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Importance and function of brands
Looking at the World today, one can easily understand why brands are important than any other time in history. Brands can be described as a psychology and science that helps consumers to understand the products that are being sold and to be associated with them. It is of the essence to understand that products often have life cycles and brands are known to outlive the products (Griffin, 2012). Therefore, the brands often convey a uniform of quality, experience and credibility. The brands are valuable and many companies are known to put the value of their brand on the balance sheet.
Brand brings about customer loyalty which is the whole reason behind brand creation. Customer loyalty can be described as both an attitudinal as well as a behavioral tendency to favor one brand over others. This is often due to various factors such as the satisfaction with the product, the convenience of the product or even the familiarity with the brand (Temporal, 2010). Customer loyalty often encourages the customers to shop in a more consistent way, spend a great share of money and consequently feel positive about the shopping experience (Griffin, 2012). If a company wants to build customer loyalty, it must start by making a decision. This decision should be to put the customer at the center of everything that one does, and at the center of the company, the daily routines, and the way they design the web forms through a suitable brand. However, it is of importance to understand that the customer at the center is a more complicated adventure than it sounds (Verma, 2006).
This is because it involves the creation of emotions with the consumer through the brand. Loyalty runs hand in hand with emotions; customer loyalty can be described as the result of consistent positive emotional experience, and physically attribute-based satisfaction and perceived value of different experiences that includes services and products. Therefore, in order for a company to improve the customer loyalty, there is a need to prompt customer loyalty in to be able to build an emotional bond with the customers (Griffin, 2012). Therefore, in order to build customer loyalty, the customer experience management often blends the physical, emotional as well as value elements of experience into a cohesive experience.
Research has shown that retaining customers is less expensive than the acquisition of new ones and the customer experience management can be described as the most cost effective way in which persons can drive customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and retention. It is important to note that loyal customers often reduce the costs that are associated with consumer education and marketing and especially when they become the Net promoters for your organization (Pupo, 2010). Given the highly discommoded competitive landscape that exists, the customer experience programs can be described as the most effective ways when it comes to the differentiation of an organization from the competition. It is of the essence to understand that such differentiation effectively drives customer loyalty when the customers are engaged in an emotional, intellectual, as well as a spiritual level. The customer can effectively cherish the product and service, during and after its use (Kazanjian, 2012).
In order to understand customer loyalty, there is a need for one to understand the different types of degree of loyalty. There is monogamous loyalty as well as polygamous loyalty. There are also behavioral as well as attitudinal aspects. It is after understanding these concepts that one totally understands what customer loyalty truly is and the importance that is put in the understanding of loyalty. The 21st century can be described as the world of polygamous loyalty. For example, a person might be able to eat at McDonalds, Safeway, Thrifty foods and unfailingly shot at all three. The person is loyal to the three restaurants and yet loyal to none (Pupo, 2010). Therefore, it is important to note that in the real world, 100% loyal customers are extremely rare. In the majority of the cases, therefore, attempting to make customers completely loyal is often unrealistic.
A more realistic goal for businesses is often to make the customers loyal is unrealistic. A more realistic goal for businesses is, therefore, to make customers as loyal as possible (Glynn, 2009). Consequently, there is a need to maximize the customer share of the disposal income, frequency of purchase as well as overall profitability. The objective of businesses and loyalty programs is to make sure that the organization’s share of customer loyalty in the highest levels possible (Chevalier, 2012).
The brand helps individual customers to identify a certain product through its brand. This is important as there a lot of similar products in the market and consequently, it is of importance to understand which products exist in order for the customer to choose the right brand and product. The increase in customer loyalty is the reason behind brands.
Introduction to Apple
Apple Inc. is a giant multinational corporation based in California America. It provides several multimedia solutions. It develops designs and markets several lines of home electronics and software products for computers (Phorbes, 2012). It is popularly known for the Mac computers, iPod players, iPhone Smartphone and the iPad tablets. Software products include the iOS and OSX operating systems, iTunes, Safari Internet Browser, the ILife, the iWork and various production and video editing suites.
The corporation has a rich culture and value system inspired by their impressive vision and mission. It possesses key features which gives it competitive advantage. Apple Inc. boasts a loyal customer base and has grown tremendously in the industry in all parameters, including revenue collections, market capitalization and market share since its incorporation in 3rd January 1977. This boils down to the progressive strategies, leadership effectiveness, communications, approach to corporate governance and ethical issues.
Target Market and Strategic plan
Apple targets the young adults and business persons in their products. Competitors are constantly innovating and customers are shifting away from Apple as a result. For Apple to survive and improve profitability, it needs to pull or attach the customers to disable this shift. An important strategy to master is innovation strategy which allows the consumer to enjoy quality products at an affordable cost. Solving the problem of innovation at Apple will be a great addition to profitability.
