apple to launch itself as the product for independent thinkers. Simplicity in Apple’s advertising approach further demonstrates the companies core product and business strategy.
Combating direct competition from rival company Android, Apple has started a new campaign aligned around converting Android users to iPhone. The campaign compares the iPhone experience through music, speed and camera, highlighting its superior performance against other smartphones. The introduction of apple.com/switch enables consumers to easily switch from alternative smartphones to Apple’s devices.
There are various diverse processes that are imperative to the success of Apple, including “employee recruitment and selection, marketing research, new product research and development, sales, product return, customer service processes and others.” (Dudovskiy, 2017). Apple concentrates fundamentally on product development and design processes.
With the employment of over 116,000 full-time employees, each are selective with the ideal to possess skills of creativeness and innovativeness, as well as the ability to work well under pressure. Apple is known for secrecy, and employees are expected to work hard.
Finally, physical evidence refers to brand recognition. The logo is a perfect example of how Apple has managed to create brand recognition, through the adoption of the apple in white or chrome colouring known globally. The simplicity of design by Apple represents another fundamental component of the brand’s physical evidence in the marketing mix.