The Marketing Strategies of Apple is one to ponder over for anyone looking for lessons in their business. A study of this company and its product marketing, promotion, sales and distribution will throw open many windows of insights as well as a lot of new questions.
Apple is one of the most valuable companies in the world, and no wonder. They have a track record of very successful marketing strategies. So what are their marketing strategy secrets?
Apple Marketing Strategy: A Brief Overview
Apple’s marketing strategy is based on the philosophy of Steve Jobs, the company’s founder, who believed that customers are not always able to predict what they want. Hence, instead of carrying out marketing research in order to identify the needs and wants of customers, the multinational technology company prefers to install innovative features and capabilities in its products in order to make customers want its products instead. It is imperative that Apple’s marketing strategy reflects the brand’s essence in a minimalist, yet highly efficient manner.
Apple’s 7Ps of marketing are characterized by a focus on the product element of the marketing mix, as the company’s segmentation targeting and positioning initiatives are aimed at targeting users of premium products as much as possible. Further, Apple Inc.’s marketing communication mix places a greater emphasis on print and media advertising as well as personal selling in its Apple Stores, and the company rarely uses sales promotions as part of its marketing strategy as part of its marketing communications mix.
As a general rule, Apple’s marketing strategy consists of the following elements:
1. The focus should be on delivering an attractive value proposition to the customer.
A key value proposition of Apple is the fact that it offers “beautiful design that works right out of the box with ever-smaller packaging.” By emphasizing its unique value proposition in marketing communication messages, the world’s largest IT company by revenue has been able to avoid price wars with competitors.
A unique aspect of Apple is that it has the ability to act as a design firm, a media platform, a publishing company, a software powerhouse, and a computer manufacturer at the same time – all at the same time. As a result of such a position, the company is in the position to communicate its value proposition to its target customer segment in a cost-effective manner.
2. Product placement is an effective way to promote a product
Apple’s marketing strategy is characterized by the fact that the world’s largest IT company by revenue does not use Pay-Per-Click (PPC) online ads on sites like Google or Facebook to promote its products. It has been found that Apple’s marketing strategy relies mainly on two pillars – product placement (especially with celebrities and in popular shows) and the buzz created by positive press reviews.
Some of the most notable examples of Apple’s product placement can be found in the movies Transformers 4, Birdman, The Verge, Birdman, and Boyhood, as well as in prominent TV shows such as Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show.
3. The media has given the film positive reviews
Apple has systematically benefited from the buzz that is created by positive reviews in the media – both in the traditional media, as well as the social media media. Because of the high quality and advanced features and specifications of its products and services, the company is able to achieve positive reviews from its customers. It is also worth mentioning that the multinational technology company actively participates in the creation of positive reviews in social media.
Apple, for example, usually sends new iPhones to a number of technology and mainstream media outlets for them to review before the phones go on sale, so that they can write their own reviews.
4. Storytelling through video and viral marketing
Apple’s marketing strategy emphasizes storytelling through video and viral marketing as a key element of its marketing strategy. The world’s largest IT company by revenue conveys its marketing message through aspirational storytelling that is articulated in a manner that resonates with members of the target market. Apple’s “1984” advertisement, which first aired during the 1984 Superbowl, communicates the story of Apple as a rebellious company that challenges the existing status quo through its rebellious attitude.
As a more recent example of storytelling from the tech giant, the “Share your gift” ad highlights the story of a young artist who locks away her works in a box until one day wind comes through the window and blows them down to the town below. This and other storytelling videos have proved to be viral and extremely popular, as well as positively impacting the image of Apple as a brand.
Apple Marketing Mix
Apple follows a strategy that focuses on premium branding in order to grow its marketing mix and increase its sales. Among the key elements of this approach are the use of the premium brand and the establishment of an environment in which all the 4P elements (Products, Price, Place, and Promotions) contribute to maintaining a powerful brand image through the use of the premium brand.
Apple’s prices, for example, are in line with the premium brand it carries, and consumers have the corresponding perception that Apple’s products are of high quality and value.
This element consists of selecting the ideal place or venue for the company to allocate its goods through the selection of suitable places or venues. It should be noted that Apple’s business case includes both company-owned locations as well as other parties the company has authorized to allocate its goods on its behalf. As part of Apple’s distribution strategy, the following places are included:
- Apple Store locations
- Company-owned website and online stores
- Authorized sellers
- Telecommunications companies
As a subsidiary of Apple Inc, Apple Store operates a physical store network that sells the company’s products as well as related items from other manufacturers. There are some stores that sell MacBook units and peripheral devices from other suppliers, for example. In addition, people are able to purchase products via Apple’s website and online store for desktop computers as well as mobile devices.
A variety of digital content can be purchased through online stores, such as the App Store and the iTunes Store, such as apps, movies, music, and other forms of digital content. Through the addition of these online distribution channels, it is possible to reach a maximum number of markets worldwide.
