The Consumer Electronics Industry And Apple Company
With the global economy boosting rapidly and continuous development of high and new technology, the competition of consumer electronic industry is becoming more intense. Depend on the hi-tech, consumer electronics manufacturers are able to push forward the productivity (Robert G., 2009), constant develop the varieties of consumer electronics, improve quality of product and service to meet consumer changing needs (Jeffrey, 2006), create a better satisfied life and change the society deeply.
In the past, consumers have only a little choice in the consumers electronics due to there were not have many manufacturers in this industry, consumers feel easily to select in purchasing decision process (Ralph, 2011), but consumers are overwhelmed by too many choices now.
As the consumer electronics marketers have realized in coming face to face with the brutal reality that it's more difficult and complexity than ever to beat the competitors, so great is the worry of being shut out of this growing market for global marketers of consumer electronics.
Under this market background, the growing role of marketing is to be seen. Marketing is about business creates consumers interest in products and services to the right price and place at the right time (Philip Kotler, 2009). Marketing is relating to understanding the needs & wants of consumers and finding ways to offer products & services which consumer satisfaction (Adcok, 2001). Marketing as a process for manufacturing, communicating, delivering and exchanging that provide value for consumers (Hochbaum, 2011). The marketing aims at meeting the needs of consumers and consumer satisfaction in return for business profit (Mohan, 2005).
The theory of marketing is enriched day by day, the successful marketing is essential to any marketers to succeed (Schultz, 2006). Thus, for being success of marketing as a practice, it can be composed of a coordination of four or seven roles called marketing mix and also is called 4P's or 7P's (Chekitan, 2005). Marketing mix as a useful framework is that describes and decides how marketers driven consumer behavior to gain competitive advantages (Dennis, 2001). Marketers use this practice to try to create the optimal responses in the target market by compounding variables in an optimal method (Keller, 2012).#p#分页标题#e#
Increasingly consumer electronics marketers are also gradually conscious of maintaining their sustainable competitive advantage to marketing by translate their core values into a rational marketing mix framework to effect on consumer purchasing decision (Levinson, 2007), so in the process of marketing, the role of marketing mix are becoming more importance than ever before (Halborg, 2002).
Nowadays, consumer electronics marketers strive hard to run their marketing scenario with the right marketing mix which will enable them to foster a strong and sustainable competitive advantage (Schnnaars, 1997), moreover, they are also attempting to come out with sophisticates, effective and aggressive marketing mix are used to drive consumer behaviors to achieve objective of marketing (Meerman, 2011).
Despite marketing has own many different definitions, but no matter what, in short, they all try to clarity the essence of marketing is about meeting the wants or needs of consumers (Yelland, 2000). If marketers want to directly driven consumer purchasing behavior in marketing, the premise is that they must determine what the phases of consumer buying decision making process while buying a product (Blackwell, 2005) and which the major factors are affecting consumer purchase behavior in each phase of this buying process. In other word, marketers must to know the demographics of their consumers and demand preference (Rakesh, 2006).
Therefore, marketing as management process, which products and services move from concept to the consumer (Caroline, 2003), it is a consumer focused marketing that drives the entire market. Consumer is a central to all marketing activities (Moreno, 2010).
Understanding how consumer behavior when they recognizing it, searching for, purchasing to use, evaluating it and expected satisfying will creates potent and available marketing mix (Christensen, 1998). There are many different complex dynamics closely interwoven with marketing, but can exactly forecast consumer behaviors thereby develop effective marketing mix to drive the variables that achieve desired outcome in line with the concept of marketing where consumers are satisfied and marketers meets their objectives( Clayton, 1999).
Moreover, once marketers understand their target market, it is most likely their competitive advantages will be delivered to their correct target market and change consumer behavior by marketing mix (Deborah J. 2012), resulting in an expected final sales. Meanwhile, there's more than one perspective to say is that consumer behavior is an analysis of people and it can be used to create marketing mix framework that as a marketing tool to achieve target segments (Harper Boyd, 2007).
Hence when the marketing mix and consumers behaviors are intervened, marketers will be able to success in their marketing and higher profits in industry market and sustainable competitive to future marketing development (Baker, 2008).#p#分页标题#e#
However, experience has taught us that due to the significant differences exist in the relationship between consumers' demographic variables and their perceptions of marketing mix in marketing procedure (Michael, 2007). Therefore, leverage operating in this relationship can be deeply challenging.
