It is easy to wonder why Apple Inc. has managed to become so successful yet it is not the first organization to invent a personal computer, the tablet, a portable music device, music download software, a set-top box or the smartphone. Apple has managed to amass a brand loyal following that cannot be compared to any other brand. This is backed by a significant market share, sales and profitability. So, what is their secret? How has it managed to maintain its huge success?
Apple has always been successful in implementing its marketing strategies because it utilizes insight on consumer behavior. Initially, Apple did not conduct consumer research when it developed most of its products but it later realized that consumer behavior has an important role in marketing as well as the company’s overall success. Once the consumer buys the product or downloads the Apple iTunes, he/she has full access to the company’s data; this data is used as leverage to acquire important insight into a consumer and the element that drives purchase behavior.
For instance, Apple changed the brand logo in 1998 so that it could be sleeker and have a more modern monochromatic color; this was aligned with a direction that the late Steve Jobs had for Apple to mark his 1997 return. This new logo upgraded the brand position effectively because the consumer saw it as a mark of a new century. Retaining the apple’s shape and modifying its color to chrome created an effective response from the consumers.
The modified Apple logo
Later, Duke University carried out a study in 2008 and it reported that Apple’s monochromatic logo influenced individuals to become more creative and it stimulated individuals’ brains once they got exposed to the logo. Apple Inc. so far has done an incredible job of leveraging its brand assets like the logo, its products, as well as brand messages broadcasted on all the communication channels. In addition, Apple has done a successful job of creating context for its products by focusing on developing a simple design that is eye-catching and easy to use for complex technologies. This has resulted in immense advantages for the consumer.
Apple has a detailed understanding of its customers and this has enabled the company to examine consumer behavior closely. This has assisted it in tailoring its products and the brand messages resonate with its target audience leading to development of products that are better and simpler to use. Consumer behavior is the consumers’ physical actions that can be observed directly and measured by others. Apple has shown that it understands, analyzes and influences consumer behavior and this has led to ultimate profits and sales.
Apple has formed a vertically-integrated ecosystem through its hardware devices that are supported by its software devices like iTunes which is bought through Apple online retailers. The company also has a small number of retailers that sell its products and services. In order to gather information on consumer behavior, Apple uses online, retail sale points and iTunes. Apple branded stores also creates a one of a kind customer experience. Moreover, Apple store has formed interoperability between the hardware devices to showcase some capabilities like software, music, video and so on.
Apple’s process of communication has helped them gain the trust and confidence of the consumers. This has also inspired consumers to purchase its products and services. Due to utilizing information on consumer behavior, Apple has managed to make the consumers feel confident about purchasing their quality products (iTunes software, Mac, iPad, or iPhone). It is right to say that Apple’s positive service and product experiences are significant in the brand’s establishment in a consumer’s mind.
By: Kishore Deevi (215215639)