While most businesses are trying to outperform their competitors using as aggressive advertising methods as possible, Apple was committed to behaving differently and is now reaping the benefits of such tactics – the company has become the global mobile phone market leader. At the same time, Apple has no marketing budget (Clayton et al. 119). The company has never advertised its products anywhere, therefore, no SEO, PPC, media, or paper advertising was used in any form. The corporation was able to attract other companies (mainly mobile operators) to conduct promotions instead of themselves. Moreover, all iPhone ads are paid for by network operators who want to sell Apple products. In addition, partnering operators receive strict instructions from Apple on how advertising should look and what information to should contain, thus, all Apple product promotions are done in the same style. All these factors combined illustrate Apple’s marketing mix strategy, where the product and its price are made of high-quality constituents (Zhang et al. 3725). However, the promotion and place aspects of the strategy is mostly outsourced for operators.
Apple smartphones are the best-selling products year after year. And if sellers want to get an increased profit, they have to advertise what these gadgets sell. At the same time, they cannot promote the Apple brand without agreeing with the brand. Operators who violate these rules are not in priority when it comes to the supply of new batches of smartphones. People are told to spend money to earn it, but Apple does not spend a significant amount (Clayton et al. 125). This is not because the iPhone is the best product on the market. Most of the models in their specifications are no better than similar high-tech devices from HTC or Samsung. The secret to success is Apple’s marketing strategy, which is known as the “exclusiveness technique.” It is easily seen how it is used or even applied it to people. For example, some companies make special offers only for regular customers or subscribers in social networks – this is what the “exclusivity technique” looks like in its basic form (Clayton et al. 121). It works due to the fact that it gives a certain group of customers the opportunity to feel elected, which in turn creates the best business relationship and proves the brand loyalty. Due to these business partnerships iPhone can be considered as both consumer and B2B product (Zhang et al. 3725). Outsourcing the distribution and promotion of Apple’s products to partnering operators makes an iPhone a B2B product, whereas selling it directly to a customer in Apple store can be viewed as consumer product.
All the commercial products undergo through the product life cycle; thus, Apple took this technique as a basis, added its traits and developed it to the most successful and possibly the most low-cost marketing strategy of all time. Instead of making special offers, Apple turned the entire line of its smartphones into an exclusive product. Thus, the most outstanding thing is that with this strategy, iPhones have become the most popular mobile phones in the world, despite the fact that they are still considered exclusive. They deliberately limited the flow of their goods to buyers and sellers of mobile phones (Clayton et al. 119). This shows that iPhone is in growth and maturity stage of the product life cycle due to the fact that new emerging technologies threatening an iPhone with better utility and application (Zhang et al. 3726). For example, VR and tactile sensors can offer more immersive experience rather than simple elegance of iPhone.
Those who did not receive a scarce iPhone should have been waiting for the next batch to be released, often several weeks after the official start of sales. Limited supplies created tensions between those who wanted to buy a smartphone and those who already had them. The desire to purchase a new Apple product was actively voiced throughout the internet, which increased appeal for the gadget. People who had never thought about the iPhone before picked up the despair of those who expressed their desire to have this smartphone. This despair has created increased demand – the iPhone has become a rare and desirable product. These strategies aim to slow down the iPhone transition from growth to maturity stage. Making products less accessible and increasing iPhone’s appeal for a customer prove to be effective methods of promoting the product.
Clayton, Russell B., et al. “The Extended iSelf: The Impact of iPhone Separation on Cognition, Emotion, and Physiology”. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, vol. 20, no. 2, 2015, pp. 119-135.
Zhang, Hao, et al. “Customer value anticipation, product innovativeness, and customer lifetime value: The moderating role of advertising strategy”. Journal of Business Research, vol. 69, no. 9, 2016, pp. 3725-3730.