The Apple Company

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The Apple Company is a computer software and hardware development firm that also manufactures handheld devices. The company is well-known for manufacturing high-quality materials using cutting-edge technologies, which has pushed it to its present position in the technology sector. The Apple Company was founded by former CEO Steve Jobs and has its headquarters in Cupertino, California. Apple is currently one of the world’s top computer manufacturing firms, as well as a leader in the mobile device manufacturing sector. Apple has managed to get a significant market share through its innovative ways of integrating current technologies in its wide range of products such as the the award-winning Mac desktop and notebook computer, OS X operating system. Besides that, the company has also ventured into digital music whereby it unveiled the iPod music players and the iTunes which is an online music store for the users of Apple products. The unveiling of the iPhone line of products was one of the most significant moves that have enabled the company to become very popular among mobile phone users. Apple is the largest information technology firm in the world when ranked by revenue, and the third largest mobile phone manufacturer. The Apple Inc. was in 2015 ranked as the first company to have a value exceeding $700 billion in the United States. The company has about 123,000 employees employed on a full-time basis and operates about 499 retails stores in over 22 countries across the world (Grant 2016, p.37). There are currently more than one billion apple products being used worldwide and the company’s annual revenue for the year 2017 totalled to about $229. The company mainly focuses on innovation and quality which have earned it a high level of brand loyalty and has severally been ranked as the most valuable brand in the world. The company has however been extensively criticised for its labor practices as well as business and environmental practices.

Achievement of Advertising Objectives
Marketing is quite essential for any organization to be successful in the market. It is through marketing that a company is able to raise awareness for its product and get a competitive edge in the market. When a company is new in the market or has a new product, advertising and marketing take the lead role in ensuring the company and the product are popularized in the market. Apple Inc. has extensive advertisement marketing strategies which are guided by the objectives set by the management. Its marketing strategies play a significant role in increasing the market share for the company besides increasing the sales volume (Yoffie & Cusumano 2015, p.127). One of the critical objectives of marketing in the Apple Inc. is increasing sales for its products within the market. Marketing is usually aimed at ensuring that products reach out to everyone in the market thus boosting the sales volume. The marketing team at the Apple Inc. work with targets of sale volume which they have to achieve. These targets act as milestones that assess the success of a particular product in a given market. Achievement of a set target means that the marketing strategy is successful and the market response to the products is excellent.
Apple is currently best known for applying marketing strategies that target a specific market segment. The brand focuses on quality which has made it become an icon of status in the population. The marketing team in Apple targets individuals who have a good taste of quality and are enthusiasts of emerging technologies. The company has come up with a different approach to marketing which is normally used after the release of a new product. This strategy entails giving out these devices on loan where the buyers can pay over a given period (Khan et al. 2015, p.957). This strategy has worked out quite well especially with the iPhone line of products whereby it has boosted the overall sales of the company by over 20%. The company has been advertising the new products through business-related platforms such as wall street journal and Bloomberg business week (Khan et al. 2015, p.960). This has ensured that it reaches out to people who are capable of purchasing these newly unveiled products. This kind of marketing is customized to appeal to the individual customers and thus making the products so irresistible. This has significantly boosted the sales for the company and met one of the fundamental objectives of marketing which is increasing the sales volume.
The second objective of marketing in Apple Inc. is to Improve Product Awareness. The company has a wide range of products which include the Mac computers, iPhone, I Tab, iPod and a wide range of software applications which it keeps improving. The marketing department has to constantly update the customers about the improved versions of the devices. Marketing plays an integral role in making these new products popular in the market. A good example is the recent release of the two latest devices by the company which are the iPhone 8 and iPhone (Clarke & Boersma, 2017, p.121). These devices came after the iPhone & and the market had to be enlightened about their unveiling as well as their core features which make them better than their predecessors. Apple Inc. marketing team ensures that the products of the company are well known in the market that any competitor product. This is a way of ensuring that all the customers will first consider Apple products before going to products made by other companies (Heracleous, 2013, p.97). The unique design, current technology and outstanding quality of the products of Apple make them very competitive in the market. The marketing department has to educate the market about these technologies and how they will better their lives.
Apple uses advertising as one of its main promotion strategies. Advertising is able to grant the company competitive advantage over its competitors. Two of the main advertising activities used by the company are social media advertising and television commercials. These two activities have been proved to be very effective in passing messages to large audiences across the world (Linzmayer, 2014 p.132). The company has very powerful advertisement slogans which are used in these advertisements to attract more people to purchase the products. The company has established pages in some of the most popular social media platforms which are used to advertise and communicate with the customers (Jennings 2014, p. 94). The most active pages of the company are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram which have a huge following. A single advertisement posted in any of these pages reaches out to more than a billion people at once. The pages also contain links through which potential customers can access the company’s website and view the details of the product that they are interested in. This has been a perfect way for advertising and reaching out to a large number of customers. The social media pages are operated by dedicated employees who are able to communicate and clarify any issues brought up by prospective customers.
The television advertisements are the other element used by the Apple Inc. to advertise products. These advertisements are run on selected television stations and are aimed at reaching a specific segment of the market. Most of these advertisements are run during the prime time which is a bit costly. However, advertisements run during prime time are quite effective as they reach a substantial number of people in the population. Notably, different advertisements are done to target different segments of the market (Etzioni, 2016 p.9).For instance gadgets such as the iPod are likely to be used by the youthful population, and therefore Apple Inc. will ensure that advertisements for such gadgets are run during the airing of youthful programs. Both of these strategies have been quite effective as they have led to the acquisition of a loyal customer share for the company.
Advertising Environment
Organizations should not pursue profits at the expense of ethics, instead; ethics ought to drive business towards profitability. Nevertheless, as a result of the competitive business environment, some directors might be tempted to take part in unethical business activities so as to cut operational costs and upturn returns leading to higher margins, thus outpacing their competitors in the industry. Ethical behaviour of corporations has become an area of interest because of the recent incidences of corporate scandals that have resulted in increased pressure from the media, government regulations, and shareholders underpinning the significance of ethical behaviour on business performance (Trevino & Nelson, 2016, p.185). Basically, ethical business practices assist companies in gaining a competitive advantage since the ethical behaviour of organizations create positive externalities, required for the long-term performance of the company. Over the recent past, different media reports show that Apple, one of the biggest and most economically successful companies globally, undermines ethical principles in pursuit of profits, although, the company explicitly points out that its business practices are underpinned by its ethical norms and principles.
Use of media for advertising and exposure is always good for a business. However, there currently have been claims that Apple.Inc is using unethical means to relate to its customers and popularize the brand. The issue was raised when Apple accused Samsung of using some of its technological innovation ideas in their products. It occurred that Apple Inc. was using black hat hackers to attain detailed information about the progress of Samsung’s latest development (LeBaron, 2014, p.211). Similarly, the company was accused of spying on its competitors through the use of hackers as well as using search engine optimization techniques to gain a competitive advantage over its rivals. This has affected the relationship between the company and its competitors such as Samsung and Huawei and has also led to several lawsuits. Another unethical public relations activity carried out by Apple. Inc. is composing reviews for its gadgets and posting them as content from third parties which have reviewed these gadgets. This is a trick which is extensively used by many companies whereby they use their employees to review and rate their gadgets leading to very high ratings. The general public especially online shoppers rely on these reviews and ratings to make a decision on the gadget to purchase (Challagalla et al.2014, p.16). These internally generated reviews and ratings mislead the users giving them the impression that a particular device has been tested and approved by many users.
These cases of unethical conduct by the public relations team at Apple have been a source of current debates on whether legal action should be taken against the company. The spying on the competitor companies has adversely affected the relationship between the company and other players in the industry. The issue has also brought adverse effects on the company’s cooperate image whereby many customers have started to perceive the company as unethical. The posting of reviews by people connected to Apple.Inc has led to increased popularity of devices produced by the company in the market (Hannah 2014, p.53). People are usually misled by the reviews which highly praise Apple products. These are both unethical practices that any company with proper ethical policies should not engage in. However, it seems that Apple Inc. focuses more on retaining its market share even if it is through violation of a few ethical policies.
Conclusion
Apple Inc. is a well-known technology company that manufactures high-quality products using cutting edge technology. Marketing is quite important for any organization to be successful in the market. It is through marketing that a company is able to raise awareness for its product and get a competitive edge in the market. Apple uses advertising as one of its main promotion strategies. Advertising is able to grant the company competitive advantage over its competitors. Apple Inc. carries out its marketing to create market awareness and increase its sales. Advertising is one of the marketing strategies applied by the company, and this is mainly carried out through social media and television advertising. These two approaches have been effective in informing the market about products of the company and also bringing a significant increase in sales. The firm has cases of unethical conduct regarding public relations decisions made by its management. These include spying on its competitors and providing false reviews and ratings to boost the popularity of its gadgets. These actions have brought both positive and negative impacts to the company.

