Apple incorporation is a public limited company, which was formed in 1976. The firm is located at Cupertino, California. The firms deals with various forms of technology such as designing, manufacturing and marketing of various mobile communication devices, personal computers, portable digital music devices, video players , software development and provision of various services such as networking solution and services.
The firm has had a superior performance over the past few decades with annual average revenue of $ 24,006, 000,000. In its operation, the firm has a human resource base of approximately 21,600 employees. The success of the firm has resulted from incorporation of good management strategies by the firm’s management team. For instance, the firm has integrated a number of marketing strategies. One of these strategies relate to branding.
According to Laura (2010), brand refers to a sign, symbol, design, name, term or a combination of these elements whose objective is to differentiate a firm’s goods and services from those of competing firms. In developing the branding strategies, the management of the firm ensures that the brand confirms the firm’s credibility to the customers. This means that the customers will develop a positive image towards the firm’s products, culminating into the firm being able to connect with the target market. The ultimate effect is that the firm is able to develop and maintain a concrete customer loyalty. As a result, brand development has become one of the most valuable assets of a firm.
The marketing environment has undergone rampant changes within the 21st century. For example, consumers are increasingly searching for information to enable them make good purchasing decisions, while the economy has undergone severe recession. In addition, there has been an increment in the rate of globalization which has resulted into more pressure for firms to effectively manage their brands. Through this, the management of these firms will be able to successfully leverage their operation cost and create new opportunities (strategic brand management 2010).
Firms which deal with production of technological devices such as Apple Incorporation are witnessing increased pressure due to high degree of volatility within the industry. Therefore, it is important for the management of every firm to conduct comprehensive research on building the firm’s brand. In building the firm’s brand, it is important for the management team to consider the various dimensions of branding. The discussion of this paper entails a brand analysis of Apple incorporation by considering the various dimensions of branding.
Brand culture is developed within an organization and describes organizations, brand promise as a key driver for the achievement of a company’s vision. Brand culture acts as a good managerial tool to ensure that the all the divisions within an organization are committed towards providing the customer with the benefits promised. By integrating brand culture in its operation, the employees of a firm are able to integrate the brand values, problem solving and making decisions so as to deliver a high level of branded customer experience (Martin 2010).
According to strategic brand management (Anon. 2010), brand culture results form incorporation of internal branding. The emergence of brand culture results from the diminishing of traditional models of branding which entailed creation of external brand images which were in most cases fictional. Currently, the consumers are not only being concerned with the brand image but they want the truth regarding a product or service.
According to Martin (2010), branding culture enables the management to incorporate values which do not change. This means that a good brand enables the customers to compare their own values with those of the brand. In addition, customers are increasingly incorporating products which are in line with their own values. According to Jonathan (2008), customers are increasingly integrating symbols to develop their sense of self. Jonathan (2008) asserts that some of these symbols are originating from brands existing in the market.
Therefore, it is important for the management of the firm to ensure that the branding strategy adopted has incorporated values which deliver a meaning which is inline with the market. In developing brand culture, the management of the firm has to ensure that the brand values adopted are real. For instance, the slogans adopted in marketing should relate to how the brand operates. Through this, there is a high probability of the brand attracting a large number of customers.
In the operation of Apple Incorporation, the management has incorporated the concept of branding which has become key factor contributing the survival of the firm. This has enabled the firm to develop a good bond with its customers. Amongst the branding concepts that the management of Apple incorporation has integrated is invention, designing and innovation. For instance, the management of the firm changed the firm’s traditional rainbow hued logo to a minimalist monochrome. The result is that the firm was able to give its personal computers a colorful look which impressed the public. In addition, the firm’s marketing department reduced the content of the message in its advertisements (Leander 2008).
According to Leander (2008), Apple Incorporation has built an effective brand culture through integration of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in its operation. For instance, the firm is extensively involved with various activities in the community through volunteerism.
This has enabled the firm to develop a humanistic perception amongst the public. In developing its various communication technology and peripheral products, the objective of the firm was to develop the society’s power in various fields through technology. For example, the firm is committed to empower the society through computer education. This shows that the firm’s considers the society as a key element in its operation. In addition, the firm also has developed a superior brand culture through its advertising and product designing processes.
