Apple: Marketing Research And Consumer Behaviour

  • Words 2669
  • Pages 6
Download PDF

Apple was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne in 1976. The company started in a garage in California and they now have 506 retail stores operating across the world. Apple are worth 1 trillion dollars as of 2019, and is currently the second most valuable brand in the world. They have continuously come up with new and improved high-quality products year after year, contributing to making them well ahead of any competitors. Throughout this essay, I will be exploring five main topics that are crucial to the success of marketing within the company Apple. These include Marketing dynamics, Marketing Environment, Marketing research, Consumer behaviour and Segmentation.

Marketing Dynamics

The marketing mix, also known as the 4p’s is composed of the 4 pilots of the business cycle. The 4p’s Borden (1964) consists of product, price, place and promotion. The marketing mix is produced by McCarthy and has become one of the most well-known templates of modern-day businesses.

Click to get a unique essay

Our writers can write you a new plagiarism-free essay on any topic

The product essentially is, the good or service that is manufactured by the company in order to meet the needs and wants of their customers. For example, in connection to Apple, their products are classified as information technology and include Macs, iPhones, iPads and Apple watches.

The place is an element of the marketing mix which involves the locations that the manufactured products are sold at to target markets and is advertised to show off what it is the company is selling. Apple has many locations where their products are sold, such as Apple retail stores, online stores as well as other retailers such as Vodafone and Three.

Promotion is exposing your product out to the market and potential buyers through social media and TV etc. Apple inc. promotes its products in various ways, through different communication parties and channels. Amongst the 4p’s advertising includes sales promotion which usually happens inside the apple stores. The MacBook has various types and sizes for example the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. This shows the company are targeting different markets, in order to fit all customers.

Price is the amount that is charged for a good or service. Apple inc. uses two pricing strategies, Premium pricing strategy and Freemium pricing strategy.

The Premium pricing strategy is when a company sets the price of their products higher than any other leading competition whereas The Freemium pricing strategy is when a company offers a specific feature for free for a certain period of time, for example, free Apple Music for 6 months when you buy a new product from the brand.

Although the 4p’s is a very successful way to market your product, there is criticism on the mix. For example, Booms and bitter (1981) explains that now the 7p’s have been made with the addition of people, process and physical evidence, this mix is more useful in relation to businesses increasing their sales.

Marketing Environment

The Macro environment Forces, also known as PESTEL it is a framework that is used to scan the organisation’s external macro-environment. Jobber & Ellis (Chadwick, 2019 :38) covers the importance of customer value whilst exploring PESTEL.

PESTEL is made up of five components including, political factors, economic factors, social factors, technological factors and environmental factors.

Political factors are to do with politics in each country. For example, the type of government that lead a country can affect the decisions made by a country as well as affect tax laws and policies. In the Apples MACRO environment, political factors present a lot of opportunities for businesses. The most important political factor affecting Apple is to improve trade policies. In developing countries, there have been an extension of free trade policies. This is a benefit for Apple as their opportunities are increased to being able to distribute their products around the world due because of the additional free trade policies.

Economic factors include factors affecting the economy and the current state that it is in. This covers interest rates as well as inflation rates. These factors will determine the direction the economy will move in and therefore big companies such as Apple will need to analyse economic factors thoroughly in order to come up with different strategies that will need to be taken on board in the circumstances that changes in the economy occur. The most important external economic factor for Apple is the rapid growth in developing countries as well as the reliable economies in developed countries. This can. Be a major factor for Apple as they are able to expand their business due to the economic stability which means they can become a bigger business whilst creating more revenue. In Asian countries, the high economic growth is a massive opportunity for Apple to increase sales in foreign markets.

However, competition is a factor to take into consideration as companies such as Samsung, will also be looking to target these high growth economies.

Social factors also highly affect Apple. The most significant factor for Apple is the growing mobile phone use across the world. As well as this the rising use of social media benefits the company, which is a major opportunity for Apple. Apple provide very easy to use mobile devices for all types of people meaning the craze for Apple products is expanding. The company has already taken this into consideration through the manufacture of the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. As well as this, Apple provides the App Store which means customers are able to download popular social media apps which draw people in, making Apple a leading competitor.

