Marketing is an important tool because it helps in boosting up the sales of the brand. It also helps to create the brand image in the minds of the consumers. In case of Apple marketing holds a very great importance because it has not only helped in creating the strong brand image of Apple but has contributed immensely to bridge the gap between the customers and the products offered by Apple. Apple has strong marketing practices but it is true that there are some problems associated as well. The first problem is related to the high innovation rate at Apple. Customers expect innovative products from Apple. But the problem that lies in is that the ads made by Apple usually do not provide the relevant information about the new innovations that have taken place. The ads project the product but do not project its essence and history or information. Customers know that the company is providing with fancy and expensive products and are lost in the charm of owning such products. Most of the customers are least concerned about what the product is all about. But there are customers who want to know each and every detail of the product. So this poses a challenge for Apple to come up with a marketing strategy which could satisfy both type of the consumers. It causes a problem because Apple cannot afford to lose any one segment just because of the risky marketing. Another marketing-related problem faced by Apple is again regarding the new products. Customers expect that every marketing campaign will focus on a new product because rate of innovation at Apple is high. For Apple it is very difficult to keep up with the customers’ expectation and come up with innovative products and marketing campaigns at the same time. Failing to do so can tarnish the image of the brand. The third marketing related problem faced by Apple is its undefined target market. As mentioned before, Apple first innovates and then focuses on the target market for its products. In order to so it uses its marketing practices. An inefficient marketing campaign results in a failure and creates a huge problem for the company. Marketing is not a cheap game. It requires lot of resources. Its ads need to target the desired market segment. Marketing practices at Apple are not just related to ads and online advertising. It also includes opening up of retail stores in different parts of the world. Managing this practice is in itself a problem. Apple is critical of its marketing practice because it is afraid that what if the marketed product does not meet the customers’ expectations. This means that the marketing showed a totally different side of the product but in actual the product was different. Apple’s marketing practices creates hype for its products and at times it causes a problem for the company. An example that can be quoted here is of the iPhone. When it was launched, it was heavily promoted, resulting in long customer lines and a spot shortage. iPhone was initially very expensive but after the first 8 weeks of its launch, the company decreased the price of iPhone by $200. Loyal customers of Apple were caught short and this damaged the customer loyalty. In order to regain its customers Apple had to apologize publically (HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL 2007) The last and the most important marketing related problem faced by Apple is that of comparative advertising. Apple operates in a highly competitive industry. Since the very beginning Microsoft has been the largest competitor
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