The paper "Corporate Responsibility and Marketing Strategies of Apple Inc. " is a wonderful example of an essay on business. Unlike Apple’ s founder Jobs, the new CEO Tim Cook has laid out new CSR strategies aimed at improving the company’ s image while simultaneously aligning it to the normative ways other top companies perceive and interact with the environment. Plastered on the website, is the company’ s supplier responsibility, which touches on issues such as dignity and empowerment of the company’ s personnel, ethics, and honoring environmental responsibility. Supplier Employee Education Development (SEED) was a CSR program that started in 2008 to fund the education of employees in the supply chain (Apple, 2015).
Currently, the program beneficiaries have the opportunity to use cutting-edge tools outside the classroom setting. Earlier in 2014, the company also launched an Environmental, Health, and Safety Institution tasked with the role of educating participants enrolled in the programs about improving working conditions. 870 projects were launched after completion of the course (Apple, 2015) Apple’ s CSR re-intervention arose from the need to re-brand the company’ s image after an investigative report released by the Fair Labor Association to the public highlighting the deplorable working conditions at factories, which supply Apple’ s products.
The rampant suicides by workers at Foxconn (one of Apple’ s major supply factories in China) prompted investigations into how Apple is part of the deplorable treatment of personnel working in its supply chain. If left unmitigated, such allegations were likely to have adverse effects on the company’ s image, which would, in turn, drive down sales decreasing the profit margin. Fortunately, the company responded swiftly and demanded changes from its suppliers.
The Supplier Responsibility standard represents one of the strategies employed by Apple to ensure that its suppliers adhere to wages and benefits standards (Apple, 2014). Apple demanded its suppliers to increase remunerations given to their employees. The standard prohibits Apple suppliers from discriminating against personnel along with any demographic variable such as age, sexual orientation, the race among others. In addition, suppliers were required to comply with not more than a 60-hour work-week for all its employees. Increased remunerations for personnel by Apple’ s suppliers translated into increased production costs. Therefore, Apple had to adjust their margins, which also included their sales prices in order to cushion against losses while simultaneously not over-burdening its consumer base with the high costs.
In spite of the elevated prices, consumers would still purchase Apple products. They would rather bear the high costs than being plagued with guilt from using products manufactured under inhumane conditions (Myers et al. , 2013). Two strategies adopted by Apple include product differentiation and a premium pricing strategy. The former entails exclusively marketing its products by setting them apart from other products in the market.
Apple products are sleek and attractive, which heightens consumers’ desire to be included in the exclusive club. The “ minimum advertised price” (MAP) is the retail pricing strategy used by Apple whereby the company prohibits retailers from advertising their products below a certain price range (Myers et al. , 2013). In my opinion, targeting and niche marketing strategies are likely to improve Apple’ s profit margin. Apple products target different demographics, which makes it easier to market the products to specific demographics. In addition, niche marketing allows Apple to produce continuously new innovative products for its consumers, as the products are already in high demand.