Technology is increasing rapidly throughout the world and therefore businesses like Apple need to compete with these trends and be able to manufacture new products regularly to keep up with customers needs and wants. Apple have come up with various advances such as face recognition and Touch ID which keeps them ahead of competitors such as Samsung and blackberry.

Environmental factors which affect Apple include the recycling the company have adopted. They provide high quality and improved batteries made up of components emitting less heat. As well as this, Apple have started to improve the energy efficiency of their products.

Market Research

Marketing research is a systematic problem analysis, model building and fact-finding for the purpose of improved decision-making and control in the marketing of goods and services” (Kotler, 1997, p.114)

Market research is when a company gathers information about consumers ‘ needs and preferences to make its business as successful as possible. Market research is very important for a business such as Apple to carry out as it helps them to understand consumers, be aware of changing trends and be competitor conscious.

Apple uses market research, as well as other companies by gathering information and customer feedback about their products in order to improve any faults of a product. By doing this, they are creating a good relationship with their customers through pleasing them and keeping them up to date with any advancements in the company as well as informing them when there are new updates or new products getting introduced to the market.

However, it is believed that instead of gathering research externally, Apple focus on what they think would excel in the market.

For example, the founder of Apple, Steve Jobs quoted “ We do no market research. We don’t hire consultants. We just want to make products. On the other hand, it is said that Apple do conduct market research although Steve job dismisses this idea. The company do this very discreetly to ensure competitors such as Samsung don’t identity product developments or gaps in the markets and interfere with Apple’s new products. Apple carries out different types of research such as Qualitative, Quantitative as well as primary and secondary information.

The research is used to improve existing products, for example, developing the iPhone from the 7 to the 7s, as well as finding gaps in the market. Apple may be inclined to use a SWOT analysis to gain information about its brand as a whole. A SWOT analysis is a study taken by Apple in order to identify its internal strengths and weaknesses as well as its external opportunities and threats.

Upon concluding a SWOT analysis, Apple’s strengths include a strong brand image, high-profit margins and great product design.

Apple marketing mix such as the 4p’s involves premium pricing strategy. Premium pricing has contributed to making the business successful as when a company sets the price of their new product higher than similar products already in the market, it can be seen as an advantage as although your overall sales may drop by a slight per cent, the overall profit margin and cash flow of the business are expected to increase.

Apple weaknesses include high selling prices and competition such as Samsung which release products similar to Apple but at a cheaper price. Due to using premium pricing, this attracts customers from middle and high-income brackets, leaving the lower income brackets out which can’t afford such prestigious goods from Apple, who are a large proportion of the global market.

Apple opportunities include investing in more affordable technology for the lower-income bracket customers, the development of new product lines. The current product lines that Apple offers are all highly successful meaning, if they introduce more product lines they are likely to do well and create the company more profitable.

Apple threats include aggressive competition and imitation.

Tough competition in the technology industry is partially due to corporate aggressiveness. Apple competes with firms like Samsung, which also use rapid innovation. Imitation is significant due to the large number of companies that clone the design and feature of Apple products. For example, the Apple Watch. This was then reproduced by Samsung in the making of the Samsung galaxy watch which included the exact same features as the Apple Watch such as – taking calls, messaging and making contactless payments.

Overall, Apple is successful in its market research due to the high products recorded at the end of each year and have not made a loss since 1997. Although market research has benefited Apple a lot, their success is more to do with their following and high-quality products.

Consumer Behaviour

Consumer behaviour is to do with how individuals, groups and organisations select, buy, use and dispose, goods and services in order to satisfy their needs and wants. People who buy from Apple are usually already loyal to the brand and have previously owned Apple products. They are normal people who are better off financially and are in the middle to higher class bracket and use social media frequently. Their target market is a product and design-conscious people as well as those who want fast and reliable technology. Factors that affect consumer behaviour include Cultural factors, Psychological factors, Social factors and Personal factors. Consumer behaviour is influenced majorly by social factors. For example, the consumer’s groups that they are in, family as well as their social roles and status. A person buying behaviour can be influenced greatly by small groups. Primary groups such as family, Is the most important consumer buying organisation in society and has been extensively researched. As well as secondary classes that can be considered much more formal, and are not as often together.

