Stakeholders Of Apple Ipod Marketing Essay

The cyberspace alterations everything it touches. This statement is even more accurate description of Apple iPod. Apple iPod ‘s popularity is due to its alone design and characteristics. Harmonizing to John Graham from The News, “ The iPod is the anti-gadget. Appliances have buttons and switches that merely function to thwart users, while the iPod ‘s entire simpleness allows it to go an extension of ego. This is what makes it so obliging and indispensable. ”

This study will be utilizing the Gummesson ‘s 30R and the six markets model. The study will concentrate on understanding the assorted selling dealingss of Apple ‘s iPod division. Let ‘s expression at the assorted stakeholders involved with whom the company needs to pass on.

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Stakeholders of Apple iPod





Regulatory Governments



Share holders

Public and the Imperativeness

The stakeholders can be categorised into four major groups:


External Spouses

Internal spouses and


That is the Competitor, Distributor, Accessory maker ‘s etc autumn under the External partnerships. Subordinates of Apple, employees, portion holders fall under the internal partnerships. Customer and Supplier autumn under their several classs.

Customers can be farther classified as

Loyal clients

Loyal clients can be defined as clients who have been utilizing Apple merchandises since a really long clip. These clients would seek out new Apple merchandises irrespective of the monetary value

Tendency searchers

These types of clients would purchase Apple merchandises because they want to be a portion of the crowd and follow the latest tendencies in the market.

New clients

Apple ‘s providers can be classified as:

Primary Suppliers

These are the contractors who build the constituents every bit good as those responsible of piecing the iPods

Operational Suppliers

These would be the other spouses like media, confederation spouses etc

Accessory spouses

These are the accessary makers who are dependent on Apple in a large manner. They manufacture accoutrements for assorted iPod theoretical accounts and organize a large industry in themselves.

Beginning: Adapted from Morgan and Hunt ( 1994 ) and Doyle ( 1995 )

That is the Competitor, Distributor, Partner houses ‘ etc autumn under the External partnerships. Employees, portion holders fall under the internal partnerships. Customer and Supplier autumn under their several classs.

Gummesson ‘s 30 R ‘s:

Gummesson suggested that there can be 30 touchable relationships that can be a portion of a companies marketing planning. We will be concentrating on the undermentioned relationships that apply to Apple ‘s line of concern.

1 ) Classical Triad Relationship ( Customer – Seller – Sellers Competitor )

The portable music industry displays a classical three relationship i.e. a three manner relationship comprising of Apple, the consumers and the rivals like Microsoft Zune, Creative music participants etc. But the market is to a great extent dominated by Apple iPod with a 74 % market portion ( Beginning: – last accessed 9 September 2009 )

2 ) Classic Network Relationship ( Distributors – Company )

The relationship between the assorted distributers and the company are shown by the authoritative Network Relationship. In the instance of Apple, the distributers could be the authorized retail merchants and the company owned retail mercantile establishments of Apple where Apple iPod and other Apple merchandises are available.

In the particular market relationship class, the undermentioned relationships apply to “ Apple iPod ” .

1 ) Customer as a “ Member ”

Customer as a member relation is the Southern Cross of Apple ‘s popularity in the market. One of the major factors that differentiate Apple iPod from its rivals is the intuitive design of the merchandise. It ‘s non merely iPod but all the Apple merchandises are designed maintaining the client in head. In one of the imperativeness releases, Steve Jobs said that the purpose of Apple ‘s merchandises is to do life simpler for the clients and this is reflected in the easiness of merchandises and the popularity that Apple iPod enjoys in the market. Apple to the full understands that all facets of the client experience are of import and that all trade name touch-points must reenforce the Apple trade name. This is reflected in the advertizements ( all the iPod advertizements will concentrate on the hallmark earpieces and the Apple logo ) , the merchandise ( with its outstanding Apple logo on the dorsum of every Apple merchandise. )

2 ) Green Relationships

The Green Relationship is another of import relationship for music participant industry. As most of the constituents in a music participant are made out of plastic and other constituents which can be harmful for the environment, it becomes critical for a company like Apple to be sensitive towards environmental issues. Apple has a dedicated squad of people seeking to do the iPod every bit reclaimable as possible and their merchandises undergo a series of trial to guarantee that they have Arsenic-Free glass, their merchandises are BFR-Free ( BFR is a serious wellness hazard to the client. Apple has pioneered in doing their iPods PVC free which makes them extremely reclaimable.

3 ) E-commerce Relationship

Apple ‘s web site, is a one-stop store for all Apple merchandises. Customers can acquire information about assorted iPod theoretical accounts available ; compare the characteristics, read reappraisals about the merchandise public presentations, purchase Apple iPod and assorted other Apple accoutrements. Apple has created an on-line music shop called iTunes, which complements the iPod. Apple has sold 70 million vocals over the iTunes shop and its success has been a encouragement to the gross revenues of Apple iPod every bit good as the vocals purchased over the iTunes shops can be heard merely on an iPod or a music Cadmium. Apples iTunes model revolutionalized on-line music industry by presenting individual path purchase for 99 cents. Apple follow a bringing theoretical account similar to Dell by supplying them on clip bringing and they besides provide merchandise customization in footings of optical maser scratching on their Apple merchandises for free.