Against this background described above, the Apple will serve as a case study to understand how marketing will successful drive consumer behavior by their marketing mix, this research with explore a relationship between components of marketing about the Apple marketing mix and consumers' choice of the Apple product based on effects of demographic variables. With the marketing mix and consumers' perception for Apple product, the effects of marketing on consumer behaviors can be understand. The interest for this study will base on the increased attention toward Singapore.
Apple is an international enterprise that makes consumer electronics, computer software and commercial service, their core product lines are the iPhone, iPad, iPod music players, Macintosh line of computers, software and iTunes media browser (Kuester, 2009). For now, Apple is one of the world's largest technological consumer electronics firm and the pioneers of consumer electronic industry by led a technological innovation (Neal Goldsten, 2012), Apple's core product had a large market share in current consumer electronic market.
Apple is well known for its successful marketing with effective marketing mix, in this digitalize tide (Homburg, 2007), consumer electronics manufacturers create value in the mind of their consumers, but the perception of value is subjective and what consumers' value this year may be quite different from what they value next year (Tyson, 2011). Facing this more fierce competitive market, Apple still can successfully analysis the next wave of trend and grasp the continuous change of consumer preferences every time.
It is awfully strange: how Apple to drive their marketing with the right marketing mix framework which will enable them to became the current world's most valuable company by used in different stages of consumer buying decision making process, how the effects of Apple marketing on consumer behavior? the reasons why Apple is really successful strategic secrets of marketing are still a mystery to people, but one thing of which can be sure is that it didn't happen overnight.
This research attempts to find that in a successful marketing, if there is a higher influences relationship between consumer behavior and marketing mix based on demographic variables. Through analyze the consumers' behavior and perception for marketing of Apple in Singapore, to understand what marketing factors influences on consumer purchasing decision and how marketing mix can change consumer behaviors.#p#分页标题#e#
I am taking several core products of Apple, iPhone, iPad, iPod, Macintosh line of computers, software and iTunes media browser are involved on this subject research, why is Apple outsells most other companies? How they successful implement the marketing? How are these products becoming a market leading position? What makes consumers go for these products?
The rationale is selecting the Apple instead of others of many. Firstly, as my research is Apple centered rather than consumer electronics industry, because different companies have different effects of marketing on consumers buying behavior by different marketing mix framework, but can better understand the process of marketing through my research.
The second reason is that only use core product will not broaden the scope of my study, this will benefit from data search that can be easily obtained.
Apple started out to get a personal computer in the hands of everyday and unique of products succeeded beyond others. With the introduction of the iPod in 2001, Apple successful established itself as a leader in the consumer electronics market (Kumar, 2011), and transfers a single area of "computer" from a new direction (Napier, 2010).
After these, the success of the iPad has subverted traditional concept of in PC market again (Schneider, 2011). Since 2007, Apple Inc. has published the mobile product of iPhone that it is mean the touch screen has emerged and a real mobile phone war has begun in the mobile world (LaMarche, 2011). Additionally, the iTunes' success revolutionizes music industry when Apple rolled out it for the masses in 2003 (Jantsch, 2010).
Few companies can disrupt an industry only with a single product is launched, but Apple whose history is filled with such technological world-changing moments. The third reason for using Apple as a case study is that Apple had many successes in marketing. I'll confident of get high quality data richly in my research.
Benefits to the Consumer Electronics Industry and Apple Company 对消费电子行业和苹果公司的好处
To analyze the marketing of Apple by its marketing mix will encourage more consumer electronics business obtain success in the future. This research will bring out the effective marketing mix in consumer electronics industry, which helps in marketers to better understand the needs of consumer and marketing communications to achieve the objectives of marketing. The study also will demonstrate how consumer electronics companies can align their competitive capabilities and core competences to marketing communicate with their consumers and better satisfying the needs of the consumers.