Additionally, authorized sellers open stores in a variety of strategic locations, such as shopping malls, in many markets around the globe, where they sell products to a wide audience. It is possible for these sellers to be large retailers such as Best Buy and Walmart, as well as smaller retailers. It is possible for some sellers to sell through their own stores and their own Amazon seller accounts.
Further, the company is working with diverse telecommunication companies, such as Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon, to provide iPhone units integrated into their telecommunication server packages, available to users in their local or regional target markets, as well. Due to the fact that Apple combines online and offline distribution channels in its marketing mix, its marketing mix is very thorough.
As a the next element, we have Promotions. The purpose of this document is to define the communication tactics that the company uses to reach its targeted audience. A number of communication channels and parties are used by Apple to market its products in a variety of ways. When it comes to addressing this 4P element, the company emphasizes the premium brand image and high quality of its goods when it comes to addressing this 4P element. Apple uses the following communication tactics as part of its promotional mix:
- Personal selling
- Sales promotion
- Public relations
As part of Apple’s marketing mix, the company runs advertisements, for example, on Google’s digital advertising network and on websites devoted to technology news. It is the company’s policy to work with a variety of prominent websites in order to advertise and market its products. As part of the strategy, the company also leverages personal selling in the form of Apple Store employees who provide visitors with product-specific information with the aim of encouraging them to make a purchase at the store.
This marketing mix also includes sales promotion, which usually takes place at Apple Store locations, as well as authorized reseller locations, as part of this marketing mix. There are several stores where you can purchase old models at discounted prices bundled with more expensive items at a reduced price.
It is also important for the company to optimize its corporate image through the use of public relations. To enhance positive publicity, Apple events, leaks of brand new product features, press releases, and exclusive interviews, for example, are carefully implemented to enhance positive publicity. As well as that, the company has a number of initiatives such as ConnectED, aimed at enhancing formal education outcomes while marketing the business and its products at the same time.
The outputs of a business organization are defined by this element of the marketing mix. Apple’s product mix is made up of products and services as well as information technology in this case. The brand, however, keeps expanding its product mix, resulting in the possibility of including non-IT-relevant items in this marketing mix in the future. Among Apple’s key product lines are the following:
- Apple TV
- Apple Watch
- Cloud services
- Digital content
Moreover, these product lines are aligned with the utilization of human resources and business processes according to product-based divisions, which is also a characteristic of Apple’s corporate structure, which is a hallmark of its corporate structure. There is a wide range of desktop and laptop computers in the Mac product line, available in a variety of sizes for a variety of markets. On the other hand, the Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad, and iPod are mobile devices that have similar functions to those of Mac items.
It is the brand’s presence in the customer electronics items that is indicated by this element of the marketing mix. As part of the company’s current strategic management approach, Digital Content is a product line that consists of e-books, digital music, games, and video services. Through its Digital Content, Apple TV, and Software (mobile applications) services, Apple is a major player in the digital content distribution industry.
As well as having products that are based on cloud technology, the 4Ps of the company also offer a range of software as a service (SaaS) products, such as iWork for iCloud, that allow customers to save and access their data on the cloud.
As a result of this element, the company’s goods are priced, price points, and price ranges are determined. According to the brand, the following pricing strategies are followed:
- Premium pricing strategy
- Freemium pricing strategy
The premium pricing strategy refers to the selling of products at a premium price in order to achieve a higher profit margin. Theoretically, a premium can be defined as an amount that is added to the typical or common price in an effort to increase its value. A decision is made by Apple to set high prices for its products. As an example, iPhones are more expensive than Samsung smartphones, for example. As part of the brand’s premium branding and creative innovation strategy, premium pricing is used in conjunction with premium branding. It is through such consolidation that competitiveness is ensured. As part of Apple’s organizational culture, creative innovation is encouraged and reinforced.
In addition to the freemium model, the company has also adopted the freemium pricing strategy, which combines “free” and “premium” pricing into one strategy. There are some Apple products that are free, but consumers have to pay in order to unlock better features within them. It is worth noting that the brand provides free 5-gigabyte iCloud storage as an example. There is, however, a recurring fee for customers who would like to have more storage capacity.
Top 8 Ways Apple Has Been Successful in Marketing
1. Apple keep its products and marketing simple
Apple adheres to the philosophy of simple is better when it comes to their products, they don’t overwhelm their potential customers with too many choices, options, or even parameters when it comes to their products. It is Apple’s philosophy to let its products speak for themselves and to keep its messaging and visuals as simple as possible. In reality, they know that their products will sell without having to rely on expensive and over the top advertising in order to sell them.
It is also evident from the logo of the company with a simple apple with a missing corner, to the fact that even their retail stores are designed to encourage customers to test out their products rather than simply buying them.
Despite having short names that are easy to remember, the products also have sleek and minimal designs with simple color schemes that are well appreciated by users. As a result, the company also reduces confusion by simplifying their web and sales copy because they use simple, direct words and they continually emphasize the benefits that consumers absolutely need, thus reducing confusion and reducing the possibility of errors. In a way, this is part of their brilliance in content marketing where they produce high tech products without using terms associated with high tech products.
