A company in meeting the objectives of the marketing strategies is not restricted to realization of the promotion phase but rather also includes the provision of the finished products to the customers. As illustrated by researchers for instance Davis & Brush (1997), the most basic goal of marketing is to meet the needs of the consumer and this can be done by ensuring that the product is delivered within the right place and at the right time.
Apple is major brand in the market offering optimal and high priced goods for its customers. One special and unique element of Apple’s product is that once you purchase it, you not only enjoy the status attached to the product but also enjoy optimal products and services.
One particular Apple product which has caught my attention is the Apple watch which was launched into the Australian market. It is sleek, unique and has high quality. If you have not bought one, I employ you to do it before they are finished in the few retail stores and Apple shops distributing the watch. This has been a common element of the Apple product whereby for instance when Apple introduces iPhone’s in the market, they are bought immediately and the demand is higher than the supply at least in the beginning. This strategy portrays the image of a high quality product, premium in pricing and only available to the few in the market.
Like all its other aspects of the marketing mix, Apple also considers an effective distribution strategy for its products. Apple opened its distribution for its smart watch through the use of limited channel of third party retailers.
The distribution channel targeted six stores for both Apple Watch and Sport models while the high end Apple Watch Edition were exclusively sold in Apple stores and online purchasing.
As illustrated by Constantinides (2002), the major aim is to ensure that the customers are able to acquire and purchase the good easily for instance having acquiring them in a store near them. Apple provided its watch products to third party retailers where the customers can easily purchase it.
Apple store and online store
What is a distribution channel?
A distribution channel includes a group of dependent organizational units which are part of the process whereby the products or services flow from the producer to the buyers.
The strategy by Apple to distributes products through various retailers and stores particular not their own stores but rather third party stores. The distribution channel is a very important element in the marketing strategy which at times is not given much focus with a lot of focus given to the pricing and promotional element of the marketing strategy at the expense of the element of place.
Thus companies such as Apple after producing, adverting and setting prices among the products they develop, need to develop a distribution and logistics strategy whereby they develop a channel where the product they have marketed get to the final consumers. This can be done through a number of strategies which include the use of third parties and the direct marketing approach.
Is the Apple Watch like any other?
Apple developed Apple watches which they have segmented into different groups, they then decided to develop a distribution strategy for the product to get to the final consumer. The company then choose to utilize both direct distribution through their Apple stores and through third party stores and retailers. The use of both strategies is a unique and fast way of meeting their marketing strategy as the channels enables them to increase their consumer base.
Fove reports that one of the strategies utilized by Apple is the Apple stores and generally does not require a complex system as the stores are owned by the company and as such the locus of control is high.
Apple watches in display
However, on the other hand, the use of third party retailers and stores requires more complex systems. This includes first choosing and selecting the retailers or stores which can distribute the products for the company while maintaining the standards that Apple holds. As such there is need for an analysis and evaluation of the stores to place the products after which the products can be distributed to the final consumers.
In conclusion, like promotion, product, and pricing, place element of the marketing mix should not be ignored or downplayed but rather adequate focus should be given in order to ensure that the product to the final consumer.
Foye, B., (August 10, 2015), Apple reveals Watch reseller strategy for Australia, http://www.crn.com.au/News/407695,apple-watch-coming-to-retailers.aspx
Constantinides, E. (2002). The 4S Web-Marketing Mix Model. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 1(1), 57-76.
Davis W. & Brush, K. E. (1997). High-Tech Industry Marketing: The Elements of a Sophisticated Global Strategy. Industrial Marketing Management, 26(1), 1-13.