Moreover that doesn't mean the Apple product will be the only consumer electronic for everyone and destroy every consumer electronic on the future market. Therefore, this research also will undoubtedly help Apple to better monitor the their marketing framework and their consumers, the research result of consumer purchase behavior will use as a guidance that help enterprise to strategic plan marketing by improve marketing mix for a sustainable competitive advantages, also effective marketing help they in innovate development based on existing products and services to attract more potential consumers and retain the loyalty of old customers, know clearly their future opportunities and threats are faced so that can continually keep an invincible position in future.#p#分页标题#e#
Benefits to the Academics and the Society 对学术和社会的好处
This research will be expected to study marketing based on the relationship between the influence of marketing mix and consumer purchasing behavior with many theories, not much has be studied on what if any factors have effect on customers and their buying choices by business marketing mix in marketing procedure. This research will try to support the future research as much as possible, at the least to describe the latest trends and development of this subject. A study of the significant differences in consumer behavior and their perception of marketing mix based on a distinct geodemographics. Academics and society will benefit from the relative problems of this subject answered by this research.
Personal Benefits 个人利益
As a market researcher, I'm particularly interested in the marketing relate to an effects of factors on consumer purchasing decision via marketing mix framework as the mediator will explicitly examined. This will also be a unique opportunity to study marketing that focus on consumer purchasing behaviors and business marketing mix, which will support me in my future career as marketing professional. In addition, as a future manager, this research will show my ability of expertise to recognize marketing planning while meeting tough limited budget and time requirement. This research also will demonstrate my determination in of engaged in marketing management after graduate and encourage my entrepreneurial spirit.
Research Aims 研究目的
The aim of this dissertation is to research the influence of marketing mix through attitudinal buying behaviors consumers and further to evaluate the effects of marketing mix on attitudinal buying behaviors consumers. To identify the significant differences exist in the relationship between marketing mix perceptions of consumers and their consuming behavioral intentions based on their distinct demographic variables.
Determine the influences of Apple marketing mix on consumers and their self-demographic characters have been taken as independent variables, and consumers purchasing intentions toward Apple product would become as a dependent variable. Further how the above mentioned independent variables will impact the consumer purchase intention for an Apple product will try to be studied.
To understand consumer behavior understands how they interact the marketing mix that more conducive to effective marketing. From investigate in term of how marketing mix of Apple influence the consumer purchasing decision in Singapore.
Additionally, do identify and assess the successful marketing which would be more helpful to my future career way after graduation.
Research Objectives 研究目标
According to the research problem, rationale and main aim detailed above, my research objectives are:
1.To identify there is a significant differences exist in the relationship between consumers' responses for Apple marketing mix and consumer buying behaviors according to demographic variables in Singapore market.
2.To evaluate there is significant differences exist in the relationship between demographic variables and consumer behaviors in Singapore market.
3.To evaluate there is significant differences exist in the relationship between demographic variables and the perceptions of consumers for the Apple marketing mix in Singapore market.
4.To identify there is significant positive relationship between consumers' perceptions of Apple products and consumers' intentions to buy according to demographic variables in Singapore market.
5.To identify there is significant positive relationship between consumers' consciousness of prices for Apple products and consumers' intentions to buy according to demographic variables in Singapore market.
6.To identify there is significant positive relationship between consumers' perceptions of promotions for Apple products and consumers' intention to buy according to demographic variables in Singapore market.
7.To identify there is significant positive relationship between consumers' perceptions of channel devilry for Apple products and consumers' intention to buy according to demographic variables in Singapore market.
Research Questions 研究问题
This research will try hard to offer an in-depth analysis of major research problem and seek to overall purposes of research, so research questions are highlighted to the following:
1. Will demographic variables make significant affect consumers' intentions to purchase Apple product?
2. Will demographic variables make significant affect consumers' perceptions for Apple marketing mix?
3. Will Apple marketing mix has a positive impact on consumer buying behavior?
4. Will the value of Apple product make positive affect consumers' intentions to buy on alternative evaluation stage of consumer purchasing decision process? And will the value of money as a significant medium influence on post-purchase and customer loyalty?
5. Will the price of Apple product as a significant medium influence on alternative evaluation stage of consumer purchasing decision process?
6. Will the promotion of Apple make a positive impact on consumers' intentions to purchase an Apple product?#p#分页标题#e#
7. Will consumption channel of Apple make consumers feel satisfied and comforted? And if has a positive impact on consumers' intentions to purchase an Apple product?
Literature Review 文献综述
Concept of Consumer Buying Behavior 消费者购买行为概念
Consumer buying behavior is study based on consumer purchase decision making process and act of consumers involved in buying and using products. (businessdictionary.com, 2010). Understand the needs of consumers and their purchase behaviors are important when a marketer comes to success delivering products to the market. (Sheth, 1973) However, the most challenging thing about that every consumer is unique and has his own reason for purchasing a particular product in satisfaction of his needs and wants. Consumer buying behavior also trends to move with change continually in influential factors. As marketers, they must know what factors influence consumer purchase.
