What is it that has enabled Apple to continue its dominance of the market year after year, without any hint of its juggernaut getting stopped anytime soon? The company’s stock has risen steadily over the years, reflecting consumer and investor confidence. Its products are liked by everybody, even those who have not purchased one. Its marketing and designing ideas have become case studies, and difficult to emulate.
Here, we study some of these factors that have made Apple into what it is today:
Almost every phone company decreases the prices of its products several notches a few weeks after the product is launched. The price continues to drop, until a successor of that product is announced. Apple, however, has the practice of keeping its prices steady for a long time. While this may dissuade customers from purchasing the phone initially because of the cost, they are still assured of the price stability. And of course, it is easier to shell out $600 six months from now, than spending $600 now. This provides a psychological edge to the company.
An iPhone is widely considered a perfect example of how a product should be made. Even if you have not used a smartphone earlier, you can get started with the phone right out of the box. The icons on the screen are intuitive, and the menus are clearly laid out. You don’t have to ask your son or geek friend on how to set up your Wi-Fi or click pictures with it. Its design is attractive and the grip in the palms is great.
An Apple product has limited variants available in the market. This is again contrary to the practice adopted by other companies, who introduce several variants based on generally the same platform. While limited choice of products seems like a bad business sense, research has shown that customers actually prefer to able to select what suits them in a short amount of time. Apple’s strategy suits them just fine. Besides, your staff will have an easy time selling your products if they know them inside out, which is more likely if they have fewer technical documents to study.
Apple has not feared the failure that might come from experimentation. It has ensured its products work best when you own something from its complete offering of iPhone, iPod, iTunes and Mac. Other companies may not have taken such a risk, fearing that customers will be disappointed at having been forced to buy everything from them – even though, this is exactly what they want. Not Apple. When you buy an iPhone, you like it so much that you want to buy something from iTunes. You may not be able to use iTunes on a PC as well you might on a Mac, and so you want to purchase that too. The key here is to understand that the user has to want to purchase the products, because there is no way you can force the customer to do that.
Even though the company has experienced success with its products, it has never stopped innovating. It is always on the lookout for user feedback and incorporates suggestion as quickly as possible. Consider the humble earphones. With the earlier models, you could not use the earphones for a long time at a stretch. With a simple tweak in the design, Apple made sure the newer headphones delivered the same quality of voice, and yet they fit so nicely in your ear you don’t even feel them.
Apple realized early on that if it released just another device in the market, it would not be enough to shake up the market and make users want its products. Enter App stores and iTunes. The apps store spelled the beginning of a revolution in the digital age, and for the first time in history, the user could truly customize the device as per his wish. With iTunes, you could buy legitimate, quality music and movies without having the trouble to order DVDs. All your content could be easily stored on your iPod or iPhone and get backed up on the Mac.
Steve Jobs was known to always consider this point as necessary before thinking of a product. Apple’s staff is known to create a product based on its design: you design something and then develop the technical specification to suit it. This ensures that the output is something that users are bound to like, and not get inundated with features they don’t like or don’t want to use.
In spite of your best efforts, it is quite likely that users may want to speak to someone for assistance. Here also, Apple has made sure not only its staff completely knowledgeable about the products, they are always friendly and approachable. This ensures that in times of need, customers get the help they want. This spreads positive feedback about you, and you can only benefit from it.
Most electronic equipment manufacturers use components (CPU, graphics processor, etc.) largely provided by a limited number of suppliers. Many companies agree to display their component suppliers’ name on the product packaging, but Apple has steadfastly refused to do so. This enhances its brand image, because the average customer is unlikely to bother with who made what, as far as the product provides him with what he wants.
Apple has been able to create a niche for itself based on its customer centric strategy and simple, innovative products. It has not feared while experimenting with never-before-done ideas, but made sure they were practical and required by the user. More importantly, its products created a new market all by themselves, instead of merely filling a void in the existing game-plan.
When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.