How does Apple use marketing mix?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Apple has used marketing mix to create specific inroads in the technology market.  Its tendencies to manipulate and develop specific company approaches to the "4 P's" of marketing have helped to establish its place in the marketplace. At the same time, it has demonstrated a particular flexibility to the marketing reality of price, product, promotion, and place to ensure that its approach is replicated in other companies while firmly establishing itself in the marketplace.

Apple's use of marketing mix can be seen in a variety of situations and with a litany of products.  For example, Apple's approach to the Pricing part of the marketing approach is a flexible one.  Apple features products that can be tailor- made to fit a specific budget of the consumer.  Offering these approaches helps to secure how a consumer will not be "priced out of the market."  For example, Apple offers different pricing approaches to their tablet, the iPad.  This could include the iPad Mini or obtaining one with or without a retina eye display.  The same approach has been taken with the iPhone, in light of specific contractual agreements with phone carriers.  This helps to secure an elasticity of price whereby the consumer does not feel threatened or alienated.

Another example of how Apple approaches the marketing mix in regards to the "4 P's" can be seen in its appropriation of place.  Apple has been able to capture the changing dynamics of the 21st Century marketplace.  The establishment of Apple Stores has converged with online accessibility and service for Apple products.  The Apple store has become a physical location where people go to examine new products, as well as gain insight on technical maintenance.  At the same time, Apple has been able to develop a strong presence on the web to facilitate electronic shopping and technical support. The establishment of both a physical sense of place in the form of the Apple stores and a electronic presence with online accessibility show Apple's approach to the "place" aspect of their marketing mix.

For Apple, promotion of products is of vital importance.  This aspect of the marketing mix has helped to move Apple to a particularly strong point in the marketplace.  The infusion of Apple products into schools, for example, has helped to establish a promotion approach particularly effective with young people.  Classrooms with iPad tablets or Macbook laptops help to enhance this aspect of Apple's promotion.  At the same time, product placement has helped to drive Apple's brand promotion.  Celebrities like Ellen Degeneres frequently talk about the pictures they take with their iPhones.  The iPhone itself carries with it a brand appeal that has been enhanced through promotion and marketing.  Apple's use of promotion in its products have helped to embed it as a necessary part of technology culture.

Finally, Apple uses its approach with products to ensure that it will be a relevant force in personal computing.  Developing distinctive products is a part of this process.  The iPod was critical in the current development of personal electronics.  The iPhone was equally essential in helping to define the contours of the cellular phone market.  Additionally, the iPad's features were vitally important in establishing its product niche in the marketplace.  Apple takes an approach that is aggressive in branding products that carry the Apple name. Technology that is lighter, more compact, and capable of doing more while infusing it with a personalized approach that is appealing to the consumer is how Apple's approach to the product aspect of its marketing mix has been effective.