The earliest literature review on consumer buying behavior is the book of Golden Rules of Business Success by Tao Zhu Gong (Fan Li, 439BC), which record about the importance of understanding the current and forecasting the future consumer purchasing trends, and then educating consumers, thereby influence their purchasing decision (Kotler et al, 1994).
There is a wonderful example of how does Apple through evaluate consumer behavior to obtain an effective online marketing. Apple assume about consumer behavior are reflected in their online shopping. In consideration of an assumption for consumers' time presses and technical savvy, Apple focus on their products and technology, and design with a tag relating to their core products like iPod, iPhone, Mac and iTunes in website. The design aim at facilitate information intensive and more convenient to consumers online shopping based on Apple behavioral assumption for consumers. This is a minimalist method that Apple assumes their target consumers are suspicious of hard sell, so Apple tries marketing toward "soft sell" approach.
Six Stages Consumer Purchasing Process 消费者购买过程的六个阶段
A consumer gets through six stages in any purchase (Vashisht, 2005) (see Figure 1). According to this model, a consumer must first be recognizing a problem based on his needs. This perceiving could be external stimulated by marketing communication, physical cues or seeing the product in use (Neal, 2006).
When the consumers are aware of they need, and then meaning the identification of product consumer needs, this stage depends on how important the product is to consumer by socially, economically and psychologically (Adcock, 2001).
Once the consumers have recognized a problem, they enter the information search stage on products that look for solutions to their problems. Consumers could undertake both an internal search (memory), and an external search from commercial or public sources (Belch, 2007). Consumers will also tryout the product if possible. The consumers will have a rank or shortlist from which they will buy the products by then.#p#分页标题#e#
After the information search, the shortlisted products will be compared and evaluated by product attributes, subjective factors or personal criteria (Gilligan, 2007). By the end of alternatives evaluation stage, the consumers would have decided on an ideal product to buy.
When the alternatives have been evaluated, the consumers will decide to purchase product includes from whom to buy, where and when to buy, even whether to buy (Vashisht, 2005). Khosla, Swati (2002) notice that marketer must facilitate the action of consumers on purchase intention.
In the final stage of post-purchase evaluation, the consumer compares it with his expectations and ranks his purchase levels of satisfaction. The evaluation determines if the consumer will purchase this product again and tell others (Mullin, 2008).
With the newest MacBook in June, 2012, a case about the influence of Apple successful marketing on a typical consumer's purchase decision making process based on six stages mentioned above.
At first a consumer is going to recognizing need. This problem is recognized by the stimulus, like Apple's secretive press conference. The result as may not be a truly essential item but still become his needs and he so desperately want it.
After recognizing his needs, consumer starts an information search stage. Depend on a high interest, he is going to search all pertinent information for the newest MacBook, because he want understand it better, it include opinions for others and reviews to weight his own options.
During this consumer to evaluate the alternatives, the result in the newest MacBook is very different from others and it is an innovative product. Now to his purchase decision, he is inclined to purchase the newest MacBook base his evaluations on a truly need level. Lastly, when he has gained the newest MacBook, he feels satisfaction on the post purchase.
Factors Influencing Consumer Behavior 影响消费者行为的因素
Various analysts categorize the many factors influencing consumer behavior in different classification. Relevant ways are internal and external factors by Koudelka (1996) and categorization in to sociocultural and psychological factors by Hitesh Bhasin (2010). Mowen and Minor (2009) identifies five factors, which they categorizes in to Personal, Social, Cultural, Psychological and Situational factors effect on consumer purchasing decision (see Figure 2). This way is also endorsed by Kujnish Vashisht et al. (2005).
Personal Factors 个人因素
Gilligan (2009) opinion that each of us is unique traits such as age, knowledge, profession, personality, lifestyle and financial situation will influence our consumer behavior. Kotler (2009) identifies that individual factors are highly linked to the human psychological factors.#p#分页标题#e#
According personal factors, Apple will segment market into a meaningful consumer groups, better serve toward target consumer groups, provide differentiated serve to target consumers and positioning themselves in the minds of consumers.
