Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Apple inc. Marketing International Environment
Question: Discuss about the Apple inc. Marketing for International Environment. Answer: Introduction Apple Inc. is a giant company dealing in the technological devices. The company has invested heavily in the manufacture and marketing of electronic devices such as smart phones and iPad across the world (Bidgoli, 2010). The improvement of these devices through intensive research and development and marketing has enhanced the organizations ability to compete giants like Samsung. In this report, an intensive marketing audit of Apple Inc is done. Importantly, this paper analyzes the companys current business situation and market strategy and gives recommendations to the marketing department of the company on what to implement to improve the competitiveness of the marketing strategy of the company so as to compete the rival companies and acquire more market share. Company Background Apple Inc. is a technological corporation founded in the U.S in 1976. It is registered in the American market but operates globally, reaching the customers from all regions with its products (LuÃÅ'Ãâ Sted 2012). Apple is notable from the widespread marketing of its consumer electronic brands. Although the company began as a computer firm, continuous research and development have led to diversification through the manufacture electronic gadgets (Bidgoli, 2010). A wide variety of these devices is available in many countries and includes television sets, music players, smartphones, and tablets among others. Apples mobile technology, through the production of high-end smartphones, has positioned the company in a leading position in the global industry (Swan Zou, 2012). Apple Inc. applies a business model that adopts writing and designing of proprietary software along with an own operating system that runs on all its products. Recently, the company ventured into the information and en tertainment services. As a result, Apple is a top online retailer of video streaming and music capabilities, software solutions, and smart phone applications around the world. The innovations, creativity, and aggressive marketing have propelled Apple to strong financial position and increasing revenues. The company boasts of several strengths in distributing products and reaching global customers (Gallo, 2012). It's selling strategy involves the establishment of online stores, third party distributors such as wholesalers and retailers, and direct sales force in overseas regions. Moreover, Apple has established the own retail units in different countries and cities with unique features to carry the companys theme to foreign buyers (Schneiders, 2011). The success in foreign markets is, however, met with challenges due to cross-cultural differences and other macro-environmental factors. To foster growth and penetration, the company strives to understand customers and offer product features to meet their tastes and preferences. Additionally, Apple seeks to reach new customers and create a sustainable customer base. The success of new strategies would depend on the international marketing climate and positioning in the industry. Market Analysis A market segment contains a class of customers who share objectives and wants. The marketer has no role in creating segments; the marketer needs to identify the segments and focus on which one to target. Market segmentation provides many advantages to both business and consumers. Also, it will also give huge growth space and profits for Apple. In the online Apple stores, consumers will find a lot of product selection, even though the same products have different product configurations to choose from. Apple launched the 34 kinds of models for Apple Watch; it is include three big series (basic, sport, luxury), six kinds of case material, 18 models strap, two kinds of dial sizes, 11 types of clock interface. (Apple WatchÃ ¯Ã ¼Ã â2014). Apple believes that creating all of these different products will mean that they are segmenting the market based on these various needs. However, creating so many different products implies that Apple may fail to adequately target any consumer group, as we do not believe that Apple has considered a market segment for every unique combination of the Apple Watch. Target market The international market has a key role in the Apples profitability. The interaction of the market forces and the companys strategies influences performances in all regions covered. Key variables include the target market, market position, competitors, and the consumers (Czinkota Ronkainen, 2013). Apple Inc. has a broad market target geographically. Although the company has supplies to many countries, the products do not reach all targeted customers, especially in the emerging markets. The economies of some countries such as the Asian and African states are growing rapidly than the developed world, leading to improved customer purchasing power. This recent development presents opportunities for Apple to penetrate deeper into these countries and avail its products (Gallo, 2012). The company offers items at a relatively high price and therefore targets the high end-customers. Improving consumer income creates a widening middle class around the globe, who could afford the Apple devices and services. The emerging markets promise a positive outlook for Apples products whose demand in the central regions such as the United States and Europe are dwindling. Upcoming markets would require variations in the penetration business strategies to overcome salient limiting factors such as language barriers. Positioning Besides the changes in the markets target, Apples positioning in the global environment plays an important role towards realizing sustainability. Apple Inc. positions itself as a leader in innovative technological devices and computing services. The research and development units incorporate creativity that leads to new design and feature in the products (Mcghie, 2012). For instance, Apple has continually produced improved smartphone versions for the global customers. The introduction of new features to the products is necessary to integrate technology and the varying preferences in the cross-cultural communities. Also, Apple positions itself as a high-end consumer electronics producer that people with middle and high-income status can identify with (Segers, 2016). However, this position is not fit for the communities with low incomes. With some major markets reporting declining performances, the shift towards low-income earners is desirable to help the company avoid losses in the fu ture. Although the emerging economies can provide marketing opportunities, a high-cost positioning of the company can limit outcomes. Further, Apple positions itself through established brand names that are iconic and notable in the market (Kahn, 2013). Such trademarks are instrumental in reaching untapped customer