The iPhone marketing mix has helped the Apple brand in creating business strategies and tactics for maintaining the premium image and increasing the market value of the technology company.
Apple has a strong brand image in the market as it offers a superior user experience to its customers through Apple products and services like Apple iPhone, Apple Watch, iTunes Store, Apple TV, Apple TV Services, Payment Services and Apple Cloud Services etc.
iPhone sales have skyrocketed as customers are eager to buy smartphones that will elevate their social status amongst their friends, family, colleagues etc. This is because of premium branding and Apple’s marketing mix strategies that focus on product mix, place strategy, distribution channels, premium pricing strategies, corporate tie-ups, i Stores, other online channels, sales promotions and advertising strategy.
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About Apple iPhone
- Company: Apple Inc.
- Origin Country: United States of America
- Apple Inc. Founded: 1976
- Founders: Steve Jobs, Ronald Wayne and Steve Wozniak
- CEO: Tim Cook
- Headquarters: 1 Apple Park Way Cupertino, US
- iPhone Manufacturer: Foxconn, Pegatron, Wistron (contract Manufacturers)
- Type: Smartphones
- Operating System: iOS Operating System
- Storage: 64, 256, 128, 512 GB
- Sound: Bluetooth – Stereo Speaker, Microphone – Lightning Port
- Power: Built-in Rechargeable
- Online Services: App Store, Apple One, iCloud, Apple Pay
- Website: apple.com/iphone/
The Apple iPhone is a product line of smart phones manufactured, designed and produced by the technology company Apple Inc.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced the first-generation Apple iPhone with its mobile operating system on January 9th, 2007. Apple released its first phone on June 29th 2007 and since then has launched several other versions of iPhone models and iOS updates over the years like iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, 3GS, 4, 5S, 6/6Plus, 6S/6S Plus, SE, 14/14 Plus, 14 Pro/ 14 Pro Max etc.
Apple is ranked as the “Most Valuable Brand” and one of the “Largest Telecommunications Companies” in the world. The consumer electronics company is the second-largest manufacturer of mobile smart phones in the world and enjoys considerable brand loyalty from its esteemed customers. During a short period in the middle Apple failed to leave a mark on the customers but Steve Jobs and later Tim Cook played an important role in taking the company forward and making it one of the top players in the computer technology business.
Target Audience: Apple iPhone Marketing Mix
Apple’s marketing mix promotes premium branding as it wants to maintain a strong brand image in the market. The Apple brand is associated with the computer technology business and this is reflected through the superior Apple products which have a very high price.
Apple is a brand icon that targets people from the upper-middle class section of society and high economic status individuals because firstly the price range of iPhones is very high compared to the products from other brands and everyone cannot afford it and secondly it wants to maintain its exclusive image of premium brand
Apple customers are mainly younger and middle-aged consumers who enjoy luxury products, people looking for superior user experience and individuals who appreciate hi-tech incredible designs and advanced technologies and want to be attached to the most valuable brand at any price. The brand is more popular with males than females throughout the world although the gap is slowly and steadily closing. iPhone sales are highest in the USA although the demand is high all over the world
The target audience of the Apple iPhone is individuals living in urban areas, executive-level workers and working professionals with high disposable income willing to pay a high price for an Apple product. It is a fact that 1 in 10 owners of iPhone also own an Apple Watch as both products are highly compatible with each other.
Apple iPhone Marketing Mix (4Ps) & Marketing Strategy
Apple is known to create anticipation and buzz beforehand around the new product launch. The brand with its slogan “Think Different” is part of a lifestyle that depicts high status. There is a strong sense of brand loyalty from Apple customers that is rare and noteworthy and this is all because of Apple’s marketing mix strategies that have created a strong aura of exclusivity around the premium brand.
The Apple iPhone marketing mix focuses on product innovation, minimalistic designs, technological advancements, superior product lines, product mix, place strategy, i Stores, consumer electronics retailers, premium product prices and promotional strategy like print ads. The business strategies of the premium brand have aligned with Apple’s marketing framework to increase the market value and maintain the brand image in the global smart phones industry.
