The way businesses market their products and services determines their success. Organizations utilize various marketing tools to create and sustain demand for their products, which influences their bottom lines and business survival. This paper explores Apple Inc.’s iWatch and how the company implemented the four marketing Ps to achieve tremendous success. It analyzes how Walmart and Amazon, two giant multinationals, compete by assessing their specific applications of the four marketing tools.
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Consumer perception regarding different classes of products is also evaluated, as well as the reason behind varying consumer’s perceived value of a particular commodity. Additionally, the paper explores how business can utilize price adjustment strategies to increase their overall sales volume and generate additional revenue and how organizations, such as Coca-Cola, have used advertisement as effective marketing tools.
Apple Inc., a globally reputable American multinational, launched Apple Watch in 2015, which quickly registered tremendous success and dominated the wearable electronic devices market. The elegantly designed product incorporates numerous integral features and aesthetical superiority, which have been incrementally advanced over the subsequent variants.
Despite the distinctly stylish designs and innovative components, Apple Inc. implemented the four marketing tools, including price, promotion, place, and product to pursue its marketing goals in the target segment. Al Badi notes that the four Ps enhance a firm’s ability to achieve competitive marketing advantages by fostering and promoting the unique value of a brand and helping it stand out from rival products (2). For instance, the elegant design and revolutionary features of the Apple Watch made it a critical lifestyle accessory, which introduced extra convenience to the users.
Apple Watch is an innovative product developed to complement the functionality of the user’s iPhone and free people from their mobile devices through the wearable device’s features and capabilities. The elegant designs, multiple variants, aesthetical appeal, and technologically superior components compelled potential buyers that they needed to purchase the product.
For instance, the watch’s ability to filter content and present the consumer with the most relevant information an individual would want to see reduced distractions. This feature introduced revolutionary convenience, which helped create a high demand for the product.
Since the launch, Apple Inc. has sustained a premium pricing strategy on the wearable device to preserve its brand value and the consumers’ perception of the company. The convenient components, innovative capabilities, and overall superior quality underpin the premium pricing approach and confer a status symbol to the watch’s wearer. Additionally, this price-setting plan created an artificial entry barrier to competitors, effectively protecting the targeted customers from rival products.
Apple Inc.’s business model leverages indirect and direct distribution channels to avail the iWatch to consumers worldwide. By relying on the established and extensive networks used by the company to deliver other products, including the iPhone, Apple Inc. has exploited the existing long-standing reliability to avail the product to the end-users. Moreover, iWatch is being sold through authorized partners, intermediaries, and Apple stores, which complement one another to enhance product availability.
Apple Inc. conducted an extensive promotion campaign to create awareness and popularize the iWatch. The company adopted the Above the Line strategy where the advertisement and sensitization drive was generally untargeted and intended for a wider audience. With a combination of visuals and audios, the penetration level of the implemented approach was impressive and easily connected with the potential buyers. For instance, the introduction of iWatch featured an elaborate video accompanied by audio, which compellingly highlighted the intimate and personal nature of the device and its effect on the users’ connections and communications.
Amazon and Walmart
Amazon and Walmart are multinationals companies which rank among the most prominent organizations globally. The former is a technology entity focusing on e-commerce, artificial intelligence, digital streaming services, and cloud computing, while the latter is a retail giant corporation, operating discount departmental stores, hypermarkets, and grocery outlets. Although the two companies are essentially in different business segments and are America’s largest retailers, they are in constant competition, particularly regarding their implementation and combination of the four components of the marketing mix.
Walmart and Amazon utilize different strategies regarding where they sell and how they deliver their products to their respective selling points. The former dominates the physical space by operating thousands of warehouses and outlets in different countries worldwide. Today, the giant retailer operates an estimated 11,500 stores under 55 banners in 26 states and an eCommerce website (Walmart). On the converse, Amazon delivers the merchandise to the market through online and digital platforms.
However, both entities have devoted significant efforts in investing in areas they are lacking. For instance, Walmart has been improving and escalating its e-commerce platforms. In contrast, Amazon has consistently established physical store outlets, such as Seattle’s Amazon Go Store, and invested in elaborate supply and distribution networks. Additionally, the brands match each other in their innovation aggressiveness.
Walmart’s promotional mix integrates sales promotions, advertisements, public relations, and personal selling, which help attract customers and advance its brand. On the contrary, Amazon primarily focuses on price and place as the fundamental marketing components and the entity’s major selling points, which are publicized through advertisements, direct marketing, and public relations. This implies that firms utilize almost similar strategies to attract and retain consumers and expand their competitiveness.
Walmart and Amazon’s primary product is their retail service, delivered through physical store outlets and digital platforms. However, over the years, the two companies have expanded their service portfolios and increasingly introduce new and innovative services.
For instance, Walmart now offers an on-demand digital content streaming service known as Vudu, through which consumers can access movies and other online content. Similarly, although Amazon’s main product is retail service, it has ventured into the growing business of distribution of grocery and digital content, including e-books and music. Therefore, the most aggressive competition between the two firms is in the retail service provision and distribution of online content and groceries.
Amazon and Walmart demonstrate fierce competition in their prices and pricing strategies. The former utilizes low prices to attract and retain customers on its e-commerce websites and product offerings. Similarly, Walmart employs an Everyday Low Price strategy, designed to achieve high sales volume by attracting many consumers.