Another compelling example highlights how does Apple utilizes personal factors to implement their marketing successfully. Due to Gilligan's opinion for everybody is unique, Apple allow consumer according to their own favor to download the different software in their devices so that assemble into a unique product for theirself, such as iTouch allow consumers to download their own favor games, music or moves by iTunes, thus everyone has a unique iTouch that should aim to maximize consumer satisfaction.
Cultural Factors 文化因素
Bob Perry (2009) suggests that cultural factors has most important effect on consumer purchasing decision due to they are the major cause of a personal needs and behavior. Cultural factors include personal value, attitude, perception, etc. cultural factors dominated by personal social culture, geographical area, education level or religious belief and life experiences of shape the personal consciousness or behavior ways (Wilson, 2009). Berkman (1986) note that social status also plays a role will be reflected in the consumer purchasing habits by a combination of income, wealth, education, occupation and others.
For example, consumers used to measure their social status by their consumption level, higher consumption level represents the higher social status, Apple successful utilizes this variable to induce consumers purchase Apple product on an expensive side. Owning an Apple product has become a contemporary social sign. It means that you're doing well enough financial conditions to piss away on a higher-priced consumption level.
Social Factors 社会因素
Human beings live in a society and social factors are really important influence for individual buying behaviors. Family members, friends, relatives or colleagues often form reference groups who play an important role in influencing the purchasing decision of individuals (Hoyer & Haythornthwaite, 2002).
Hence, Apple did a smart application about networking, public forums discussion, and online reports share to indirect influencing the consumer emotion. Based on the modern socially-connected world, Apple marketing has benefited to public praise, word of mouth way, social proof or media hype by this variable (Macinnis, 2010).
Psychological Factors 心理因素
Psychological factors include personal motivation, views, needs, attitudes or perception. Marshal (2007) believes that individually psychology is the biggest challenges will be managed.
"If a resource is scarce, people will put a lot of value to it", Fernbach (2012) said, "consumers go nuts, and they want to buy it." "The rarer a thing is, the more it is value" has been become the Apple's marketing mantra is used to driven consumers' psychology.
Fernbach also indicated two other psychological behavioral factors play a role in helping Apple draw their consumer behaviors to marketing are impatience and herd mentality. Apple thinks that when we see others doing something, we will automatically to following. When Apple release iPhone 5 in September 21st 2012, many consumers take the time to line up outside Meadows mall in order to first to get an iPhone 5 (Denver, 2012). Conformity psychological trend will add personal value, acknowledge and self-recognition (Herzberg, 1987).
Situational Factors 情境因素
Foxall (1998) identified that situational factors accounted for a large proportion of consumer purchasing decision. The act of purchase is influenced by many factors: physical environment (mood, weather or lighting), social surrounds (store's atmosphere) occasion (seasonal pressures) and even temporal perspectives (Stewart, 1987).
Types of Consumer Buying Behavior 消费者购买行为的类型
Henry Assael (1987) divide buying behavior into four types (see Figure 3), depending upon the extent of involvement and degree of difference among products: complex buying behavior, dissonance reducing buying behavior, habitual buying behavior and variety seeking buying behavior.
2.4.1 Brief Four Types of Consumer Buying Behavior
Habitual buying behavior in results when the consumers choose between different substitute products with same features and functions, consumers will go for the one that they has been using before or familiar with it. Kotler (2009) is of the opinion that more due to brand loyalty than habit.
Variety seeking consumer buying behavior is a randomly buy, the result when the consumer has decided on a different product every time. Adcock (2001) holds that switch a new brand not due to dissatisfaction for old brand, it only satisfy they to try out the new one.
Dissonance reducing buying behavior as the third, consumers will be highly involved in this type of buying behavior due to the cost and risk of the purchase, but will recognize less or no product difference between the brands. They feeling distrust or disappoint (Wilson, 2009).
Complex buying behavior takes place when highly involved consumers who compare with full brands of the products in the market. This type of consumer will go through a relative lengthy stage of information search and evaluation based on their needs (Baker, 2003).#p#分页标题#e#
The Application for Apple Company 苹果公司的应用
The analysis shows that four types of consumer buying behavior-based, Apple successful built their brand loyalists, this type consumers loyal to Apple brand goes beyond the product itself. For example, the loyalists who purchase Apple Mac because of them like and believe in the Apple brand. Apple positions their brand values in mind of consumers. Apple applies these values to design anything. If Apple were to sale a car as result in they should be also successful with their loyal consumers due to loyalists will believe that the same perceived across every Apple product they offer.