Product Strategy: Apple’s Marketing Mix
Apple iPhone was the first of its kind with multi-touch technology although Apple failed to get a patent for it. Since its release, Apple iPhone has gained several features like waterproofing, video recording, facial recognition, large screen size, numerous accessibility features and app switching that can be activated with gestures. The first-Generation iPhone is considered a revolution in the smart phones industry and subsequent models have been credited with creating a larger market for smartphone apps.
When the most valuable brand Apple focuses on its smart phone product strategy then the result is invaluable. Apple products like Apple TV, Apple Watch, iPad, Mac, AirPods and Apple iPhone and Apple Online Services like Apple TV Services, iTunes Store, Apple Payment Services, App Store, Apple Card, Apple Music and cloud services generate high sales figures for the company. Both iPhone and Apple Watch are often purchased together by customers.
Under Tim Cook, the company has introduced new versions of several Apple product lines in the last few years to meet customer demand successfully on a global scale. Apple focuses on product quality instead of mass production or quantity and that is why has been able to maintain itself as the “Most Valuable Brand” with incredible Apple Products.
Apple Products: Marketing Mix of Apple
Apple focuses on quality Apple products and online services to maintain its premium image in the market. The journey started in 2004 when the company with a 1,000-member team started working on “Project Purple”. The iPhone was launched in 2007 and since then has launched several versions and variations between 1 to 14 like 6S, 7 Plus, 11 Pro, 12 Mini, 13 Pro Max and 14. All previous models of the most valuable brand up to iPhone 7 have been discontinued by the company.
The latest new phone from Apple
In 2022 Apple launched a new phone with four variations – iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro Max and 14 Pro. iPhone gave access to satellite phone emergency-calling features. The new phone 14 Plus had a 6.7-inch size screen and the 14-Pro and Pro Max had free access to a 48-megapixel main camera, interactive status bar interface and always-on-display lock-screen.
- iPhone 14 PRO MAX
- iPhone 14 PRO
- iPhone 14 PLUS
- iPhone 14
The premium brand subcontracts iPhone hardware to external companies although it exercises a high control over the end product. The important hardware elements included in the device are an ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, gyroscopic sensor, facial recognition, magnetometer and the newest feature satellite communications.
iPhone gave access to free updates to iOS via Finder, iTunes and over the air. The iOS Mobile Operating System was a great attraction for customers because Windows operating systems and Android were not introduced on smartphones at that time.
Online Apple Store and Third-Party Apps
In 2007 the company announced that iPhone would support third-party apps but they have to be downloaded from the Apple Store. Apple Store has a large developer network and quite a good number of Apps than the Google Play Store. Since the year 2017, Apple’s App Store has 2.2 million applications for iPhone
Only Apple authorized Service Providers and Apple Stores have permission to offer after-sales services like part replacement or repairs. If customers take the help of unauthorized stores then the phones show an error message or display a warning. In the year 2022, the company launched a self-service repair program whereby users can buy parts, repair manuals or rent repair tools from the company.
Place in Apple’s Marketing Mix
Apple iPhone accounts for an estimated 15.6% market of the global smart phones industry. From the first-generation phone to iPhone 4 the manufacturing process for all the iOS devices and iPhones was done by Foxconn in Taiwan. After Tim Cook became the CEO he changed the manufacturing strategy to diversify the suppliers. Foxconn, Pegatron and Wistron are the manufacturing partners for the company in recent years.
In India Wistron is responsible for assembling the phones in a manufacturing plant near Bengaluru and in 2022 Apple Inc announced its plan to shift 25% production process to India by the year 2025
Place and Distribution Strategy: Apple’s Marketing Mix & Marketing Strategy
The marketing mix of Apple focuses on its distribution strategy so that the products can reach the end customers without any hassles. The consumer electronics retailers use the distribution channels of the company through offline channels located at strategic locations, the retail counter of iPhone Stores, online stores and other online channels. Only authorized resellers can sell Apple Products at offline or online stores or i Stores.
Apple Stores/i Stores
The brand has spread its reach far and wide by opening offline channels at strategic locations so that it can sell Apple products directly to the customer. The retail counter known as iPhone Stores is handled by authorized resellers who have permission to sell the products.
