Apple Watch is a wristwatch with additional functionality (smartwatch) created by Apple Inc. Apple Watch Series 5 was introduced in September 2019, and the Apple Watch Series 6 is expected to be released in September 2020. For several years in a row, Apple Watch has been presented at the company’s autumn presentation, along with the new iPhones, which underscores the importance of the Watch for the company. In 2020, a big Apple event is expected in September, when the iPhone 12 and its modifications will be shown, and the Watch will go on sale in September-October 2020. This paper will review marketing strategies for the release of the Apple Watch 6 and customer satisfaction with the product.
Apple is one of the most successful companies in modern times. As for the Apple Watch, they extended its lead and “according to new statistics from research firm Strategy Analytics, with Apple’s wearable now accounting for more than 55% of the whole” (Campbell, 2020). The management of the company pays great attention to the marketing strategy, which was implemented correctly and allowed Apple to become a truly successful company. According to Gurel (2017), “Strategic planning is a way to help an organization be more productive by helping guide the allocation of resources in order to achieve goals.” Quality is always an essential part of a marketing strategy. Without the proper level of it, no company can expect long-term and substantial success. Regardless of the size of budgets and originality of marketing companies, it ultimately depends on the promoted product.
Apple probably had a clear plan for developing the Apple Watch from the very beginning. Year after year, the company followed it, adding new features to the Watch and making it attractive to new groups of people. In this regard, the Apple Watch is a unique item on the gadget market. According to Bhasin (2019), “it is a personal product from brand Apple that is designed to be worn instead of being carried.” While most items get new opportunities following the development of technology, changes in trends, or competition between manufacturers, Apple Watches move exclusively according to their pre-developed scenario.
As for the value offering, it is possible to say that it is authentic. The company “has been able to avoid price wars with competitors by emphasizing its unique value proposition in its marketing communication messages” (Dudovskiy, 2019). Apple is continuously focusing on value suggestion rather than functionality and price — and even though it is almost the most expensive brand among many types of products, it continues to outperform its competitors. It is possible due to effective marketing: Apple manages to convince people of the value of its product and create a need. Whatever the brand offers, customers are willing to pay a high price for it because they see the worth of the product.
SWOT analysis is a strategic planning method used to evaluate factors and phenomena that affect a project. All elements are divided into four categories: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. The method includes defining the project goal and identifying internal and external factors that contribute to its achievement or complicate it. Thus, from SWOT analysis, the strengths of Apple’s product are high product quality, prestige, ease of use, design, market demand, and a good reputation among customers. The weak points of the product are not compatible with analogs and the high price. Opportunities – a secure operating system and the use of high technology, as well as a brilliant design performance. Threats include the emergence of new competitors in the industry and the occurrence of substitutes for products and services in the market.
Strategic marketing objectives can be considered as follows: consistent brand promotion and the desire to satisfy current customers. Regardless of where the customer buys Apple products, they always have a consistently high level of quality. It is an excellent strategy for brand promotion and winning customer loyalty. Apple has managed to create a sense among consumers that they are buying a premium product that represents quality and status. All devices are beautifully packaged, and the buyer feels joy and aesthetic pleasure from the purchase, opening the box. As a result, a large group of consumers has formed who are loyal only to the products and services of this company.
Apple has made great efforts to understand its target customers, their language and habits, preferences, and dislikes. This understanding builds strong relationships with potential and regular customers. The company creates a simple advertisement, the language of which is transparent to every potential buyer, and this approach continues to attract customers. The brand does not sell extra battery hours or large memory. It sells a state of happiness and contentment caused by a new lifestyle – the result of using the Apple Watch. When releasing a product, most companies immediately inform the customer about it. However, Apple creates a mystery by holding data, and it is one of the best marketing tactics of this company. This approach turns interested clients into fans, makes them search on the Internet for more information, and share everything they can find. It also attracts the attention of potential buyers, causing them to be curious. Apple accidentally lets information get on the Internet so that customers and fans start discussing future new products long before the official announcements.
As for social networks, as a rule, Apple Watch buyers are their active users. There is no doubt that “having Twitter and Facebook always present on your wrist will lead to even more socializing” (Cristo, 2014). Notifications about new posts in theme groups or events are a powerful marketing channel and a convenient way to monitor user content. Thus, brand management in social media becomes an even more essential and valuable tool for promotion. However, there is no direct interaction between Apple and customers via social media. Although many people use this means to promote new goods, this company does not have any posts about new products or announcements about their release made directly by the brand. Fans of Apple themselves will spread information about new gadgets, features, and updates. According to Smithson (2019), “Apple Inc. has a limited distribution network because of the company’s policy of exclusivity.” It seems that one of the company’s marketing strategies is to use only channels that are completely controlled by the brand, and social networks do not belong to them.
Customer satisfaction and customer loyalty
Customer satisfaction is the basis for creating loyalty, and this is a prerequisite for clients to use the products and services of a particular company continually. Regular customers are the main strength of the brand and the foundation of a successful business. Therefore, it is necessary to make sure that existing consumers are satisfied before looking for new customers. It helps word-of-mouth marketing work, which is known to be the best advertising for any company.
When buyers are ready to queue up and spend the night in tents a few days before the start of sales of a new product, this indicates that the company has reached a high level of success. By creating fans, not just satisfied customers, the brand guarantees itself a stable position for many years, and it is of high importance in today’s competitive market. The fan community has formed around Apple, including people of all ages and professions. This active community helps to promote the product among both regular and potential customers. The company benefits from recommendations and reviews left by fans. Many customers make purchases in the online stores where the product rating is specified, and reviews about it are published, and making a choice, they do not believe the advertising, but the reviews. It is a tactic to increase conversion through reviews and recommendations.
The Apple Watch has become a market phenomenon, the only product of its kind that demonstrated an ideal strategy for entering the market and year after year shows the most thoughtful development. When it comes to designing experiences, Apple does a fantastic job. Even the earliest commercials positioned Apple products as impressions, not just accessories and gadgets. The company does not only create a product but improves the lives of customers. Thus, Apple’s marketing strategy brings the company revenue and popularity around the world.
- Bhasin, H. (2019). Marketing mix of iWatch – iWatch marketing mix. Marketing 91. Web.
- Campbell, M. (2020). Apple extends the dominant smartwatch market lead in Q1. Apple Insider. Web.
- Cristo, D. (2014). 5 Ways the Apple Watch changes marketing. Marketing Land. Web.
- Dudovskiy, J. (2019). Apple marketing strategy: A brief overview. Research Methodology. Web.
- Gurel, E. (2017). SWOT analysis: A theoretical review. The Journal of International Social Research, 10(51), 994-1006. Web.
- Smithson, N. (2019). Apple Inc. SWOT analysis & recommendations. Panmore Institute. Web.