In the mega relationship class, the undermentioned relationships apply to “ Apple iPod ” .

1 ) Mega Alliances

This is a vey of import relationship. Apple has tied up with assorted other industries in an effort to turn inorganically. For e.g. Apple has ties with mega trade names like Nike and HP. Apple ‘s co-branding scheme has been a success in the athleticss section. By binding up with Nike, Apple was able to tap into the athleticss section catering to a really niche group of clients. Nike branded their merchandises as Nike+ and was able to sell these merchandises at a premium monetary value

. Beginning:

Apple besides has ties with assorted car manufacturers like Ford to hold their autos iPod ready. Factory stereos in most new vehicles have an MP3 input doodly-squat. Consumers can link their iPod straight into a auto music system and bask their favorite music.


2 ) Mass Media Relationships

This is a really cardinal relationship. Keeping a good media relationship is really of import for the company. Apple is known as. They deal with all the communicating which goes to the populace at big, which includes advertizements, communications, imperativeness releases etc. Apple is known for holding expansive imperativeness releases each twelvemonth where Steve Job gives his keynote. The Apple event draws 100s of newsmans to a media event.

Ladder of Loyalty ( Source: Peck et Al, 1999 )

Beginning: Christopher et Al. ( 1991 ) : Relationship Selling: Bringing quality, client service and Marketing Together

The ladder of trueness was propagated by Christopher et al. to show that clients can travel towards a closer relationship with the providers in a series of phases over clip ( GODSON, Mark ) . It becomes important for a concern to place the current degree of trueness shown by its clients and put in marketing attempts to travel the mark clients to the desired degree on the ladder of trueness shown above.

The figure above shows that the spread between degrees is equidistant which is non true in instance of Apple. The attempt of clip required to travel clients from buyer to client to protagonist is really little. Let ‘s expression at the trueness that Apple enjoys from the providers and Customers point of position.

Supplier Loyalty:

Apple Suppliers can be found at the “ Partner ” degree on the ladder of trueness. Apple launched the iPod in 2001 and in the past eight old ages managed to re-launch 17 discrepancies of the iPod theoretical account. Besides Apple has the largest market portion in the portable music participant industry and with 50 million units sold worldwide. To maintain up with the turning demand for Apple iPod, it is important for Apple to maintain its providers at the Partner degree in the trueness ladder because holding a dedicated squad of providers helps Apple guarantee consistent quality and public presentation demanded by the consumer. Besides, clip taken to establish a new merchandise is reduced as the providers are accustomed to Apple ‘s merchandises and the acquisition curve is reduced drastically cut downing the clip it takes to present the merchandises to the market.

Customer Loyalty:

The Apple trade name personalityA is about life style ; imaginativeness ; invention ; passion ; hopes, dreams and aspirations ; and power-to-the-people through engineering. Apple clients can be classified into two groups.

The Apple partisan: These set of clients have been loyal to Apple since its origin. These set of clients will ever purchase Apple merchandises without being excessively concerned about monetary value. These clients are between protagonists and advocators. They use word of oral cavity to propagate Apple merchandises and peer- force per unit area to increase credence of Apple merchandises like iPod.

The funny client: These clients lie at the lower rounds of the trueness ladder. They need most persuasion to follow an Apple merchandise. Apple is one of the few companies who develop merchandises maintaining the clients in head. Apple ‘s co- laminitis and CEO, Steve Jobs, is wholly focused on the clients ‘ experience with Apple ‘s merchandises Apple boasts about its merchandises and is confident that one time a client buys an Apple merchandise he will go a loyal client forever.

Six markets model

The six markets theory expressions at the assorted dealingss that a house has with six different groups of people. Relationship direction is a advancement aimed at understanding the demand of clients and supply merchandises and service, besides build a long-run relationships with clients. These clients could be present in any of the six markets shown below. One of the most interesting relationships that Apple has is with the providers and Alliance markets. Due to the success of Apple iPod, assorted accoutrements providers have come onto being. The undermentioned subdivision sheds some visible radiation on the iPod accessories market.

The market for iPod and iPhone accoutrements, like talkers and instances is another sphere where Apple regulations. Apple determines when accoutrement shapers can denote new merchandises, and charges them a assortment of fees, including one for seting a MADE FOR IPOD spine on the points. With over 1,200 companies competing for a portion of an Apple accoutrement market that ‘s nearing $ 1 billion in one-year gross revenues, even rumors of a new merchandise spur manufacturers of iPod instances, roar boxes, and auto arrangers to scramble with their Chinese providers to churn out a customized line of additions. Harmonizing to Ross Rubin, manager of industry analysis iPod retains 70 per centum market portion drives the overpowering portion of MP3 accoutrements.