Leander (2008) asserts that through development of a brand culture, the firm has been able to connect with the customers. This is due to the fact that the firm has managed to establish a strong community around its products through projecting a human touch in all its product designing and development. Through this, Apple Incorporation has been able to effectively develop brand tribalism (Cleopatra & Luz 2009). For example, in designing iPod, the firm has been able to develop emotional and sensory experience in relation to computing. As a result, the firm has been able to increase its sales revenue since the customers loves its technology.
According to Leander (2008), Apple Company has also developed a brand culture through effective marketing. For instance, it’s marketing strategy involved endorsement of the firm’s product by prominent leaders such as Cesar Chavez, Dalai Lama and Gandhi. In developing its products, the management of the firm extensively incorporates the society. This is attained through conduction of a comprehensive consumer market research aimed at identifying the consumer product preferences.
The result is that the customers are attracted to make a purchase of the firm’s products since they perceive them as their own ideas. Through considering the customer’s demands and using the ideas in developing the product, Apple Incorporation has been able to develop a sense of liberty in the society (Leander 2008). This further enhances the concept of brand tribalism.
According to Whitney (2009), brand identity refers to a promise given by the management of a firm to its customers. Kotler and Keller (2009), define a promise as the vision of the marketer in relation to what his or her brand should provide to the consumers. The promise may entail the product or services attributes, its performance, quality, benefits and values that the brand has. By developing its brand identity, a firm can be able to position itself effectively in the market. The result is that the firm will be able to survive in the competitive environment since it will have a high competitive advantage compared to its competitors.
In developing its brand identity, the management of the firm should ensure that all the employees are integrated. This will enable the firm to succeed in the long term as a going concern since the employees will have vested interest in the firm. Therefore the management should ensure that there is a common understanding of the firm’s directions in its operation. Incorporation of the employees is significant in the process of reinforcing the firm’s brand values.
According to Campbell (1999), brand identity consists of three main elements. These include the logo, name and slogan. Campbell (1999) further asserts that brand identity should not only consider value proposition but should deliver the promise to the customers. To build brand identity, the management of the firm must develop brand experience. This can be attained through formulation of positioning statement which should filtrate to the entire organization.
Name is a key element in developing brand identity since it creates the first impression to the market. Currently, generating a good brand name is becoming difficult due to the increased complexity within the market. In its operation, Apple Incorporation has adopted a very effective brand name. This is evident in that the company’s name ‘Apple’ which is familiar and friendly for a computer. The firm’s name can be described as being cute, tempting and non traditional. According to Campbell (1999), the name ‘Apple’ creates an impression that the firm’s products are easy to use.
On the other hand, the objective of developing a symbol is to strengthen on the firm’s identity which is already established by the firm’s name. Company logos are visual which makes them to be more memorable compared to words. According to Campbell (1999), integration of logos and symbols in branding arises from the fact that human mind interprets pictures more easily compared to words. Logos and symbols are very important in developing brand identity during the internationalization process of a firm. By ensuring a persistent positioning and use the logo and name, the firm is able to create uniform and familiar products.
Considering the intensity of competition in the technology environment, the firm’s symbols should be easily reproduced through various mediums. Apple Incorporation has adopted a very simple and memorable logo. The logo consists of an apple fruit in which a bite has been made. The logo is a suggestion of the Garden of Aden. The firm’s logo implies that its products are enticing and irresistible for the consumers. The logo also consists of a rainbow entrenched in the apple fruit. The rainbow signifies firm’s product diversity. In addition, the firm’s logo is easily recognizable and effectively designed by integrating elements of brightness and cheerfulness.
In developing brand identity, the management should ensure that it enhances its brand identity with a slogan. By integrating slogan to the company’s name and logo, the management is able to position the firm more effectively. In the process of positioning itself through its logo, name and slogan, the management should ensure that it does not use similar value proposition as its competitors. This means that the firm’s slogan should be unique. The management of Apple Incorporation has been able to attain this through adoption of the slogan ‘Think different’. Various heroes such as Martha Graham, George Gershwin and Jackie Robinson have been integrated in developing the slogan.