Price: Marketing Mix of Apple
The iPhone is one of the largest smartphone platforms that belong to the luxury market. Strong iPhone sales have resulted in large profits for the company which has been hailed as one of the best publicly-traded telecommunications companies in the world.
The company earns its revenues from Apple product sales as well as other means.
Users using the Mobile Apps Store on the developer network have to pay an annual fee of $99 if they want free access as there are more apps than in the Google Play Store. If the membership expires their apps are automatically removed from the Apple Store. Developers on the developer network can launch free or paid apps but have to pay a 30% cut to the company
Apple Pricing Strategies: Apple iPhone Marketing Mix
The marketing mix of Apple iPhone makes sure that its pricing strategy depicts the brand value because high prices reflect luxury products and that means Apple iPhones. The company has adopted premium pricing for iPhones although it further subdivides it so that its target audiences can afford the high-end products.
Premium Pricing Strategy
The company has released four versions of the iPhone 14 and adopted a premium pricing strategy for all of them. The 14 was available at $799, 14 Plus at $899, Pro at $999 and Pro Max at $1,099 during pre-order sales. The company has decided to go with a high product price. Apple is confident of customer loyalty and has kept its pricing strategy intact.
Promotional Strategy: Apple iPhone Marketing Mix
Apple’s marketing mix uses both above-the-line and below-the-line adverting strategies to promote its brand in the market. The company has launched commercial ads and print ads that are to the point with relevant information. The promotion strategy focuses on making an emotional connection with the customers because the company relies heavily on brand loyalty.
The advertising strategy in the marketing mix of Apple includes the following
The brand is known to create ad campaigns with meaning that can connect with the customers one-to-one. These are shown on television to gain maximum brand visibility for the products.
Print Media and Print Ads
The company uses print media to its advantage through a full front-page ad. The print ads showcasing the latest product models are shown through newspapers, magazines and billboards. The full front-page ad boost the image and visibility and leave a strong impression on the mind of potential and existing customers. Sometimes the brand places billboards at strategic places with high visibility for instance in front of their competitors’ offices to gain maximum coverage.
Although the brand does not offer any discount on the products but the stores that sell the iPhones offer a little discount on purchases with specific credit cards or as store discounts. Sometimes online shopping platforms also offer a specific discount as part of their sales promotions strategy to lure in more customers.
Social Media Platforms
The brand is active on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. It offers important information about the product, new technologies and specifications so that the customer becomes aware of the product’s value.
The corporate sales department of the iPhone is responsible for the corporate tie-ups. When Blackberry announced that the brand was exiting the smartphone market, Apple jumped at the chance and replaced the blackberry device with the iPhone of the top executives, managers, CEO and owners who were disheartened after Blackberry announced its exit. Suddenly the vacuum left behind by the Blackberry announcement was grasped by both hands by Tim Cook and his company Apple.
Commercial Ads – Notable Digital Marketing Campaigns
The film “The Greatest” created by the in-house team of the company shows how people with disabilities are using the iPhone features in their daily lives.
There’s An App For That
Released in 2009 the campaign introduced people to the idea of apps and iPhone 3G. The campaign managed to create positive waves in the industry and increase its product sales.
Released in 1997, Richard Dreyfus’s narration and the black and white footage made the ad campaign “Think Different” quite memorable and inspiring. The ad set the tone for Apple’s approach from then onward.
key Takeaways from the Apple iPhone Marketing Mix (4Ps)
Apple is no longer a brand name but much more as it has an incredible presence in the consumer market. Innovation means Apple as the brand name has become synonymous with technological advancements. Apple products are considered a status symbol and have become the preferred choice of most consumers.
The key takeaways from the Apple iPhone marketing mix and marketing strategy are
- Tapping the target audiences by highlighting incredible user experience
- Creating the perfect impact on the consumer with superior quality, minimal but sophisticated designs and advanced features
- Maintaining a premium price strategy as it sets the brand apart from other brands in the market
- Creating a strong connection with customers through empathetic and emotional ad campaigns
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