In this research, according to the concepts, influential factors, purchasing decision making process and types of consumer behavior, consumers' gender, age, education level, and income level as the most important demographic variables will be involved in Apple marketing. Apple applies these individual demographic factors to create marketing mix in order to cater consumers' satisfactions. These demographic factors play a major role in consumer purchasing decision making process. Hence, the hypothesis one was stated as follow:
Marketing & Marketing Mix 营销和营销组合
Adock (2007) using Neil Borden's 4Ps (1953) (see Figure 4), identifies marketing is that a right product, in a right place, at the right time and at the right price. Around this conclusion, the market competition between the businesses has moved from product, price, place and promotion to a single "p"-people, and that people are the consumers.
Marketers are able to obtain more consumers that play a major role in deciding the winner in a diverse, complex and rapid changing situation (Uysal, 2005), because of they recognize that it look unlikely to produce one product that will satisfy all consumers in this competition. Instead, marketers must plan marketing mix to guide marketing. The marketing mix is the strategic framework to focus on developing best tactics and strategies to achieve marketplace success based on objectives of marketing. Marketing mix also as a strategic tool is that used in marketers to communicate their marketing objectives and control variables to their target market (Kolter, 2001). It includes 4 types of variables in marketing mix, also called the 4Ps: (1) product: supply of a tangible or intangible item to meet the needs of consumers, such as brand name, functions, design or packaging etc. (2) price: the amount of money a customer pay for the product, it may include pricing, discounts etc. (3) promotion: the methods of communication that companies to delivery information to consumers, the means like advertising , sales promotions etc. (4) place: a location where is consumer to purchase, the decision such as distribution channels or transportation (Clemons, 2006).#p#分页标题#e#
The Extended Marketing Mix 扩展营销组合
The Extended Marketing Mix of Booms and Bitner (1981) also called 7Ps (see Figure 5), as marketing tool that increase 3 variables based on 4 traditional Marketing Mix framework for seven. The 7Ps model is more useful for technological-intensive industries to attract and retain their consumers (Mauborgne, 2004).
The expanded the marketing mix by replenishing the following three additional P's:
People refer to all individuals directly or indirectly involved in the consumption process. They include the workers, employees, management and consumers themselves. Process as methods, procedures of providing quality services and products and is an essential element of the marketing mix. Physical Evidence refers to both tangible and intangible ability and environment in which the services & products are delivered, such as buildings, stores, experience or customers satisfaction (David Pickton &Rosalind Masterson, 2009).
The benefits about applying the marketing mix are that help marketers to translate their competitive advantages to target consumers helps with goal achievement and promote customers satisfaction (Rice, 1993).
A criticism stated that traditional marketing mix is too simply due to consumers environment has become more complex now (Chiliya, 2009), so, in order to extend the usefulness of it, I will try to best research the influences of the extended marketing mix on Apple by a successful 7P's strategy. Under this criticism, the hypothesis two was stated as follow:
The Application of Marketing Mix for Apple Company 营销组合在苹果公司中的应用
If use one word to summarize Apple marketing mix, it should have to be a "differentiation." Apple makes huge efforts to differentiate their anything from their competitors. There are several typical examples to respectively reveal how the marketing mix of Apple can differentiate others in success.
Almost everyone knows that Apple products are distinct, unique and different from their competitors. All products of Apple succeeded in its innovation for superior design and high-tech functions stand out from their competitors (Diana Samuels, 2010). Apple has been a unified design philosophy is based on their brand cultural for total products. They using similar word named their products: iPad, iTouch, iPhone, iAnyting to create and foster brand identity to consumers (Nick, 2010).
In addition, Apple's core competitive advantage is control over experience of users by a user-friendly user interfaces and a "digital hub" strategy with iTunes and App store, etc. Apple has successful integrated hardware and software services from a single supplier to monopoly operations (Arthur, 2011).#p#分页标题#e#
The long awaited of iPhone5 has just launched and a lot of new design for a smaller dock connector, taller 4-inch screen, 20% lighter than the older version and 18% thinner. The appearance design will deal for users to holding with just one hand. Camera, battery life also has improved and the functional features will support LTE (The Guardian, 2012). And the graphics and processor are twice as faster than iPhone4S by "A6 chip". The iPhone5 is identified as a most high-end product in current smartphone market.
