Apple Inc. is a multinational organization that develops and designs iPhones, iPads, MacBook Air, Pro, and iPods. The company’s devotion to high-end innovation has contributed significantly to changing the way people communicate today. Since the company first released its first version of the MacBook Pro, it has made massive advancements to this machine, waiting for people to queue to pay over $1000 to get the latest technology within this laptop. With back-to-back comebacks, Apple Inc. has become the trendsetter in the technology industry, and it has been able to leverage the organizational brand due to the substantial number of positive messages they get from the customers. The paper aims to analyze Apple’s competitive analysis of the marketing mix and competitive advantage that the company enjoys as a market leader.
Porter’s five forces illustrate competitive analysis for Apple. The first competitive force is the existing rivalry in the market where Apple Inc. experiences fierce competition from rivals such as Samsung and LG. The forces influencing Apple include the high aggressiveness of the corresponding organizations, which is strong in innovation, imitation, and aggressive advertising. There is also low differentiation of the tech gadgets, which is also strong, and the market has low switching cost due to the availability of a broad range of commodities that customers can choose from. Another force is the bargaining power of the buyers in the market, which is strong, thus affecting Apple’s operations. For Apple’s market, the buyers have a strong bargaining power due to the low switching costs in the market. The users also have access to a lot of information. Therefore, they can compare product features and capabilities between one brand to the other. Therefore, the company must implement strategies to ensure that the customers are satisfied and thus will remain loyal.
The third force affecting Apple’s performance in the market is the bargaining power of suppliers, which is weak for Apple as the company has a broad network of suppliers to provide them with the materials the company needs for operations. The global size of the supply chain provides immense strength to Apple to select and access the suppliers they need to acquire the right materials. Therefore, this represents low bargaining power in imposing demands for high pay for supplying the products. The fourth force is the underlying threat of substitutes, and it is currently weak, thus affecting Apple Inc.’s computing technology, online service business, and consumer electronics. The weak threats of substitutes are attributed to moderate availability of substitutes, mediocre performance of the substitutes that fail to match the superiority provided by Apple’s products, and buyers have a low propensity to substitute the existing products. For instance, electronic customers have a higher principle to purchase and use smartphones than undergoing the hassle of purchasing and maintaining digital cameras and other devices. The last force is new entrants, which includes new companies attempting to access Apple’s market share and offer them to customers (Proszowska n.d). Currently, the threats of new entrants are moderate due to the weak capital requirements required for the company to join the markets. There are also excessive costs required for brand development, making it difficult to adopt excellent innovative strategies to prevent the company from the excessive competition by strong companies like Apple Inc. these factors tend the ability of the new entrant to enter the market as most probably they will end up losing. As a result, Porter’s five forces analysis illustrate that Apple must outdo themselves in the market by unlocking their expansive innovation capacity to maintain their competitive advantage through aggressive marketing to remain strong against new entrants.
A product includes anything that a company offers intending to satisfy the needs and wants of its consumers. Most of the time, products are usually tangible. Apple Inc. deals in selling computer software, PC and accessories, enabling customers to synchronize information to smart televisions. Employing product mix, on the other hand, refers to the aggregate number of product lines. Inside these consumer lines, Apple Inc. takes advantage of the company’s products to their customers. Apple’s products to their customers include iPad, MacBook, iMac, iPhone, and iPod, which plays an excellent role in providing consumers with excellent performance that improves consumer loyalty. The product we will be marketing for this time is the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which has a unique touch sensor that enables the company to run efficiently and profitably. This particular product has been rebranded by Apple Inc., which further strengthened the company’s bond over the past years. Apple is in the frontline of the industry, grabbing the title of the best technology innovator in the world. From the perspective that the 13-Inch MacBook Pro is one of the best products produced by Apple, this has made it possible to reach international markets. The services offered by Apple are among the strategies employed to provide additional support to enhance customer satisfaction (Więcek-Janka et al., 2017). The packaging of the MacBook Pro is excellent because it plays a significant role in protecting the delicate product from damage, provides a lot of information regarding the product, and provides the user with a manual guide that they can rely on when learning how to use the products. Additionally, the product packaging is important as it promotes the product brand and captures the attention of interested customers in the market who are yet to purchase the products.