bases. Another way that the company positions itself is through the establishment of whole owned selling units or trade partnership with third parties who expand the supply chains, thereby widening coverage. Availing product to low levels near the customers adds value to the products that attract new buyers. The target market and positioning strategies for the company face increased threat from competitors. Competitor Analysis The global technological market is characterized by growing number of competitors as new entrants emerge to exploit available opportunities. Rival firms strive to grow their market share that would lead to fall in the Apples customer base. The major competitor is the Samsung brand that has comparable competing strategies (Ireland, Hoskisson, Hitt, 2012). For instance, Samsung invests in the research and development that has led to the production of innovative technologies and feature. Intense rivalry exists between the two companies, especially in the smartphone business. Increased competition spells danger for Apple market share and long-term dominance in the industry (Fletcher Crawford, 2013). Besides the Samsung brand, other companies have emerged and targeted the people in the emerging markets. Although the firms do not match the level of expertise and technology as applied to the Apple Corporation, they provide competitive substitutes that attract interest from some customers. For instance, the Chinese firms produce cheap smartphones with attractive features that lure a significant population in the emerging markets away from the purchase of very expensive devices offered by the Apple. The level of competition is also fueled by the consumer attributes that present wide opportunities for technological firms to compete. Customers Analysis The customers in international environment have diverse tastes and preferences. Buyers of technical items have varied interests that are shaped by cultural factors, norms, values, and attitudes (Schiffman et al. 2013). The developed countries and emerging markets have different cultural orientations. As a result, the people exhibit varying buying behaviors and levels of adopting recent technologies. These factors influence the marketing activities and implementation of strategies. For example, many Asian countries use their native languages and have little knowledge of the international language such as English (Fletcher Crawford, 2013). Production of technological devices should thus be accompanied by language translations or incorporate native languages to encourage purchases. As an example, mobile phones programmed to in different languages that customers understand register high sales. Other products that carry instructions for use in manuals or wrappings require translations into local languages to foster sales. Use of symbols and other forms of non-verbal communication should ensure cross-cultural sensitivity to avoid misinterpretations. Customers interpret such communications based on their understanding, attitudes, and cultural teachings (Thyroff, Murray, Belk (2015). Symbols or signs that are inconsistent with local interpretations cause misunderstanding and can potentially scare customers away. Apple should develop appropriate strategies as recommended below to overcome limitations in the international environment and promote sustainable performances. It is true that wearable technology market has a huge potential. For Apple watch, it will create a new product category and maybe become the next IPhone, which is a big money-maker. However, Smart watches and other wearable products need to keep improving all the time to attract users attention. In May 2014, on the D11 developers conference speech, when reporters ask Tim Cook what was the status of Apple in the wearable technology market, he didnt give a direct answer, just said; which means Apple is very confidence about their new product. The watch is a ubiquitous, passing fashion trend, types rich product category (Apple Watch, 2014). Conclusion The international markets have opportunities for Apple Inc. to exploit and grow global market share. The company needs to adopt various marketing strategies to maximize the outcomes of international engagements. Managers need to give increased sensitivity to the cultural differences and consumer preferences to attract many buyers (Sitkin Bowen, 2013). The current business model penetrates new markets using the products and features similar in the existing markets such as Europe and America. The products require variations to incorporate features desirable to the customers in emerging markets. By doing this, the company would attain the global perspective while maintaining customized activities. Recommendations The international markets have opportunities for Apple Inc. to exploit and grow global market share. The company needs to adopt various marketing strategies to maximize the outcomes of international engagements. Managers need to give increased sensitivity to the cultural differences and consumer preferences to attract many buyers (Sitkin Bowen, 2013). The current business model penetrates new markets using the products and features similar in the existing markets such as Europe and America. The products require variations to incorporate features desirable to the customers in emerging markets. By doing this, the company would attain the global perspective while maintaining customized activities. Additionally, the company requires review on the distribution channels by increasing own selling points in emerging markets (Ciravegna, Fitzgerald Kundu, 2014). These stores would help gather large information on the preferences of locals. The data collected would be sent to the manufacturing plants in America to enable improvements on the products. Apple lacks adequate information especially due to lack of overseas production units that make it difficult to incorporate attributes of foreign cultures. Improved operations would promise long-term sustainability as the company keeps touch with local trends (Keillor, 2012). To accomplish these performances, Apple would adopt a global organizational structure and matrix capabilities that facilitate marketing. Through the matrix operations, the company combines all factors in the global environment to exercise strong control and compete favorably in the long run. Reference List Apple, 2014. Apple (United Kingdom) - Apple Watch - Design. [Online] Available at: https://www.apple.com/uk/watch/design/ [Accessed 31 August. 2016]. Bidgoli H. (2010). The handbook of technology management. Hoboken, N.J., John Wiley Sons. Ciravegna L, Fitzgerald R, Kundu SK. (2014). Operating in emerging markets: a guide to management and strategy in the new international economy. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: FT Press Czinkot MR Ronkainen IA. (2013). International Marketing. Cengage Learning. Fletcher R Crawford H. (2013). 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