Globalization has posed a major challenge to organizations to manage international business. Technological advancement has pervaded every field and marketing of high-technology products has become a specialized activity. The global economy is driven by technological innovation as the scope of high-technology applications is no longer limited to computers. The high-tech industries are characterized by a high degree of uncertainty as far as the markets, technology and competition which makes the traditional marketing tools unsuitable for these products. Apple Inc. features among the top 50 companies in Business Week in 2006. This is an Independent Research paper (IRP) with the objective of evaluating the marketing strategy and the key success factors (KSF) adopted by Apple Inc. when they were virtually on the verge of closure.
Literature review of the existing marketing theories and principles was carried out and the framework for the IRP determined. This IRP is totally based on secondary data collected through academic journals and reputed websites through reputed search engines. The study concludes that the marketing strategy of Apple is based on several factors. They focus on continuous product enhancement and they anticipate and incorporate the customer needs of which even the customers may not be aware of. Over the years they have build a brand image and today they enjoy high brand equity on which they thrive. They have several channels to reach their products to their customers and have been able to build a community of Apple users. Long-range vision of the CEO contributes to its KSFs apart from the brand loyalty and the value they create for the customer. The key success factors of Apple include the long-range vision of the CEO, the brand loyalty, the value they create for the customer and the excellent customer experience they provide at their stores. The study concludes with recommendations for further research. Table of Contents 1. Introduction 1.1 Background 1 1.2 Rationale for research 2 1.3 Organization of the study 3 2. Literature Review 5 2.1 Marketing strategy 2.1.1 Introduction 5 2.1.2 Product positioning/branding 6 2.1.3 Niche marketing 7 2.1.4 Customer engagement behavior 8 2.2 Theoretical perspectives 2.2.1 Competitive strategy 9 2.2.2 Key Success factors (KSF) 9 2.3 Overview of the computer industry 10 2.4 Overview of Apple Inc 10 3. Research Methodology 12 3.1 Purpose of the research and phenomenon 12 3.2 Research Philosophy 12 3.3 Research Strategy – justification for the chosen method 13 3.4 Data collection 14 3.5 Data Analysis 14 3.6 Limitations of the study 14 4. Findings 4.1 Introduction 16 4.2 Apple’s strategy 4.2.1 Product differentiation strategy 16 4.2.2 Advertising strategy 16 4.2.3 Brand Value 17 4.2.4 Distribution channels 20 4.3 Apple’s KSFs 4.3.1 Apple customer experience 22 4.3.2 Long-range vision 22 4.3.3 Creating value for the customers 22 4.3.4 Technological paradigm 23 4.4 Strategies of competitors 23 5. Discussion on findings 27 5. Conclusion and Recommendation 5.1 Conclusion 31 5.2 Learning outcome 32 5.3 Recommendations 32 References 33 1. Introduction 1.1 Background Globalization has posed a major challenge to organizations to manage international business. This requires organizations to have skills, efforts and resources in terms of manpower, financial resources and the capability to handle issues that may arise during the course of international operations. Globalization has led to unlimited competition across nations, cultures and organizations (Faria & Guedes, 2005). Technological advancement has pervaded every field and marketing of high-technology products has become a specialized activity. These require an effective marketing strategy, an understanding of international management of business and knowledge of managing across different cultures. The global economy is driven by technological innovation as the scope of high-technology