Marketing Mix of Apple: Product, Place, price and Promotion
Apple is a renowned technology brand recognised globally for technological innovation and great leadership of Steve Jobs. It was also the first brand to reach a market value of more than $700 billion (now first past $1 Trillion). The brand leads the list of world’s most valuable brands followed sharply by the other tech giants like Google, Microsoft, facebook and Amazon.
While the market for PCs has declined considerably in the recent years, Apple’s business has still soared. It was because apart from Macbook Pro, the sales of i-phones has also grown. Traditionally, the technology giant has dealt in a limited range of products. However, in the recent years it has expanded its array of products by adding new categories of hardware and software. It is planning further diversification into new areas. Apple has managed a system of intercompatible products. These products are not compatible with other brands. It has released hardware and software that are compatible with its own products only. Here is an analysis of Apple’s marketing mix explaining the four P’s .
Apple’s product mix has widened a lot in the recent years to include new products like Apple watches, Apple TV and several new apps. Here is a list of the products:
- Apple watch
- Macbook Pro
- Mac Mini
- Mac Pro
- Swift Playgrounds
- Apple TV
- Ipod Nano
- Ipod shuffle
- Ipod touch
- Apple Music
- Apple pay
In this way, the product range of Apple has grown quite large with several new products including great software being added recently to the portfolio. The technology giant has plans to further grow its product line by entering new areas like solar energy. While the sales of Apple laptops and PCs has declined in the last few years, Iphone has been very popular. Its new software are mainly meant to complement the capabilities of its existing products and hardware.
Icloud provides a set of free cloud services for the existing Apple customers. These services work seamlessly with the Iphone, Ipad, Ipod, Mac and PC. Users can automatically and wirelessly upload their content in Icloud and then use it from all their devices. With so many devices and software Apple’s product mix has grown quite large and attractive. Apple is trying to further enrich its product portfolio. Its four software platforms — iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS — provide seamless experiences across all Apple devices. They empower people with breakthrough services that include the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud. Recently, Apple announced the complete acquisition of Shazam which is the world’s most popular and highly rated music app that hundreds of millions around the world like to use. This app will remain available adfree to the Apple users. In this way, Apple is continuously working to create a fuller, safer and highly engaging experience for its users.
The distribution channels of APPLE are also diverse. From its own retail stores to online and offline channels it uses several channels for the distribution of its products. Apple’s products can be found both online and offline. People can shop for Apple products on its own site. Build an account, sign in and shop at apple.com. Apart from its own site, Apple products are also available at the other retail sites like ebay, Amazon and other local e-retailers in the local markets. Apple uses distributors globally for the sales of its products. These distributors are also known as corporate resellers. After that there are the local retailers who also sell Apple products in their stores.
Apple uses the following distribution channels:
- Apple website
- Online retail from sites like ebay, Amazon and other small and big e-retailers.
- Corporate resellers
- Apple stores
- Local electronics retail stores
Apple has created the image of a premium brand. Low cost products have never been a part of Apple’s portfolio. It follows a premium pricing strategy that is meant to create an impression of valuable high end technology. Its products are technologically innovative and meant to cater to the needs of the high end consumers. From its Pads to Macbooks, all wear a premium pricing tag.
Apple has never believed in pricing its products low since it can dilute the image it has created. Despite the slowing down sales of its PCs and laptops, it did not feel inclined to change its pricing strategy. Its products are unique in terms of design, technology and aesthetic beauty. However, they are also priced in a way that reflects the brand’s uniqueness and focus on technology. Apple’s pricing strategy reflects the significant investment that goes into the making of each product including R&d, technology, raw materials and labor. Moreover, Apple has never made common products. the uniqueness and quality as well as popularity of its products gives it the pricing power it holds.
Apple’s marketing strategy is also just as smart as its product line. It makes use of both conventional and unconventional techniques to promote its product. First of Apple products are so sought after in the market that each one of them becomes news even before it has been released. Word of mouth marketing has always worked in the favor of Apple and it has always generated a lot of publicity about each and every product it has released. Apple products are promoted from its website and also from other online channels including social media. Apart from that Apple as also used television and print media to market its products smartly. Its ads are meant to highlight the differentiating features of its products and their uniqueness. Media releases at the time of the launch of a new product are also a smart way of promotion that Apple utilizes in an effective manner. A lot depends on how value is communicated to the consumers and Apple does it in a real smart manner. Apart from that there are thousands of review and marketing websites which review, discuss and promote the Apple products. Apple is trying to penetrate the Asian markets deeper. So, it has also increased its investment on the marketing of its products in the emerging markets.
Apple has always been recognized as a premium brand which delivers premium value to its customers. Its products are unique in design and technological capability. However, during the recent years if its sales have declined then it is a result of increased competition, its products high prices, their incompatibility with other brands and also the changing trends. Still, Apple has smartly introduced new products and is trying to diversify into new areas. While Google has challenged its position of most valuable brand, competition from other brands is also growing intense. Apple is a mighty brand but then the control is in the hands of the customers and Apple would need to be even smarter with its strategy to retain its number one position. However, its competitive edge cannot be disregarded. Its innovative capability is still the reason that it is the mightiest of all the technology brands.
Apple Annual Report