Integration is one of the strategies. Apple products enjoy the existence of other apple products. For example the existence of iPhone may make an iPhone owner to purchase the Apple TV to take advantage of the features like using the phone as a remote control and being able to view the content from the phone. Product differentiation is also key in the cutthroat competition. Consumers have to clearly know Apple product from the others.
The supply chain for apple is not in good state. Even though it has experienced more than 5 years of high productivity, the situation has slightly changed and the companies in the supply chain are not receiving the usual returns of their investment. If the supply chain management continues to improve, the company will also be able to tolerate local and international risks
Apple has a whole product development cycle which will definitely give it an edge in the market. This is because it will effectively reduce the time to market and also make effective use of the scarce internal resources as well as help improve collaboration with different and diverse partners. In addition, the company intends to ensure that it gives attention to the alignment of related market initiatives such as sales promotion, advertizing with the introduction Apple.
Brand imaging is often creates a subjective mental picture of a brand that is shared by a group of consumers. Brand identification helps one to assist a stronger foothold in the niche market and it defines a unique selling position for the company and it considers methods to communicate the key messages to the desired audience (Homburg, 2010). There is the use of specific images in order to encourage the sense of inclusivity; the brand image helps the consumers to understand how they can fulfill their needs.
The brand image is important as it helps connect the target audience, engage the consumers as well as motivates them to buy the products. The mental image is also of importance as it successful melds into personal identification as well as emotional connection with the brand. Further, the brand image often evokes trust from the niche market, and the consumers garner great response and hence increasing sales. The consumers often vest in the brand, and they are therefore, confident that they will receive value for the brand.
Brand essence and core brand promise
Brand essence can be said to be basically, the phrase that communicates the trade's name which is of a fundamental nature that is often associated with products that are made by the company. This by long definition is what essentially what constitutes of brand essence and brand promise. Apple's brand essence can be said to be a promise of its specific values and benefits and its relevance to its users. To the consumers, it is important to understand that these promises often differ from those of competition such as Samsung. The brand essence often differentiates the brand from the competitor. Apple has a very strong brand name and over the years, its brand essence has become powerful and has been rooted deeply into the consumers. It has been able to gain methods that express the brand essence effectively and efficiently.
How to measure Brand Equity for Apple
In order to measure the brand equity of Apple, Apple acknowledges the fact that a high equity brand gives the company many advantages. In calculation to the understandable benefit of driving up market share, a brawny brand can control a price premium, supplement customer relationships, and consequently ensure winning line extensions, help the company to attract aptitude, and increase stock prices (Yong, 2005). There are often several facets that often drive the defining of a strong brand, therefore it is important to examine all of these in the framework of a Brand Development Model. This model will be important as it will categorize the stages of development for a brand as well as identify how to measure the different progress in each stage, and prescribe the different and diverse marketing priorities for moving a brand to a higher stage of development.
The origins and history of the Rockbridge Brand Development Model can be said to go back to an appointment where the model was charged with developing an inclusive brand equity measurement procedure for a customer that is interested in possible brand alliances. It was significant to correctly define what constituted a physically powerful brand since of the big figure of alliances under the thought and the fact that the capacity would be used to talk with potential partners.
In order for the process to start, there is a need to convene a “summit” with several different marketing directors in the organization and brainstorming on what can often constitute as a desirable brand partner, that is, one with a elevated amount of equity that would harmonize Apple's brand name. After the compilation of a list of brand equity components, there is a need to review several different public and private brand equity studies in order to best identify several best practice metrics which would be applied to several areas that are identified by the stakeholders of the company. Ultimately, the method of measuring brand equity incorporated the best metrics in a multi-brand study which scored all potential brand alliances.
SWOT Analysis of Apple against
The most important strength Apple enjoys is the brand loyalty. There is strong brand awareness and reputation globally. The company has financial muscle and creative power to mount an advertising and marketing campaign. In addition, Apple’s extensive and advanced distribution channels is a great asset. Finally, the vertical product integration aids sales.
Apple lacks product offering at different price levels to capture a wider market share. This causes a loss of market share when coupled with overdependence on iPad and iPhone. As well there is weak distribution channels in emerging markets. Incompatibility with OS from other devices and limited innovation have also plagued Apple.
Sales are expected to increase from the acquisition of promising companies like recently the Beats Electronics. Apple also expects to benefit from the wide range of new products offered which will easily penetrate owing to brand loyalty. To improve product quality, apply can afford to leverage innovation, research and development.
The biggest threat is certainly stiff competition from rivals. The patent lawsuit with Samsung is as well sending cold shivers. Apple may also lose out in emerging markets like India and China owing to poor distribution channels.
