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Apple's Product Development and Marketing Strategy

With the development of technology at broadband, particularly in neuro-scientific electronic products, some companies have launched brilliant products which can be full of imagination and creativity. These products are exercising an invisible and formative influence on society. Among the products, the group of products from Apple Inc. (previously Apple Computer, Inc. ) may be a few of the most noticeable ones. Apple Inc. , whose products have attracted people's attention worldwide and have occupied considerable market share in global range, is one of the most successful international company currently. Based on the statistics from NPD group, in the term of premium personal computer, Mac, which is the name of some Apple's PC, earnings market share was 91 percent on June 2009. (Wilcox 2009). This consequence can be related to two major reasons: Apple's product development and Apple's intensive marketing (Schumacher 2009). Within the meanwhile, Apple's success influences society in two aspects, namely fashion style and changing people's habits. This essay will expand the reasons mentioned previously to analysis why Apple have achieved huge success worldwide, and then illustrate the positive effects on society owing to Apple's products. Due to the success of Apple Inc. and its contribution to society, I would like to consider that Apple Inc. is one of the very most outstanding companies at the moment age.

Key Known reasons for Apple's Success

Admittedly, the reasons which may bring about Apple's success are various, nevertheless this essay mainly propose two most important reasons. Of major consideration is Apple's products, which is assuredly responsible for Apple's success. Specifically, there are four sub reasons, which can be constantly improving, ground breaking products (Kingsley-Hughes 2009); simple design and interface; high quality components; coherent hardware and software (Schumacher 2009), highly relevant to Apple's product development.

Apple's product development

First of most, Apple's product line encompasses a group of brilliant and distinctive products, such as Mac (Macintosh), iPod, iPhone and iPad; and in the mean time the designers of Apple Inc. are increasing and innovating on their product line constantly. Innovative spirit of Apple Inc. has been approved across the world. In 2005, Boston Consulting Group held a poll whose is named "Top 20 Innovative Companies in the World", and collected the statistical data from 940 senior executives in 68 countries. The consequence of this investigation revealed that Apple Inc. was appraised as the utmost innovative company on earth and accounted for 24. 84% of the entire vote (Nussbaum 2005). For example, iPod, among the representative product of Apple, premiered in 2001. Initially, though it attracted consumer attention, it only supported the Macintosh operation system, which meant that it could only be utilized on Macintosh computers and lost a great many other users who used windows operation system. Then, in 2002, Apple Inc. launched the second generation of iPod, which began to aid Windows OS. Because of this, iPod became more widely popular with both Macintosh and Windows users. 3 years later, a new generation of iPod, which can play not only sound files but also video files, premiered on 12th October 2005. Moreover, for users' convenience, the battery life was longer than before. In 2007, the hottest generation with larger capacity which can store up to 4000 songs or 100 movies, premiered. (Identifying iPod models 2010) Through the process of iPod's development, we can easily see that Apple Inc. is improving their products constantly and adding progressive elements on the products to provide distinctive and unique user experience.

The second element, which is known as to be relevant to Apple's products, is their simple design style and friendly user interface. To take a panoramic view of Apple's products, whether an iPod, an iPhone or an iPad, they retain the simple design consistently. There are only a few buttons and various parts embedded into Apple's products. The looks of these products is one whole little bit of technology and does not have any splicing traces to them. The simple user interface is a unique character, as well. For example, an iPhone have no different submenus or other ways to display the menu, it is simple for users to reach the function that they want to work with directly and avoid unnecessary confusion (Schumacher 2009).

Thirdly, high quality components could lead to the success of Apple's products. These products do not tend to integrate newest hardware and offer highest available capacities. In other words, Apple's products use suitable components to provide suitable functions, which ensure the products can run stably. For example, although there could be have only a 2 mega pixel camera built-into an iPhone and this camera cannot gratify any user to consider photos, the moment it is necessary for people to have a picture, the camera is ready and provides full scope to photography. (Schumacher 2009)

Finally, the cohesion of hardware and software brings the success of Apple's products. Apple Inc. not only targets developing the hardware but also developing the program, which enhances the performances of these products. For example, in order to boost iPod's performances and provide convenience to users, Apple Inc. developed the software named iTunes, which really is a software supporting a Mac or a PC. It arranges and plays audio and video files on a computer. Moreover, all media stored over a computer can be synchronized with an iPod, an iPhone and an iPad. For the time being, it is a digital store on a computer and other apple's products with a large level of music and movies (What's iTunes? n. d. ). Additionally, iTune is updated on Apple's website regularly, so that users may use newest version to improve their iPods.

In brief, Apple Inc. insists on increasing and innovating on the product line to build up brilliant products constantly. And these products offer friendly user interface and simple design style for users that can operate these products easily. Moreover, high quality components are built-into Apple's products to improve their performance. In addition, Apple's Inc. develops software to support their products in order to providing convenience to users. Therefore, Apple's product development is the basis of Apple's success.