Moreover, the two brands compete by integrating cost leadership generic strategies, market-oriented, and flat-rate subscription pricing approaches. However, Amazon also has a value-based option, through which it levies different price levels depending on the product value based on consumer perception.
In marketing, perceived value denotes the consumers’ evaluation of the specific merits of a service or a product, including its ability to satisfy the end-users’ expectations and needs. This concept is an imperative prerequisite and an integral component for business sustainability, particularly in industries characterized by fierce competition. Aulia et al. contend that the discerned worth of a commodity plays a definitive role in attracting potential buyers and earning their loyalty (151).
This implies that marketers should comprehensively understand the dimensions and influences of the perceived value to make informed product promotion decisions, which will yield positive consumer behavior. The broad aspects of the imagined value of a product include the social-, product-, and personal–related values.
Regarding automobiles, frozen dinners, jeans, and athletic shoes, the former’s perceived value is higher from the social, product, and personal dimensions. This implies that people assign greater worth on vehicles than on the other items. Similarly, the perceived value of athletic shoes ranks higher than that of frozen dinners and jeans due to their durability, style statement, and luxuriousness. However, there is a generally lower impression of jeans and frozen dinners since society assigns little worth because they are used every day. Additionally, many people nowadays prefer fresh dinners instead of frozen meals.
Most members in my group agreed with my perspective, although a few held different views. The differences in the perceived value of the various products are attributable to changing tastes and preferences, culture, affordability of the items, and living standards. For instance, Asians generally have low perceptions of frozen dinners and always prefer freshly made meals (Harmayan et al. 1). However, the consumption of preserved dishes is increasingly declining among the whites, indicating a progressively poor product perception.
Manufacturers develop products and position them in a way that will deliver different value to consumers. For instance, in the automobile industry, Tesla designs and manufactures a range of vehicles with eco-friendly attributes, longer service lifespan, and distinct prestigious components. Similarly, Nike is the globally leading producer of athletic footwear due to its ability to integrate innovativeness and premium performance capabilities on the shoes. For instance, the waffle shoe for athletes was built to provide exceptional comfort and value to consumers compared to its competitors.
Businesses are continually exploring new avenues and strategies for generating additional revenue. Doh and Prince posit that in a rapidly changing and highly competitive business environment, it is imperative for enterprises to devise innovative strategies to increase their income (696).
Price adjustment approaches rank among the most effective approaches through which companies evaluate their operational circumstances, such as customer differences, and exploit the inherent opportunities for additional revenue. In Alicia’s scenario, the most effective price adjustment strategies she can use to increase her overall sales and generate more revenue include segmented pricing, promotional pricing, and discount and allowance pricing.
Alicia can charge different prices for her services to diverse clusters of consumers. Susilo asserts that businesses can exploit their customers’ distinct attributes to create unique value propositions and develop different versions of the same product to target various client segments (184). For instance, offering premier service and charging a premium on it to high-end customers would generate more revenue while ensuring that regular services are also available at everyday prices.
Alicia can make regular promotional offers and reduce prices for defined periods on all the services she provides. This strategy will lead to many customers visiting her salon, and she can exploit that opportunity to render premium quality services. The strategy allows clients to acquaint themselves with the level of service offered and provides Alicia with a chance to win their loyalty, thereby guaranteeing future cash inflows and high sales volume.
Discount and Allowance Pricing
Alicia can reduce the prices charged on some of the services she provides in her salon. For instance, she can lower the fee charged for plaiting services while still maintaining regular prices for haircuts and other grooming offerings. This would significantly increase the number of clients coming for plaiting, and Alicia can use that opportunity to win their loyalty and market other products and services in her salon. This strategy would not generate additional revenue and sales volume for both the short and long-term.
Advertisements are expertly drafted messages designed to spur interest in potential buyers, which would ultimately lead to a purchase decision. Marketers integrate encoding, transmission medium, decoding, and feedback as fundamental components of any commercial. For instance, Coca-Cola’s spreading happiness advertisement campaign effectively conveys the intended information and passionately appeals to consumers to share joy through a bottle of carbonated drink.
Regarding encoding, the developer of the advertisement encrypts the content by ascertaining the message the recipient would want to hear. In this case, Coca-Cola believes sharing happiness is an indispensable attribute of humans and visualizes how such an approach would impact the receiver’s perspective.
Additionally, Coca-Cola uses a host of communication channels to convey the message of spreading happiness, including mainstream media and social networking platforms. The information is formulated to support easy understanding, which would trigger the intended and appropriate responses.
For instance, the stimulation that sharing a bottle of coke is synonymous with spreading happiness would lead to families and friends buying the product and participating in the joy it brings. This advertisement incorporates the various vital components of effective marketing and effectively communicates the desired message.
Marketing is an indispensable undertaking in any business, and organizations strategically combine pricing, placing, promoting, and the specific attributes of the product to attract consumers and win their loyalty. Additionally, these marketing tools are critical components through which organizations advance their competitive advantages. Moreover, businesses manipulate consumers’ psychological aspects, utilize diverse price adjustment strategies, and expertly develop their advertisements to increase their sales and generate additional revenue.
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