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In the 20th century, there was marketing resolution in the computer technologies; Apple Company was the top of the list who took all responsibility for establishing in 1970.
Apple computer, inc. is larger company in producing the personal computer industry as well and the company toward fame during the 1980s.
Apple Company has many products like manufactures, and marketing personal computers, software, and peripherals, concentrating on lower-cost, uniquely designed the iMAC and power Macintosh models.
History of founder and the company:-
Apple was founded in 1976 by Steve Wozniak, and their partnership began several years before when Wozniak, they were talented, self taught motivated electronics engineer, building boxes which allowed him to make long distance phone calls for free. And some of such type of boxes sold out.
Apple was introduced its technologies at the same time periods the dell computer, Compaq company and Microsoft corporation launched their products so apple felt them as a competitors in advanced technology. So company has decided to change in strategy for the few years and took this hard time for several years.
Apple computer got fame geographically in the globe as in Ireland, UK, Japan, and Netherlands. This was the greatest achievement for the Apple group.
Apple is recognized for designing the marketing and manufacture personal computers and with the portable digital music players, software and related accessories. Third party videos and audios products are also marketed by the company and dealing with in terms of its services. The strong branded image is the key factor for Apple and its product has a command to sale the premium price. (Datamonitor, 2008)
The recently, Apple's products iPod and iTunes have great success growth in its sector. Users are allowed to legally buy and download all videos and music online.
Sources are easily collected, as Apple Company published the large amount of data, available on the company websites. Some helpful data was accumulated by published annual reports. Rest for data was found without any trouble from including journals, Coventry university websites, and private website EBSCOHOST.
Organization with strategic capabilities becomes a leading icon in strategic development when they start exploiting and expending their capabilities in such an innovative way it becomes difficult for other competitors to compete or to produce new market opportunities. e.g. Apple has always been using its leading IT knowledge in introducing every new product with revolutionary IT techniques to capture new market.
"Strategic capabilities can be defined as the adequacy and suitability of the resources and competences of an organization for it to survive and prosper." Johnson, Scholes Whittington (2006) p. 117.
Organization which sustains its profit upon its rivals, then company is said to be possessing competitive advantage. The main purpose of business strategy is to maintain that advantage on opponents.
Competitive Advantage Model
A company's specific valuable asset which can be used to get unique advantage and the rivals has easy access to same type of sources as well. The following are two main types of resources
Intangible Resources: All none physical asset like skills, brand, reputation, knowledge, information etc. Intellectual resources are one of the important intangible resources like customers information, patent, company's brand and when companies are to be sold these plays important part as a company's asset. In case of Apple Inc. its brand name, its innovative creativity and its distinctiveness, behind its each and every product it has produced or producing, will be the most valuable assets for other interested companies.
Tangible Resources : like Capital, building, Machines, human resources, shareholders, cash, creditors, bankers etc.
All the above sources are most valuable but only their existence doesn't make a company successful. The companies are only successful if they know how to manage these resources effectively by making connections between the staff, their highly skills adaptability, innovatory ability and the relationship between the company and customers.
"Apple Computer's massive iPod shipment volume is allowing it to produce digital music players at a cost far below its competitors, and thus will remain atop the digital music player market for years", Analyst Katie Marsal, 2005.(Web source).
"The ability of a bundle of resources to perform an activity. It's a way of combining assets, people and process to transforms input into outputs." Rao and Krishna (2008. P 213)
Apple has ability to utilized its resources in such a effective way to get market share faster than its competitors and make it difficult for them to compete. When Apple combines its resources and capabilities to produce quality product with customer satisfaction and innovation, either on differentiation advantage or cost advantage, it excels in market. e.g. latest product of Apple are IPod, IPhone and recently launched IPad has no match in market because of its ultra unique design, features, technology and price.
Unique Resources and Core competences
"Those resources that critically underpin competitive advantage and that others cannot imitate or obtain. The activities and process through with resources are deployed in such a way as to make it difficult to rivals cannot obtain" Johnson, Scholes Whittington (2006) p. 121.
"Core competences are the activities that the firm performs especially well compared to competitors and through which the firms adds value to its goods and services over a long period of time" Rao and Krishna (2008. P 213)
Apple products are the best examples which none of the competitor can compete with price, to some extent, but not the quality.
New concept for competitive Advantage by Martin Reeves and Michael S. Deimler, Boston consulting Group
In the current scenario of the business environment, from last decade, sweeping forces are changing the concept of old traditional strategy and have acknowledge new approach to these competition. These changes are
Increasing instability in market trends
Ubiquity of information which makes a business an information business
Fade company and industry limits
Evolving concern about ecological and social environments
Changing values, culture and business structures
The old and traditional strategy planning are not coping up with quickly changing trends hence Reeve and Deimler come up with six new competitive advantages which are listed below:
"It is becoming more and more difficult to apply the concepts of position, scale and static capabilities where competitors and industries are neither static nor clearly defined. These six dimensions of advantages that companies will increasingly need to use in order to compete in the future"| (Martin Reeves and Michael S. Deimler)
Critical Success Factors (CFS)
"Those product features that are particularly valued by group of customers and, therefore, where the organization must excel to outperform competition." Johnson, Scholes Whittington (2006) p. 96.