The company’s headquarters are situated in Cupertino, California, United States, and have more than 394 retail stores that play the role of designing, developing, and selling user electronics. Apple is equipped with numerous distribution channels to distribute their products and ensure that the consumer can reach the products wherever they are. Even with new markets, Apple can easily reach new customers in its psychographic and demographic segments to ensure that they provide them with the satisfaction they are seeking by providing them with new offerings through online platforms that allow interaction with other users who have purchased related products before. Upon purchasing a product, the company can assess the product before the customer leaves the store, which provides them with an opportunity to customize their products to meet their tastes and preferences (Almeida et al., 2021). The customers can choose to select a device that will work to fulfill their needs depending on their budget because the product comes in assorted designs of 512 GB, 256 Gb, and 128 GB, and therefore they can select depending on their capital. Upon selecting an Apple store, the users will be provided with an opportunity to research the product in their leisure time and even fill the address the company will employ to deliver the product. This ensures that the customer will be 100% sure that they are purchasing the right product that will meet their needs and the one they want. When purchasing the MacBook Pro, the consumer also has another alternative to purchasing the product at the service provider outlet, including T-Mobile, Verizon, AT and T, and other authorized telecommunication companies (Nagamia, 2015). The company controls the amount of inventory received by each distribution channel and stagers, which causes the customer to preorder the products before they are initially launched in the market. The distribution channel remains active 24/7 to ensure that the 13-inch MacBook Pro will remain available to the customers for as long as they need it. The high availability of the MacBook Pro in the market has placed it in a better position for generating larger sales volume thus high margins.
The main goal of Apple is to ensure that they will deliver the right product to the right individuals and in acceptable quantities at the right place and time. The main decisions that influence the price of Apple’s products include warehousing, shipping, and selling outlets expenses. These decisions imply that they play a significant role in building or destroying the image of the brand and customer satisfaction in a certain product. Since Apple Inc. targets the high-end market niche, they charge premium prices for MacBook pro because this segment cares less about looking at the specifications or the price of the product. All they are looking forward to is determining if the laptop will meet their exclusive lifestyle and make their work easier. As a result, MacBook pro customers are always rushing to acquire the recent release and willing to pay anything. A customer intending to purchase a MacBook pro can get it for $1499 to $1899 depending on factors such as the level of sophistication within the product design, enabling them to be associated with a certain class and enjoy the product from every perspective (Tien, 2019). The company also provides customers with numerous opportunities to acquire the laptop, such as selling it at a discounted price which always works for the eager market share, thus increasing sales volume and broadening their market base.
Apple Inc. is one of the technology companies that have shown consistent efforts in promoting their products. They use aggressive advertising strategies starting from their online platforms as a way of communicating with the customers. The company extends its market promotion efforts from its point of sale to the rest of the world (Tien, 2019). Apple also uses the point-of-sale display where the features of the laptop are displayed all over the stores. These have played a significant role in raising awareness of this machine and developed beneficial interaction with customers enabling them to analyze their expectations and align them accordingly.
The first competitive advantage is brand strength. In 2017, Apple was the leading brand, ahead of other big brands such as IBM, Google, and Coca-Cola. This rank was published by brand consultancy business Interbrand which occurs annually. Companies such as Apple are given great visibility in the marketplace using brand strength which helps build customer loyalty. The company has extraordinarily strong branding great interrelations between its goods; customers who purchase one product of Apple try to purchase another because customers are encouraged after buying any product. Some products share the same software, such as Macs, iPhone, and iPad. These products even operate the same way; this makes Apple a natural choice, especially when clients want to consider another brand.
The second competitive advantage is innovative products. Apple is one of the companies with a long-established reputation for commitment and innovation to emerging latest products. The firm established the graphical user interface, evaluated it in its computers, and recently pioneered that iPad music player and announced excellent performance for all smartphones. The firm’s main competitive advantage is developing innovative goods that can share operating systems, applications, and software. This reduces the timescale, risks, and cost of goods development. This helps the company introduce a stream of the latest products and remain in the front line of its competitors. The innovative strategy introduced by Apple of developing products that compliment all the others helps strengthen client’s loyalty and help build blockade to competition, according to the website innovation excellence.
The third competitive advantage has a strong united supply chain. Apple is offered a strong competitive advantage by the ecosystem of suppliers, business partners, and developers. The company has more than six million independent software designers generating applications for all Apple commodities. This gives Apple access and control of the whole product development, marketing, and manufacturing, an advantage that is difficult to match, especially from their competitors. The final competitive advantage is the premium pricing strategy. The company sets all the premium prices and minimizes discounts to wholesalers to maintain constant prices. The firm aims to offer high-quality products to its loyal customers with distinctive features and uses soaring prices to strengthen the perception of added value and preserve profitability.
As a concluding remark, focusing on marketing the MacBook Pro is a viable opportunity to share its innovative side with high-end consumers. Supported by the competitive advantage that the company is already enjoying in the market, the MacBook Pro can perform well both today and in the future.
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Nagamia, N. K. A. (2015). Apple Inc-A Marketing Analysis Case Study. MacEwan University Student eJournal, 2(1).
Proszowska, A. The impact of the cultural model of the young purchaser on the employment of the internet in the buying process–a case study of the Spanish market.
Tien, N. H. (2019). International distribution policy comparative analysis between Samsung and apple. International journal of research in marketing management and sales, 2020(1), 2.
Więcek-Janka, E., Papierz, M., Kornecka, M., & Nitka, M. (2017). Apple products: A discussion of the product life cycle. In 4th International conference on management science and innovation (Vol. 31, pp. 159-164).
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