Quality products and quality processes are said to be key factors differentiating market leaders from market followers. IMB is a market leader in IT products investing in new solutions and promotion campaigns. As a result, the key success factor for many firms is maximizing customer value. Rather than price, a strong brand image has become the dominant influence on customers’ perceptions of value. A strong brand image is one of the main competitive capabilities which help IMB to compete with other companies. Thus, a brand image is much more important to customers and managers than previously imagined. With rising consumer expectations and legal requirements for better quality, customers are loyal only as long as the firm provides the best value. For IBM managers, statistically-based value management processes provide the only systematic way to continuously improve relative value (and cost) positions and thus recapture market share. This fundamental shift in the basis of long-term competitive advantage suggests that the strategic management process itself needs to be reexamined (Crawford 2003).
To some extent, a strong brand image is created and supported by a first mover advantage of the company. IMB is a real market leader in software products proposing unique and state-of the art solutions to IT industry. Apple and other companies are just followers who copy, improve and adapt these ideas and solution to a certain market. Fundamentally, the firm’s single most important strategic obligation is to provide best net value to customers; it is so important that it constitutes every firm’s superordinate goal (IBM Home Page 2008).
Marketing begins before goods are produced and continues after the consumer has purchased them. Second, it emphasizes helping consumers to solve problems in ways that are compatible with the profit, volume, and image objectives of the firm. Third, it recognizes the management implications of adopting this view — for example, top-level responsibility for the marketing executive, reorganizing the marketing department, and integrating and coordinating marketing activities (Paley, 2006). The marketing philosophy is the natural reaction of management in attempting to meet the needs of a keenly competitive, constantly changing environment. It is designed to direct the entire business to serving those customer wants and needs that are in line with the objectives of the corporation. It reflects an integrated and coordinated approach to the management of marketing activity, and the development of total systems of business action that recognize the market as the focal point of business (Drejer, 2002).
Taking into account competitive capabilities, it is possible to say that IBM sells a full range of products including software and hardware. In contrast to IBM, other companies cannot propose full product line companied with high quality. The product-and-service mix is a significant force in corporate growth. Profit performance and market adjustment have as their fulcrum new product development. It is possible to say that IBM is a new products oriented company which helps it to contribute substantially to profitable sales. In spite of criticism, IBM produces new products at the right time (Drejer, 2002). The necessity of adding new products that will yield profits to sustain corporate growth is clear. New products also level out seasonal impacts, spread risks, use talents, capitalize on tax advantages, and replace obsolescent items. Business success depends on producing the right product at the right time. New-product development is risky, for market opportunity is couched in uncertainty and instability, and competition system and the unpredictability of customer reaction increases the risk. Product planning requires a careful estimation of costs, profits, and timing.
The latter factor is crucial; products developed too soon or too late will fail. Companies faced with high expenses and new-product risks may adopt different strategies from those that are not. For example, they may introduce a new product in one geographic area at a time rather than on a national basis (Drejer, 2002). This limits the risk. Mistakes are made and corrected on a local rather than national basis, and the funds generated from sales in one area can be used to finance expansion. One life-cycle audit for a company that believed it had an innovative reputation and image, and was profiting from the new products and the skills of its renowned designers. IBM competitors do not take into account the fact that products now seem to mature more rapidly, and their life cycles are getting shorter. This means that product lines will have to be audited more carefully and strategies directed to capitalize on the life-cycle situation. Firms too often only pay attention to current problems, neglecting life-cycle considerations and the impact of marketing strategies (IBM Home Page 2008; Hollensen, 2007).
In sum, IBM brand is associated with a first mover market position, innovative products and solutions and full range product lines. The product development function primarily influences the consumer’s need for performance, image, and price. In order to satisfy these needs, IBM works on the product design, package design, product concept, compatibility with other products and product cost. The goals are the specific, tangible, quantitative measures that are used to track progress toward the objective. Objectives and goals should be the same for both the business and organization strategies. For IBM, marketing is only am activity which help it to sustain a strong brand image, thus the company relies on competitive capabilities or a series of interrelated decisions on how the company is going to achieve competitive advantage.
Crawford C. Merle. 2003. New Products Management. Irwin-McGraw Hill. 7th edition,
Drejer, A. 2002, Strategic Management and Core Competencies: Theory and Application. Quorum Books.
Fill, C. 1999. Marketing Communication: Contexts, Contents, and Strategies 2 edn. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Hollensen, S. 2007, Global Marketing: A Decision-Oriented Approach. Financial Times/ Prentice Hall; 4 edition.
IBM Home Page. 2008. Web.
Paley, N. 2006. The Manager’s Guide to Competitive Marketing Strategies. Thorogood.