Apple must take advantage of her brand loyalty to design new more affordable products to suit the low end market. One of the main reasons Samsung outdid Apple Inc. is that the Samsung galaxy was offering innovative features yet affordable to the different market segments. This will involve limiting some feature so as to make the devices affordable. Acquiring new companies and creating new products will improve profitability too.
Apple needs to make their devices more compatible with other devices. This has deterred many people from buying Apple. More innovation is also needed at Apple. Customers are thirsty for incredible features at an affordable cost. This calls for investment in both research and development and importantly, the human capital. The human capital is the source of creative and innovative power, so the company needs to have the best people on board.
Tapping into the emerging markets will improve sales. Apple has over concentrated on the US market. This is alarming because the market may not grow. On the other hand the middle class in the emerging markets are spending a great deal. To capture this market Apple will need to create affordable devices which are compatible with other devices. Lastly, apple should continue pursuing any infringement on the patents.
In conclusion, it is of the essence to note that brand recognition often brings about customer loyalty which is the whole reason behind brand creation. Customer loyalty can often be described as both an attitudinal as well as a behavioral tendency to favor one brand over others. Brand creation is of importance as it enables the consumers to better understand the product and its origins. Further, it also brings about different notions such increased consumer spending on the company.
Homburg, C., Klarmann, M., & Müller, M. (2010). When does salespeople's customer orientation lead to customer loyality? :the differential effects of relation and functional customer orientation. Mannheim: Univ.
Auer, J., & Antončič, B. (January 01, 2010). Employee loyality and its impact on firm growth. The 2010 Iber (business) Conference and the 2010 Itlc (education) Conference Program.
Greve, G., & Albers, S. (January 04, 2006). Determinants of Performance in Customer Relationship Management — Assessing the Technology Usage-Performance Link. 6.
Yong, X., Sang, C. L., & Xiaofeng, L. (June 13, 2005). The variables of effecting customer loyalty in Chinese online game market. 1, 233.
Griffin, R. W. (2012). Fundamentals of Management. Mason:Ohio: Cengage Learning.
Aggarwal, S. (2008). Brand management: A theoretical and practical approach. New Delhi: Global India Publications.
Verma, H. V. (2006). Brand management: Text and cases. New Delhi: Excel Books.
Chevalier, M., & Mazzalovo, G. (2012). Luxury brand management: A world of privilege. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.
Temporal, P. (2010). Advanced brand management: Managing brands in a changing world. Singapore: John Wiley & Sons (Asia.
Glynn, M. S., & Woodside, A. G. (2009). Business-to-business brand management: Theory, research and executive case study exercises. Bingley: JAI Press.
Apple Inc. (2014, June 6). Apple home. Retrieved from Apple: www.apple.com
Calahan, D. (2012). Apple iCheat: How the World's Biggest Company Also Became the Most Unethical.
Christopher, P. (2011). Strategic Communication: Origins, Concepts and Current Debates. Praeger.
Phorbes. (2012, April). Apple.
Richards, B. (2010, October 17). Here's Why Apple Rules the World.
Savitz, E. (2012, March 18). Apple Sets Monday A.M. Call On Cash Position; Dividend Coming?
Apple has been able to develop itself as one of the leaders in the manufacture of the mobile phones, computers and MP3 players. Success of the company can be explained from various perspectives. From one point; the company can attribute its success to the successful leadership under Steve Jobs (Isaacson, 2011). On the other hand, the success of the company is linked to the accurate and adept marketing strategies that the management has adopted over the years. This paper will seek to evaluate the different perspectives on the success of the company with the aim or to provide the distinction between the two contradictory perspectives.
Steve Jobs became the ultimate representative of the company. Any mention of the company was associated with the later business leader. Therefore, his input was important. The management style adopted by Jobs was the main source of success. One of the management perspectives that the leader adopted was a frequent emphasis on quality (Isaacson, 2011). The company is renowned for the creation of products that are different from the rest. Due to this aspect, Steve was perceived to be the main driver for the company. Making of the business ideas that have made the company a success is the role of the former leader.
Steve Jobs also assumed the maverick approach to the business. The manager is lauded for the introduction of the touch screen technology when the rest of the companies were against the development (Isaacson, 2011). With the development of the technology, the rest of the companies adopted it. Therefore, the company gained the first move advantage over the other producers in the mobile phone sector.
Marketing strategies of the company have also made it more successful than other companies (Isaacson, 2011). However, the strategies did not operate in isolation. Given the personality of Steve Jobs, nothing could have been conducted in the company without his veto. Therefore, he is also responsible for the development and widespread application of the marketing strategy currently used by the company (Isaacson, 2011).
Apple used different marketing strategies that have made the company the personal computer producer of choice. The marketing strategy focused on the United States. Therefore, the company was capable of clinching the American market. Marketing is as a different product meant for the Americans led to the assumption of this approach by the Americans. The company also markets the product based on quality. They use the innovative quality as the order winner.
