Company and Marketing Strategy One of the most important theories that had been developed to address the modern, fast-paced market is that of customer-centered marketing strategy planning, where all strategic efforts are geared towards the firm’s customers. There are four corporate strategies that focus on how the firm addresses its market: these are market penetration, market development, diversification, and product development. For our marketing concept, we shall discuss product development and how partnering to build customer relationships could be achieved through this. Product development is “a growth strategy that offers new or modified products to existing market segments” (Company and Marketing Strategy, Chapter 2 power point presentation).
Adopting the product development strategy is not easy, because people tend to be comfortable with the products they are already used to, and would take some time to adjust to innovations in products – new products, or new features in familiar products. There are some factors that influence the speed existing customers get used to new products. These factors are identified by Kurtz, MacKenzie, and Snow (2007, p. 370) as: 1. Relative advantage – The innovation must have an advantage over the old product, such as lower price, ease of use or physical improvements. 2.
Compatibility – The new product must fit into the values and experiences of customers. 3. Complexity – The innovation must not be difficult for the customers to understand or use. 4. Possibility of trial use – By being allowed a trial use, would-be customers would feel that they have a lower risk of buying the new product and find they could not use it. 5. Observability – Potential buyers should be able to easily observe the new product’s performance in a tangible way. The type of business best suited to the product development strategy belong to the high-technology area which is in constant innovation.
For instance, Apple products, which are in popular demand today, include the iPad, iPhone, iPod, iTunes, in addition to its original product, the Mac. One of Apple’s most versatile products is the iPhone, which had recently displaced Nokia as the most popular mobile phone in terms of market share. The iPhone: (1) allows callers to see each other on the screen while talking to them (Face Time); (2) provides crisp and sharp text and graphics in a 960-by-640, 3.5 inch screen (Retina display); and (3) executes multiple applications at the same time (Multitasking).
Its other emergent product, the iPad, allows mobile access to the web, email, photos and video. And of course, there is the iPod, the contemporary version of the 1970s’ Sony Walkman, with thousands of selections in its playlist memory. What makes the technology even more remarkable is that it could be had at prices affordable to the average individual.
The iPad sells for as low as $499, the iPod nano starts at $149 up, and the iPod shuffle goes for as little as $49 (Apple. com, 2010). Apple was not always this successful with its market focus and strategy. In 1999, Apple lost its ability to satisfy consumer demand, because of shortages in the G4 chip that was supplied by Motorola. The Company has well from lessons like this and today, Apple Computers outsources 70 percent of its components to multiple suppliers, while focusing its internal resources on its own specialized components, the disk operating system and the supporting macro software.
This is where strategic partnering comes in, through developing close relationships with multiple suppliers and thus be assured of a steady source of quality materials. Today, Apple’s product development is centered on determining the needs and wants of its consumers, and trying to deliver it first to the market. Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vie-president for iPod and iPhone marketing, described the company’s market strategy as consumer-centered and future-oriented. Research and design are focused on how the technology may be used and developed further in the future.
Presently, the company is developing technology to help the blind use the Mac, as well as a software development kit for App Store, which is expected to start off new applications for the iPad and capture and instant community of outside developers –another group of strategic partners. It is a constant recycling of old ideas to make them new: “The iPad is an update of the iPhone, hybridized with a laptop. The iPhone was an update of the iPod, hybridized with a mobile phone…” (Jana, 2010).
The iPod was developed as a music player having a minimalist design with superlative features; it was launched in October 2001, and by 2007 had sold over 100 million units (Mukherjee, 2009 p. 77). I am sure everyone has a story to tell about how the new lines of Apple products have influenced their lives, and maybe left them with a memorable experience or two. My close friend is one of those who had decided to trade his former mobile brand and get an iPhone instead.
I remember that at one time, keying in the number of a new business contact not yet in his directory, he reached a wrong number. By sheer luck, the recipient of the call was an iPhone user, too, and because of the FaceTime feature, my friend saw how beautiful she was, and it appears she was likewise attracted by my friend’s features which appeared on her screen. It turned out that the wrong number turned out to be the right number after all, and that iPhone’s Face Time feature not only connects people, but makes love at first sight possible. Maybe I could throw this question to you, then: How many of you have an iPhone, iPad, iPod, or a Mac?
What feature of your product do you particularly like or make the most use of? What new feature do you want your product to have in the future? References Apple. com. Apple official website. Accessed 11 October 2010, http: //www. apple. com/. Jana, Reena. Apple iPad’s Product Development Approach.
Harvard Business Review. 27 January 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2010, http: //blogs. hbr. org/cs/2010/01/apple_ipads_product_developmen. html Kurtz, David L.; MacKenzie, H.F. ; & Snow, Kim. Contemporary Marketing. Toronto, Ontario: Nelson Education, 2010. Mukherjee, Kaushik. Product Management: Text and Cases. New Delhi: PHI Learning Private Limited, 2009 Company and Marketing Strategy, Chapter 2 power point presentation