As one of the world’s largest and most profitable technology firms, Apple boasts a vast global customer base, innovative products and a strong brand image. However, as good and innovative as its portable music players, computers and smartphones may be, experts agree that Apple’s amazing sales and revenues mainly derive from a carefully-planned marketing strategy that has strengthened the Apple brand, associating it with quality, creativity, design, elegance and simplicity.In other words, Apple represents a kind of lifestyle to which many aspire and those who own an Apple product feel part of an exclusive global community. That is because items such as iPods, iPads, Macintosh computers, and iWatches have been promoted and marketed in such a way to present them as status symbols and convey the company’s values through each one of them.
As Schneiders (2011, p.19) pointed out, during the past decade Apple has replaced its traditional approach to marketing with a cult marketing strategy aimed at launching a global movement that would allow the company to achieve long-term, sustainable growth all over the world. Analyzing the company’s strategy through the Marketing Mix, she concluded that Apple justifies its high prices by offering elegant and beautiful products with excellent, advanced and user-friendly features that its competitors haven’t been able to match so far (Schneiders, 2011, pp.34-50).
Furthermore, by targeting specific market segments (e.g. teachers, creative professionals, photographers, students and executives), Apple has strengthened its position within the education, corporate and creative sectors, thus encouraging its existing customers to keep buying its products in order to benefit from their integration capabilities – as integrating the company’s operating system with Windows and Android is not an easy task.
As far as sales are concerned, the company’s financial statements suggest that its sales rose from $156 billion in 2012 to over $182 billion in 2014, which clearly suggests that despite Samsung’s growing market share and the ever-growing of much cheaper alternatives to Apple’s expensive products, its marketing strategy has proved effective and suitable for today’s complex global market (Yahoo Finance, 2015).
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