Isaacson, W. (2011). Steve Jobs. New York: Simon & Schuster.
After introducing IPhone 5S and 5C to the market, Apple Inc. is working on a mew mobile gadget that has a high multi functioning capability and as well faster speeds. There is a high likelihood that IPhone 6S will be one of most pivotal device in the globe. According to reports made by New York Times, IPhone 6S is the most anticipated Apple’s phone ever. Apparently, people anticipate this gadget following its staunching features (Johnson, 03 June 2014). Despite the price hike by the company to $100, the product appears to have a wide open market. Price hike in IPhone 6S results from production costs encountered during the manufacturing process. Both fixed and variable costs affect substantially during the pricing of the product. The paper is a macroeconomic analysis of factors affecting the costs faced by Apple Inc. in the manufacture of IPhone 6S.
1. Factors affecting variable costs
Variable costs refer to costs faced by the company and are prone to changing as market trends are changing. In Apple Inc. variable costs faced by the company have a direct relation with sales of the company. Apparently, IPhone 6S variable costs increases as sales of the product increases. During IPhone 6S manufacture, the most common variable costs faced by the company include; labor, raw materials and lastly profit margin set by the company. As highlighted earlier, variable costs of IPhone 6S depends on the sales volume of the product in the market. However, there are other special factors affecting supply and demand of labor during the manufacturing process of the product (Johnson, 03 June 2014). They include;
A. Final output price of IPhone 6S will have a significant influence on the marginal product of labor. Consequently, this will significantly affect the demand and supply of labor. Market price increase of the product will lead to increase in marginal output of labor thus leading to increase in demand of labor. On the other hand, decrease in price will lead to low demands of labor.
B. Technological changes in the company as well will significantly influence demand of labor in the company. Similarly, as with prices, technology advances lead to increase in the marginal product of labor. Consequently, it raises its value and thus increases demand of labor (Ludlow, 19 Jun 2014).
C. Supply of labor highly depends on working conditions and wages in the company. In Apple Inc. workers in the company work for long hours and as well live in dorms as with other employees. As revealed by New York Times, workers earn $1.78 per hour. In addition, the company rarely cares about the working conditions of its workers. However, there is more emphasis laid on quality improvement of IPhone and as well lowering the labor costs. This significantly affects the supply of labor in the company.
Productivity of IPhone 6S faces a limitation due to increased costs of Sapphire display. Aiming at improving their display quality, the company is using Sapphire material. The material is expensive, and this hinders the company in manufacturing the product (Johnson, 03 June 2014).
2. Factors affecting fixed cots
During the manufacturing processes, fixed costs refer to costs paid regardless of their sales volume. Examples of fixed costs encountered during the manufacturing of IPhone 6S include rent and as well expenses such as depreciation. Fixed costs of production of IPhone 6S depends on different factors. Some of the common factors affecting fixed costs include:
A. Number of employees. Increase in the number of employees increases costs encountered in terms of wages and salaries. More so, a decrease in the number leads to a reduction in costs of production (Hodgkins, Tuesday May 6, 2014).
B. Licensing fees-these are costs faced after IPhone production. However, unlike other companies, IPhone produces its own operating system and thus does not face high licensing fees. However, initial development of IPhone Operating System significantly raises the fixed costs.
C. Lastly, the company faces selling and administrative costs. These costs include billing expenses, shipping and storage costs. Increase in the electricity rates leads to an increase in the electric bills. Apparently, an increase transport fuel rates lead to increase in the transportation and storages costs.
Recommendations and conclusion
As discussed above, it is clear that the company experiences a wide scope of costs during the manufacturing process of IPhone 6S. Consequently, the company has to hike its prices in order to increase its profit making (Hodgkins, Tuesday May 6, 2014). Reducing these costs can significantly increase the company’s profit margin in the product and as well increase its competitive nature with other electronic companies. Some of the recommendations to the company include;
A. Despite aiming at increasing the quality of IPhone 6S, the company can use a different material that is scratch resistant aiming at cutting down the costs of acquiring Sapphire display.
B. Wireless components, costing $34 per each phone, is another additional cost that the company faces. However, replacing the wireless component with a cheaper component may increase the company’s profit margin and as well its competitiveness with other firms.
C. Lastly, replacing the electromagnetic and the processor chip with A5 chip may aid the company in reducing its manufacturing costs. Apparently, this may increase its profit margin and as well its competitive nature with other companies.
Hodgkins, K. (Tuesday May 6, 2014). Rising Sapphire Display Cost May Limit Production of 5.5-Inch IPhone 6. MacRumours .
Johnson, L. (03 June 2014). IPhone 6 release date, news, rumours, specs and price. Trusted Reviews .
Ludlow, D. (19 Jun 2014). IPhone 6 release date, specs, price, screen and camera rumours. expertreviews .
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