Apple Inc Product Portfolio Analysis

Problem Identification

Apple faces stiff competition from existing and emerging competitors. In addition, the company has been recognized as the success of the founder Steve Jobs. The perception of the consumers has made the company decline in performance after Jobs relinquished the leadership due to personal health and eventual demise. The company requires devising new strategies to deal with the consumer perception of Jobs innovativeness by investing in the research and development to compete effectively.

Strong control of suppliers

Many suppliers express hindrances in working the company due to the company’s clear enforcement of Job’s vision for the products. The company policy is very controlling. Keeping good supplier relationships and maintaining sufficient control to provide the high quality of products expected of the company is an equilibrium that the company requires maintaining to remain ahead of the competition.

Situation Analysis

Apple Inc. engages in the design, development and selling of personal computers, media devices, and portable digital music players. The company utilizes integrated model, both vertical and horizontal to build non-replicable and viable competitive advantage. However, shifts in market growth represented by emerging markets influence the price positioning of the company’s competitiveness.

The business environment has changed significantly with Apple contributing significantly to the same. The company managed to create a new business model with specific significance to businesses with a stake in music related products and services. The new model entails legitimate products and services that satisfy consumer demand for digital music in an online environment. Remarkably, the new model emerged from controversial activities of the innovator Napster and recently Kazaa.

Apple entered the new model through the introduction of legal downloads via iTunes Music Store. The company offers its customers ways to connect with artists and friends through its social network for music, Ping. While other companies failed to offer customers with compatible products with those they provided, Apple’s iTunes is compatible with any PC, iPhones, iPods and iPads.

Some of the major threats that the company faces are the possibility of disruption of the supply chain due to natural disasters, stiff competition and consumer perception of Jobs as the face of the company (Purdy, 2009).

Marketing strategies

Since the establishment of Apple, the company continuously applied integration horizontally and vertically. The company has strong presence traversing major media devices of computing and phone communications. It offers PCs, tablets, smartphones and associated devices. The assortment allows the company to offer a wide range of associated products and devices. The company manufactures hardware and software, content, services as well as retailing the products creating vertical integration.

The various devices deliver horizontal integration. The operating system developed with Steve Job’s innovative ideas spans across numerous devices and comprises content and application. The iPod is among the products that the company has strategically marketed. The company used the strong brand name to market the iPod resulting in extraordinary levels of customer loyalty.

The company presented the iPod as a unique product which helped in generating reputation for functionality, design and innovation. The name iPod itself was a clever marketing strategy that reflected the contemporary trend of combining names. The ‘i’ stands for internet and ‘Pod’ for portable open database (Mallin, 2011).

Devoted customer base

Prior to return in the position of chief executive officer by Job’s, things were relatively simple. Thoughtful transaction consumers were dissimilar to non-serious consumer equivalents. Male customers purchased technology merchandises. Females purchased ‘fashion’. Younger customers had disposable money to waste while mature individuals guardedly invested the little they saved.

Marketing Strategies

While a company may have the greatest product in the world, the marketing of the same must be strategic for commercial success. Apple is famous for its innovative approach to the development of a wide range of products and services. However, the company’s approach to marketing is the final, significant ingredient for its success.

The company’s marketing strategy is a comprehensive process that entails a wide range of activities intended at identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer needs. There are multiple outstanding aspects employed by Apple in its marketing campaigns for its most prominent products and services. The marketing of the iPod and the allied services including the iTunes library is among the outstanding activities that the company undertaken (Chapman, Hoskinsson & Christian, 2011).

Strong focus on Innovation

Apple is perhaps among the most innovative technology company to surface in the last three decades. The company takes credit for presenting to the technology market products such as Macintosh computers and laptops, iPod and iTunes and the iPhone. The success of the company is traceable back to a single individual, Jobs.

Identification of Alternatives

The success of Apple has been attributed to the personal commitment of Jobs. He passed on the management style to successive managers. However, after Job left the company due to personal health, the company recorded considerable decline in sales and innovation. The management should realize that anchoring the success of the company on an individual is detrimental. The company should have a strategy that anchors the success of the company on the contribution of different professionals.

Analysis of alternatives

It is evident that the company should be more concerned on implementing new business models where innovation, pricing and promotion are the foundation of success. Inherently, Jobs was viewed as Apple and vice versa. He was the face of the company.

The company should work towards remodeling the consumer perception where the customers will view the company in terms of brand as opposed to an individual. The management ought to invest more in research and development. The move will allow the company to have a product for introducing into the market to remain ahead of the competition through market disruption.

The continuous development of the iPod should form an essential part of the product development process. To date, the iPod appears to have avoided the typical product life cycle.

The company should continue to modify the iPod and other products to enhance the capacity for digital photos, movies, communication, sharing and interaction. Additionally, the company’s allied products including speakers, transmitters and iTunes online music library should form part of the development process to enable the company to be at par with market demands.

Recommendations

The company should implement promotion as part of the marketing mix. The products the company offers are mostly personal. Consequently, the Apple exclusive and authorized retailers should implement personal selling. It should also use the wide range of available media to advertise the products and services especially the internet.

Implementation

The company should find it relatively easy to implement the new strategies considering its financial endowment. The company will retain the existing customers while attracting prospective customers. Consequently, the company will have a wide customer base loyal to the brand as opposed to viewing the CEO as the face of the company. The use of the little white headphones and a cord advertisement as developed under Chiat Day should be extended to all other products to develop a recognizable brand (Baskin, 2014).

References

Baskin, J. (2014). How apple ruined branding. Entrepreneur, 1(1), 46-47.

Chapman, R., Hoskinsson, R., & Christian, G. (2011). Apple Inc.: Keeping the “i” in ‘innovation’. Arizona: Arizona State University.

Mallin, M. (2011). Apple Inc.: Product portfolio analysis. Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies, 17(7), 63-74.

Purdy, J. (2009). 2010 outlook and forecast: Mobile and wireless communications. Web.