According to Jonah Ramball there are 10 possible factors which make Apple product successful and they are as follows:
Innovative strategy brings creativeness within the company.
Promoting Creativity gives a company upper hand over its competitors.
Research and Development plays vital role and Apple using it effectively.
Investment in Product Usability is another important tool which Apple uses on their products before launching them.
Looking after your Employee enhances their moral and in result they stretch the talent up to extremes which definitely develop business.
Using the best Marketing Talent with history of compliments in their marketing career.
Apple always makes sure that each and every employees Knows their product well otherwise they wouldn't have been that successful.
Apple has perfect plan to Know its Target audience And then target them well by paying extra premium, to use the existing customers to show off its product to the other group of customers and inspired them to change their needs into desire.
Pricing product correctly is another tool that Apple uses to target a specific group of customers, not all of them, which might cut of some of customers but actual customers will buy accessories on the Apple Store, which is another way of successful business.
Apple Involves its Customers & Communities and use their ideas in further improvements, developments, and extending their product because Apple believes that customers help to grow business.
"Stakeholder are those individuals or groups who depend on an organisation to fulfill their own goals and on whom, in turn, the organization depends". Johnson, Scholes Whittington (2006) p. 179.
Stakeholders can be individual or any group and they have their interests in company and are affected by the decisions, activities, operations, and goals achieved by company. There main aim is to get positive result from a company.
Another way of describing Stakeholder is "Groups or individuals having a legitimate interest in the activities of an organization, generally comprising customers, employees, the community, stockholders, suppliers, and lenders''. (web source)
Stakeholder are mainly divided into three groups:
Primary (Internal ) Stakeholders
Managers, Employees, Shareholders and Investors
Secondary (External) Stakeholder
Financial institutes , unions, suppliers, distributors, and customers
Local community, consumer groups, the government (national and local), political groups, minority groups, and pressure groups
There are three different types of external share holder and due to their relationship nature with the company they could have positive or negative effect on company's success.
First type stakeholder has economical relation with the company and they are mainly from market environment e.g. competitors, suppliers, shareholder, distributors
Second types of stakeholder are from political/government side like government agency, law maker, policy advisors/ etc.
Third type comes from technological environment and has influence on the new generated technologies. e.g. standard agencies owner of competitive technologies.
Main Stakeholder of Apple Inc.
There are total 1442 share holder with still 72.49% of share are outstanding. The five main stakeholder of the Apple with their respective shares are as follows:
FMR LLC $ 45,173,344
STATE STREET CO $ 31,980,670
VANGUARD GROUP $ 31,216,671
BARCLAYS GLOBAL $ 26,449,599
PRICE T ROWE AS $ 24,545,605
Their Powers, Ability, Influence on strategic decision
Stakeholders can affect the company's strategic decision as
Stakeholder can influence the company's decision by using their rights. They can disrupt the organization plans or can be a source of uncertainty in their strategic plans.
How Internal stakeholders influence
Internal Stakeholders have their own level of influence on the company's. their influences can be negative or positive some are described below.
Managers can improve organisation growth, maximize profits, employees seek high wages and favorable working conditions.
Managers are key staff if they are with negative approach or short of skills they can hamper the implementation of strategy.
They Can threat industrial action
Resign can be a treat
Can refuse to relocate ideas
Company needs to make their stakeholder satisfy to sustain its growth.
How External stakeholders influence
Shareholders have a right to sell shares and which result into the susceptible takeover of the company.
Credit can be refused, high interest rates can be charges, legal action for non-payment can be taken and in some cases, company can be liquidated.
Suppliers can material supply on credit.
Customers can seek to buy goods/services elsewhere and enjoy consumer protection rights.
How Tertiary stakeholders influence
The government can influence through
Taking legal action
Introducing tough regulations
Law changes can be treat
Due to our keen research on the Apple Company we conclude that Apple has built up its reputation by using unique style of innovate strategies. It wouldn't be wrong if we say they know the art how to deliver a product into customer's hand with full customer's satisfaction. The way they start from scratch to a finished high quality product is because they are using all business tools really effectively whether it's their marketing research, technology innovation, or launching new product over and above the customer's expectation, are really tremendous while other companies uses same business tools but suffers.
Apple has a unique style of doing business which makes it different from other competitors. Their extra ordinary strategies will keep them a leading icon in IT world. Apple is a big attraction for its shareholder as they know how to keep customer and as well its stakeholders happy.