This makes the firm’s advertisement to be symbolic, communicative and memorable. The advertisements create an effective relationship with its customers while at the same time offers a promise to potential customers. By associating its slogan with famous thinkers, Apple’s customers perceive themselves as being superior and smarter for using the firm’s products. The slogan ‘Think different’ invites the potential customers to act differently and not follow the crowd (Campbell 1999).
The management of the firm has also integrated the concept of ‘customer experience’. This is attained through superior designing of its products by integrating artistic design. For instance, the firm’s products come in different color and configuration which are unique in the market. Sophisticated graphics, customized feedbacks and trademark sounds are used in designing and producing the products. According to Campbell (1999), users of Apple products think of themselves as being original and creative. The firm’s products provide these qualities in designing its hardware and software products.
The result is that the firm is able to meet the physical and emotional demands of its customers hence attaining brand tribalism (Cleopatra & Luz 2009). In addition, Apple Company has been able to institutionalize its brand by ensuring that the entire organization reflects the brand.
The firm’s slogan ‘Think different’ communicates the firm’s innovative drive. This has enabled Apple Incorporation to position itself more effectively by being an Operating System (OS) and software developer (Campbell 1999).
Brand image refers to the impression that is created in the customers minds in relation to a certain brand. A firm develops its brand image over time through various strategies such as advertising and adopting a consistent theme. A firm’s brand image is validated by the customer’s experience. According to Tony (2009), there is a direct correlation between a firm’s brand image and the level of profitability.
Therefore, the management of every firm should ensure that it develops a superior brand image so as to improve on the level of public confidence. Brand image plays a significant role in the process of developing other marketing strategies such as pricing, product and promotion strategy. In its operation, Apple Incorporation has been able to build a superior brand image through development of high quality products.
For instance, the innovation of iPod improved the firm’s public image. This is due to the superior characteristics of the iPod in terms of its capacity. The iPod developed by Apple Incorporation is able to hold 20,000 songs, 25,000 photographs and play videos for 100 hours. In developing the iPod, the firm’s management conducted a consumer market research so as to determine what the market demanded in relation to entertainment devices (‘Apple’s IPod a technological, cultural phenomenon’ 2006).
The result is that the firm was able to determine the tastes of the customers’.In developing the product, the firm’s research and development team integrated the importance ease of product usage. This has enabled the firm to improve on its level of revenue. In addition, by integrating high quality in developing its music devices, Apple Incorporation has been able to attain a high competitive edge compared to its competitor Microsoft.
Apple incorporation has also integrated product awareness through advertisement in an effort to create its brand image. This has enabled the firm to convince its potential customers that iPod is the best and most current and portable media device. Not only does the firm promote its products through advertisement but also its image. This is due to the fact that by purchasing the firm’s products, the customers are also purchasing identity, pride, quality and social meanings (John 2005).
Branding is an important element for the management of every firm to consider in the process of developing a high competitive advantage. Considering the competitive nature of the business environment, a firm’s management should incorporate various branding dimensions. Some of the elements that the management should consider include brand culture, brand identity and brand image. Brand culture should be developed internally and expressed to the general public.
Through brand culture, the firm is able to incorporate product and services values that are in line with those of the customers. This enables the customers to associate themselves with the firm’s products and service. Apple Incorporation has been able to develop a superior brand culture by projecting human touch in the process of developing its products. Brand culture has also enabled the firm to build brand tribalism by connecting with the society.
Brand identity relates to the promise that is given to the customers. Apple Incorporation has developed a superior brand identity through its brand name, logo and slogan. Through the firm’s slogan, the firm has been able to integrate and deliver customer experience. The result is that its customers are able to perceive themselves as being unique. The management of Apple Incorporation has also developed a superior brand image. This has been achieved through conducting comprehensive consumer market research. Information from the market research enables the firm to develop products that meet the market demand.
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