Internal markets

Supplier and confederation


Referral markets

Staff recruits markets



Fig. Six markets model

Beginning: Christopher et Al. ( 1991 ) Relationship Selling: Bringing Quality, Customer Service and Marketing Together. Elsevier

Apple has had a wont of maintaining its merchandise launches a secret boulder clay the last minute. This creates jobs for the accoutrements makers. Equally shortly as rumors of a new merchandise launch appear on the cyberspace the accoutrements makers have to get down theorizing about how the new merchandise would run and develop accoutrements consequently modifying the accoutrement to suit the new merchandise at the really terminal. By keeping a degree of secretiveness, Apple tries to cultivate this mini-economy, which helps spur on-going bombilation for its devices, by non developing many of its ain competing accoutrements. The booming market is good for the retail merchants every bit good. Retailers like Target and Best Buy do n’t do a batch of net income merchandising iPods but can demand higher borders selling authorised Apple accoutrements. These include everything from customized instances for the miscellaneous devices to an array of particular docks with constitutional talkers and arrangers to link an iPod or iPhone to a auto ‘s stereo system.

Communication tools

The undermentioned matrix shows the assorted communicating tools Apple uses to pass on to their assorted stakeholders.

Table 1: The communicating matrix








Company web site


Particular offers

Loyalty cards

Annual study

Direct Mail

Corporate Image/Logo

We will look at 5 footing tools used by Apple to pass on with the clients: viz. advertisement, public dealingss, gross revenues publicities, direct selling and personal merchandising.


Apple has used a assortment of advertisement runs to advance iPod. These include telecasting commercials, print ads, postings in public topographic points etc. All the ads have a consistent subject where the characters are shown in black silhouettes and the iPods shown in white with the company supplied iPod earpieces. Other promotional tools adopted by Apple include Apple iTunes gift card which can be used to shop online at the Apple shop. These cards are available easy at most of the departmental shops and can be used in the Apple Store from across the universe. Sample advertizements are shown in the figure below.

Apple shops are one of the major crowd pullers. Unlike traditional shops where electronic merchandises are kept behind a glass shelf for show, Apple merchandises are placed in such a manner as to ask for clients to seek and experience the merchandises. Customers can pass as much clip as they want in these shops and acquire accommodated to the merchandises before doing a determination. Therefore Apple uses its employees as a manner of communicating with the prospective clients.

The telecasting ads besides have similar manner of presentation. The Apple iPod is targeted towards the younger coevals with accent of people basking their music on their iPods.

Retaining the same manner of advertisement helps make a permanent feeling in the heads of the consumer assisting construct a stronger trade name callback in the heads of the client.


Most of the fabrication for Apple ‘s iPod happened in China with assorted makers supplying constituents for the concluding merchandises. Apple has a immense bid over its providers as it is the market leader. It has contract with the providers to guarantee the design and proficient information does non leak out to the competition.


One of the differentiating factors for Apple is the manner the company manufactures and conceives its merchandises. Apple treats its employees as clients and encourages advanced ideas and suggestions. Employees are treated as experts in their sphere. For e.g. in an Apple shop, the employees are know as Mac experts or iPod experts who help clients make up one’s mind which merchandise best suits them.


Overall the schemes followed by “ Apple ” and the manner of communicating and channels used have been really effectual and has proved extremely successful in the consumer market. But still there are few countries ; the company can concentrate on to beef up its relationship.

Target economic system section consumers.

Apple has ever been focused on invention. Each merchandise that Apple produces is targeted towards carry throughing a nascent demand to the client. Due to the high monetary value of the Apple merchandises, the monetary value sensitive section is left out. This section which forms a immense ball of the population expression for cheaper options ( extras of iPod ) to fulfill their demand. Apple could re-price their theoretical accounts or come out with more economical discrepancies to fulfill the demands of the monetary value sensitive section.

Expansion Scheme

Apple iTunes and Apple shop is a hit in the western states like Europe and USA. Apple has yet to open the online shop for Asiatic market. Asia is opening up to internet and e-commerce and will shortly go the largest online shopping section. Apple ‘s determination to non establish iTunes and Apple Store in India would be because of logistics issues or due to miss of scalability. Even today a immense ball of the Apple ‘s market is in USA followed by Europe. Though in the recent yesteryear, Apple has increased its disbursement in retails ironss in India, but it is still a long manner from tapping into the immense potency of online clients in India. India is good known for its rich music heritage and if Apple launches the iTunes shop in India, a batch of creative persons who did non acquire an chance to print their work. Besides, most of the Apple merchandises like the iPhone and the latest merchandise iPad will non be available for a long clip after their release. Apple could seek and develop a worldwide release method where merchandises are available across the universe on the twenty-four hours of their release.


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