Personal factors include age and life cycle stage, occupation, economic situation and lifestyle. For example, in the occupation stage, white-collar workers are more likely to buy products from apple due to having a more professional job which they may need technology for to increase their work standard. Another example could be an individual lifestyle. This takes into consideration a person pattern of living such as the activities they do on a day to day basis as well as their interests and opinions. For example, a teenagers interest may be centred on social media and therefore Apple may look more appealing to them in comparison to an elderly person as it satisfies their needs and wants more.

The black box theory is a decision-making process, which focuses on what goes on within the human mind when wanting to buy a new product, the theory has 5 stages. The problem recognition stage is when a customer realises they need a new product, such as a new laptop. This may be because they don’t already have one or that their current model is old and slow. The information search stage is when the customer realises the need for a new laptop, they may explore online different models and brands to see what would satisfy them most. A customer may visit an apple store and talk to an employee to get first-hand advice on their products and which is of the best quality. The Evaluation of Alternatives stage is when the customer may begin to explore new models and of other brands such as reaching out to Samsung and Galaxy. Following this, the purchase stage is when the customer will then take all options into consideration and decide which model is the best for them. They will do this by listing out the various products and selecting one that meets all requirements. The post-purchase evaluation stage is the final stage in which the customer will analyse whether or not the product has lived up to their expectations.


Market segmentation is the first step in finding out who your target market is. Segmentation helps find out which groups are available on the market so that you can later determine which markets to target your product at. Market segmentation means having a good understanding of potential customers and working hard to satisfy their needs.

Different people, in different places of the world all have different needs and wants however Apple are good at satisfying all types of customers and therefore have an approach to suit all types of customers based on their age, race etc. There are many types of market segmentation. These include Demographic Segmentation, Behavioural Segmentation, Psychographic Segmentation and Geographic Segmentation. Apple use all of these types of segmentation.

Demographic segmentation happens when a company such as Apple, will sort their potential markets into demographic elements such as age, income etc. This is most commonly seen amongst companies and is the most effective. For example, Apple aim to direct their products in the middle and higher class bracket area, as their products can be seen as effective yet expensive. As well as this, their target market are mainly 20-45-year-olds which can be concluded from the Apple INC report of 2019. An example of Apple using demographic segmentation in their company is they supply different types of technology that are better suited to the younger and older generation. For example, the iPad would be more useful for younger kids with the advantage of apps that include games whereas, a MacBook Pro would be more suited to older, professionals which have up to date software and more applications.

Behavioural Segmentation is the process that divides markets by behaviours and decisions. Making patterns, such as purchase consumption, lifestyle and usage. For example, for apple buyers, the younger generation may be more likely to buy from Apple and are loyal to the brand due to the high craze, whereas older customers may be more likely to switch to different products which are cheaper and more affordable as they aren’t as materialistic. Psychographic Segmentation divides consumers according to lifestyle, options and personality traits. Geographical Segmentation relates to Apple targeting all areas of the world such as the US, Japan, Europe and Australia.

Having stores in various places around the world, Apple also has an online website that allows customers to buy from 24/7 anywhere in the world expanding their market, as well as selling through third-party dealers such as Vodafone. Apple has stores in 45 out of the 50 states in the US and have stores in more than 18 countries in the world.

Apple has remained competitive over the years and stayed top of the competition due fo their efforts to study the market and apply this to find out what their target market is.

In conclusion, Apple have a very strong understanding of consumer wants and needs and are very successful at maintaining a high-quality brand image. They have the ability to keep customer loyalty high through their contribution of understanding and analysing the above five subject areas.


We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you board with our cookie policy.