Apple's s marketing

Assuredly, Apple's product development is a necessary premise to Apple's success. On the other side, Apple's intensive marketing plays an important role as well. Apple's marketing strategies can be summarized as two primary sides. The first is advertising; the other is the communication style.

Firstly, the success of Apple's market could be caused by Apple's advertising strategy. The slogans for Apple's products can be seen in almost every place, such just as the streets, at the bus stops and on the large screens of squares. With Apple's products, the slogans are creative and attractive, for instance, "The first music player that talks to you" (iPod shuffle n. d. ) and "Soon there will be 2 kinds of people. Those who use computers, and the ones who use Apples" (Alex 2006). Because of these dense and eye-catching advertising with memorable slogans, Apple's products are deeply rooted one of the people quickly and accepted by people.

Secondly, one of the very most brilliant points of Apple's marketing strategies is the communication style. Midgley and Midgley decribe an effective communication style as "Golden Circle" in the following words:

If a company aligns itself with the customer's values and regularly delivers its product or service relative to those values, then the customer will constantly make use of the company's offering. Consistent utilization of a company's offering will ensure a healthy top line. A wholesome top line, subsequently, produces healthy cash flow. (Midgley and Midgley 2005, 6)

Apple Inc. is performing this kind of communication described in Midgley and Midgley's book. Apple Inc. develops their products predicated on consumers' requirements and values, and then transmits its ideas and service to consumers in a variety of ways. For instance, in Apple's stores across the world there are lecturers propagating their products and describe why the products are consistent with consumers' requirements and values. Aside from the open lectures, Apple stores hold a series of events regularly to show the brilliant ideas integrated into Apple's products. Via the interaction between Apple Inc. and consumers, how Apple's products meet consumers' values is accepted by consumers in global scope.

There is a diagram about the golden circle theory, which illustrates the marketing strategies of Apple Inc. vividly. According to the description in the figure below, "Why", "How" and "What" means "Beliefs", "Tactics" and "Results", respectively (Gartland 2010). Initially, Apple Inc. establishes the beliefs to meet consumers' values, and then it realizes the beliefs via the development of its products. At last, Apple's products are world wildly accepted by consumers. Therefore, Apple Inc. communicates with users within an "inside-out" way which is a exceptional way and has achieved huge success around the world in marketing.

Figure1: the golden circle

Source: (Gartland 2010)

In sum, Apple's products infiltrate into people's daily life via dense advertising, and these products, which take advantage of the communication style of Apple Inc, are accepted by people. Hence, the marketing strategies of Apple Inc. are another key reason that brings about its success.

Effects on Society

The reasons mentioned previously have led to Apple's success. Two consequences may emerge, due to Apple's success, that happen to be fashion style and changing people's habits.

Fashion Style

With the increasing popularity with Apple's products, an iPod or an iPhone is not only an music player or a mobile phone but also a fashion symbol. Especially an iPod has become a synonym for an music player. Lavey described the effects of Apple's products on fashionable style as the words below:

After the iMac arrived, suddenly things weren't cool if the merchandise name didn't have a lower-case 'i' in it, and the word 'pod' following the iPod became popular. (Lavey 2009)

Thus, the names of Apple's products have grown to be fashionable words. Moreover, the exquisite and simple design style in addition has become the world trends being pursued by people.

Changing People's Habits

Another effect brought by Apple's products is the change of people's habits. The Nike/iPod Sport Kit (Nike + iPod n. d. ) is an average example. It can track individual exercise performance of jogging and verbally report their results as soon as users have progress. In order that users can supervise their pace and distance circumstantially. While people usually use a stop watch record the total time they may have run and then roughly calculate their average speed before using the Nike/iPod Sport Kit. Following this further, people used to prefer jogging with partners in order to motivating one another; however, it is not easy to find a partner who runs at the similar pace and duration (Shannon, Florian 2007). To be able to resolve this problem, a piece of research was conducted in 2006 and showed that technology is helpful to motivate visitors to be active and invite for social communication (Consolvo et al. 2006). The Nike/iPod Sport Kit has realized the research theory due to interaction between users and it. Therefore, based on the example mentioned above, we can see that Apple's products have changed people's habits in a few aspects.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Apple's product development and its considerable marketing have resulted in the success of Apple Inc. As a premise factor of the success, Apple Inc. persists in developing innovative products with friendly user interface and simple design style. Moreover, high quality components integrated into Apple's products ensure the stable performance. Furthermore, coherent software and hardware of the products provide more convenience to users. Besides brilliant products, the marketing strategies of Apple Inc. are amazing as well. people's daily life is infiltrated by Intensive advertising of Apple Inc. and then its communication style is also approved by consumers in global range. Due to the success, Apple Inc. have guided a new fashion style and changed people's habits in some fields. Therefore, it is evidently reasonable to consider that Apple Inc. is one of all outstanding companies on the globe currently.

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