The Marketing Strategies of Apple, Inc. Market segmentation strategy involves dividing the market into groups, where individuals have similar needs and wants for services and products. It could also be a segmentation of people on the basis of behavior, culture and economic status. To get a clearer picture of what is market segmentation, one can always look into the definition provided by business dictionary. com, market segmentation is defined as, "Process of defining and sub-dividing a large homogenous market into clearly identifiable segments having similar needs, wants, or demand characteristics" (Meadows, 2008). Companies need to segment their market for different reasons. Before one market's products or services, one needs to understand their customers, and find ways and means to satisfy their wants. This is imperative to stay ahead of the competition and build the brand. This is done through extensive market research. Although it is not possible to satisfy individual needs and even to understand all of them, a clearly defined market segmentation strategy will help create a market to cater to groups of individuals that will make economic sense to mass produce and distribute. The concept of target market segmentation strategy also falls under the blanket of market segmentation, except the former recognizes and understands the diversity of customers and provides them with products and services that suit their specific requirements (McDaniels & Kolari, 2008). A successful market strategy strives to understand different segments and its different needs; works on the exhibited common wants and responds immediately. Apple has historically been troubled by big-box sales staffers, who are ill-informed about its products, a problem that made it difficult for Apple to set its very different products apart from the rest of the computing crowd. By creating a store strictly devoted to Apple products, the company has not only eliminated this problem but has made an excellent customer-loyalty move. Apple stores are a friendly place where Mac and PC users alike are encouraged to play with and explore the technology that the company offers. This is a space where Macheads can not only get service but also hang out with others who enjoy Apple products just as much as they do. By creating this space, Apple encourages current and new customers to get excited about what it has to offer. Apple carefully considers what consumers are looking for, so its products are a result of both extensive research and strong design (Piddshetti, 2007). This meticulous planning is a large contributor to Apple's high customer-satisfaction rates. It's plain and simple: Robust and easy-to-use products not only make customers happy, but also makes them want to buy more products from Apple in the future. Apple Inc. , led by Steve Jobs virtually rewrote the book of strategy as well as the history of consumer electronics, with its pioneering “i products”: the iPod and iPhone (Peckham, 2010). These products are differentiated with features that multiple niche market segments would appreciate and pay for but are also cost-competitive helping most people become the users of the products. The niches that each of the products occupies, therefore, cover almost the entire market place questioning the very definition of niche. The introduction of iPod and iPhone generated so many competitors, yet iPod and iPhone remain the pioneers with an amazing invincibility (Peckham, 2010). The sustainability of Apple products relates to the fact that they ushered in, and successfully maintained a whole new and complete user experience, which could not be matched by any competitor products in totality despite their being superior in parts. They were highly effective products that were reached to customers with attractive ownership options and distinctive retailing formats. The products constituted the core that created the markets, however. An example of one product and multiple segments would be Apple’s iPod which was produced and targeted towards different demographic segments including male and females, different age levels and different income levels. The iPod was also targeted towards different geographic segments where the product had variations in price and features (Piddshetti, 2007). Common elements of a successful business plan include competitive analysis, value proposition, a pricing structure, and market segmentation. Market segmentation enables companies to become more understanding and knowledgeable of their customers’ needs. Marketers are able to develop strategic marketing plans based on this information which is directly geared towards a target market. By understanding customers, a company can become more responsive and better adapt to changing customer needs. ? References McDaniel, Stephen W. and Kolari, James W. , (2008). What is marketing strategy? Journal of Marketing. 1(3), October, 19–30. Retrieved September 1, 2010, from ProQuest Direct database. Meadows, Maurine. (2008). Assessing the implementation of market segmentation in retail financial services. International Journal of Service Industry. 9(3). 266-285. Peckham, Terry. (2009, January 25). Market segments & strategy: the new apple iPhone. The New York Times, 24, 116-122. Piddshetti, Mahesh M. (2007). Secret of Apple Inc. Marketing: by ex Apple Marketing Executive. Financial & Industry. Retrieved from http://hitechstartups. wordpress. com/2007/09/10/secret-of-apple-inc-marketing-by-ex-apple-marketing-executive
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