Apple’s advertisements and marketing strategies don’t just convey specifications and features of their products, but rather how they will change your life and make it better by using that product.
2. Know your target audience and reach them with the right language
It has taken Apple a long time to find its target audience and then understand the audience’s likes, dislikes, habits, and the language that they want to use in order to reach them. It is by simplifying the marketing process in a way that the audience understands that an amazing bond will be formed between a prospective customer and the brand, and also a lasting connection between an existing customer and the brand. Apple does mention all of its specifications and technical details in its advertisements, but they are usually found under the When a customer visits a website, they have to scroll past the beautiful and aesthetically designed product images, as well as the large fonts and simple copy describing the benefits of the product. There is a tendency for Apple advertisements to show happy people having a great time with their iPads because of the simplicity of the device. There is no doubt that the constant display of positive emotion is the driving force behind sales. As far as they are concerned, they are not selling more storage, or more battery life, but much more than that.
The advertisement for Apple’s iMac product portrays this product as more than just a computer, as it helps make your computing experience exciting and pleasurable and the iPhone is more than just a phone; it lets you put all the power of an Apple computer in your pocket or purse.
3. Good Reviews
It has been a great accomplishment for Apple to be able to communicate with its customers and to get their feedback. In order to accomplish this, Apple offers free trial and sample products in exchange for feedback on the product or service. The company receives good reviews from its customers because their products are liked by their customers. Additionally, the company offers their customers coupons and some times even exclusive deals that entice the customers to buy the company’s products in the future.
4. A well appreciated customer experience
There is no doubt that Apple holds high regard for the customer experience. The customer experience can consist of every aspect, whether it’s comparing different versions of a product to each other, trying out new products in a retail store, buying the item, receiving it, unboxing it, and setting up the device. Designed according to the company’s requirements, all of the devices are revised and refined in order to appeal to the consumer’s needs.
For example, when it comes to the installation, one of the things apple fans really appreciate about their computers is that it is very easy to set them up, which is one of the things fans appreciate most about Apple products. It is for this reason that Apple spends a lot of money and thousands of hours in testing and refining their designs in order to make them better. Furthermore, the retail store is carefully designed with warm lighting, monochromatic colour schemes, and the layout of the store features all cater to the needs of the shopper.
5. They create mystery and hype around the product
Usually, when a company launches a new product in the market, the marketing team will unveil details and information about the new product at the launch event. As a result, it is important to tell customers everything about the product in order to get them excited and to build their anticipation for the product. As it turns out, Apple takes a new and unique approach when it comes to creating excitement around its new products by withholding information and creating a sense of anticipation by teasing us into finding out more.
The reason for this is that creating mystery around product launches is one of Apple’s most effective marketing techniques. There is a clever approach to this as it turns the target audience into loyal fans, as it makes them curious which encourages them to find out more information about the product and share everything they find with others.
6. Have a community of loyal users or customers
It is no secret that Apple has been working hard for more than ten years on building a community of loyal users, customers, and fans all over the world. There are several marketing strategies implemented by Apple to make customers want to belong to that community since it is considered to be “cool”. There is no doubt that Apple capitalized on the universality of that self-perception in its marketing strategy, so that its customers felt that Apple understood them and was on the same page with them.
In order to build a strong and engaged community of users, it is essential to begin getting clear on your company’s brand values and personality in order to be able to build a community of loyal users and customers. In addition, it’s extremely important to make sure that the marketing copy and content expresses and resembles these values and personalities as much as possible. You must make sure that the website is consistent with the words you have chosen to describe your brand, from the graphics to the fonts and from the colour scheme.
7. Consider the value of the products
Perceived value is so important from a company’s perspective for a number of reasons, including the fact that customers may be willing to pay a higher price if they believe that the brand is a high-quality one or a status symbol of excellence. There is a reason why Apple continues to have a competitive edge over its competitors, and that is because of this. It is important to note that despite Samsung selling more phones in the last few months of 2017, Apple still managed to capture 87% of all smartphone profits, which is a huge monopoly.
8. Substantial Product Placement
As part of apple marketing, this is also an integral part of the process. There is a relationship between the company and Hollywood. It was revealed in a federal court that Apple relies heavily on product placement in order to grow its business. It has been said that, according to Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of global marketing, “Apple’s employees work closely with Hollywood for the purpose of product placement so that their gadgets can be used in movies and television shows.”
As the costs are lower than the hardware itself, it is smart for the company to offer it for free since that reduces the amount of money that is spent on advertising television and film budgets while bringing the products into the spotlight in front of millions of people.
One of the secrets of Apple’s success is its consistent ability to market, promote and sell its products. The company has streamlined their marketing strategies with their production schedules. The four key aspects that make Apple marketing strategies so successful are simplicity, consistency, beauty and humanity.