References
Challagalla, G., Murtha, B.R. and Jaworski, B., 2014. Marketing doctrine: a principles-based approach to guiding marketing decision making in firms. Journal of Marketing, 78(4), pp.4-20.
Clarke, T. and Boersma, M., 2017. The governance of global value chains: Unresolved human rights, environmental and ethical dilemmas in the apple supply chain. Journal of Business Ethics, 143(1), pp.111-131.
Etzioni, A., 2016. Apple: Good Business, Poor Citizen?. Journal of Business Ethics, pp.1-11.
Grant, R.M., 2016. Contemporary Strategy Analysis Text Only. John Wiley & Sons.
Hannah, D., Parent, M., Pitt, L. and Berthon, P., 2014. It’s a secret: Marketing value and the denial of availability. Business Horizons, 57(1), pp.49-59.
Heracleous, L., 2013. Quantum strategy at Apple Inc. Organizational Dynamics, 42(2), pp.92-99.
Jennings, M.M., 2014. Business ethics: Case studies and selected readings. Cengage Learning.
Khan, U.A., Alam, M.N. and Alam, S., 2015. A Critical Analysis of Internal and External Environment of Apple Inc. International Journal of Economics, Commerce and Management, 3(6), pp.955-961.
LeBaron, G., 2014. Subcontracting Is Not Illegal, But Is It Unethical? Business Ethics, Forced Labor, and Economic Success. The Brown Journal of World Affairs, 20(2), p.237.
Linzmayer, O.W., 2014. Apple confidential 2.0: The definitive history of the world’s most colorful company. No Starch Press.
Trevino, L.K. and Nelson, K.A., 2016. Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do it right. John Wiley & Sons.
Yoffie, D.B. and Cusumano, M.A., 2015. Strategy Rules: Five Timeless Lessons from Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs. HarperBusiness.

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