Analysis of Apple Retail Stores
October 3, 2011
The Apple brand has gone through an amazing transformation since the 1980’s. What began as a computer hardware company competing with Microsoft has now become a technological juggernaut of unbelievable proportions. To accomplish such a meteoric rise, Apple has done an amazing job of developing products that people want to buy and also marketing these products rather effectively to their target market. Apple, Inc uses the Apple brand to compete across several highly competitive markets, including the personal computer industry with its Macintosh line of computers and related software, the ...view middle of the document...
In their more unstable areas, top managers watch their competitors closely for new ideas, and then they rapidly adopt those that appear to be the most promising. Apple has also adopted the use of differentiation to gain an advantage in the market. A differentiation strategy calls for the development of a product or service that offers unique attributes that are valued by customers and that customers perceive to be better or different from the products of the competition.
Apple also seems to be using a mix of several segmentation strategies where their retail stores are concerned. Demographically speaking, Apple seems to be targeting men and women, young and old. Because the Apple brand is more expensive than its competitors, they are targeting the higher-income segment of the population. This is confirmed by the fact that the Apple retail stores are located in key cities around the world in up-market, quality shopping centers. Even the way that the store are laid-out and decorated suggests they are tailored to a certain market segment. Shadid (2001), describes one of the first stores this way, “In a sleek shop of hardwood floors bathed in bright light, Apple computers connected to the Internet were displayed up front on curvy white tables. Other sections were devoted to Apple's complete product line, as well as other companies' digital cameras, digital camcorders, MP3 players, and hand-held organizers. More than 300 software titles lined black shelves. In back was a "genius bar," where the company provides full-time customer support. (A red phone offered a hot line to headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.) The bar was flanked by a 10-foot screen that advertises Apple products”. Where Apple truly shines is in Psychographic segmentation. Apple has done a fantastic job in connecting with its customers to build an incredibly strong brand loyalty. Apple has a branding strategy that focuses on the emotions. The Apple brand personality is about lifestyle; imagination; liberty regained; innovation; passion; hopes, dreams and aspirations; and power-to-the-people through technology. The Apple brand personality is also about simplicity and the removal of complexity...