Premium price is well known as price strategy in Apple, the biggest reason for the success of Apple premium price is that Apple provides a distinct products & services and it different from its competitors, so prices will automatically rise and higher than others depend on the distinct technologies provided by each product (Cohen, 2011).
The other tactics is skimming price has a great result of sales for Apple. Each time the Apple launch a new product, they will charge a higher price with a "hunger sale" that they confirm consumers will pay (Benjamin, 2012). And later introduces lower price version with fewer functions (for example, iPod) or a newer version with a higher price (for instance, for the pricing of iPhone 5 is same as previous versions and the older versions will drop pricing) (Jemima, 2012). As the early purchasers are satisfied, and then following the demand curve, the price will be lowered.
Apple Store has already successful out there around the world in different places, and will continues expanding in key locations around the world to improve their capabilities of distribution. Not only Apple Store provides to consumers a comfortable atmosphere of shopping, but also delivers a high touch shopping experience and education mode (Wolf, 2011). The place tactics of Apple Store is attention to detail layout, services like the larger Genius Bar and comfortable product-display tables. Consumers can stay in Apple Store anytime they want playing with the any products with website and nobody will boot out them to leave (Brownlee, 2012).
Apple is very active in its promotional tactics for create "hype" towards public. The main method is advertising, it can be found on anytime, anywhere and any way (Sean, 2010). This effort has successful in creating excitement and curiosity before the induction of new products every time. Today, the logo of Apple has become one of the most recognizable signs (McManus, 2012).
However it's worth mentioning, the point of never changed is that Apple Inc. always keep a distinct and consistent style on its advertising (Gilmour, 2011), such as the commercials of company is focused on "innovation" and the iPod focused on the "coolness".#p#分页标题#e#
The personal selling is one of promotional tool for Apple Inc. (Duckett, 2009) Apple Stores always employ many young and knowledgeable sales representatives to serve their consumers better.
Additionally, Apple knows that the word-of-mouth is usually as a more usefully and effective reference for consumers purchase their product (Martin, 2008).
The continued effect of Steve Jobs' celebrity charm brings a large number of "Apple fans" (Dent, 2011). New Chief Executive Officer of Apple is Timothy D. Tim Cook and today, Apple Inc. owns a various members who are working together with mutual different technology and knowledge area in order to create more effective products and services.
Physical Evidence 陷阱边缘
Distinct design style and comfortable shopping atmosphere environment is major reason of the physical evidence strategy succeeded in revolute the traditional displays (Rachel Lamb, 2012). All experience touch point strong the Apple brand. Moreover, the Apple logo has evolved to an Apple with a bite taken out now.
Apple Company seeks to attract new consumers and retain their loyalty through focus on customer service (Peter, 2009). The service consultants are 24/7 available for the best service to their all users in order to help them optimize solution at the first moment. One to One service will help consumers do more than when they after purchase a new Mac (Grace, 2011). Apple has expanded their delivery channels in recent years such as the MacWorld Expo.
Although the marketing mix of Apple has been very successful, but it still lead to the difference exist in consumer behaviors. Under this line, the hypothesis three was identified as follow:
Relevant Theories and Models 相关理论与模型
The objectively explanation theories & models to complex consumer buying behavior actions tool a major part in this subject, which based on economics, environics, sociology, ethnic and cultural studies, political science, philosophy, marketing science, psychology, behaviorism and anthropology (Schiffman, 1993). These also bring the wealth of valuable literature available on this subject.
Marshallian Theory 马歇尔理论
According to the economic doctrine by Smith and Jeremy Bentham (1879), Marshall propounds the Marshallian model that assumes individual buyer will spend his income on a rational commodity and conscious economic calculation. This theory attempt to driven the buyer's equilibrium for their psychological needs of commodity and individual financial situation with supply price (Runyon, 1987).
Let's go back to 2001, one of the more prominent example is when iPod introduced by Apple, there were already many other MP3 players on the market, iPod were not the first, it were a new technological product that were unfamiliar to people, and iPod were also on an expensive price. Under the background of global economic crisis, Apple was realizing that likely to be missed out on a potential sales opportunities due to the middle and lower classes whose income levels are so low, and Motherbaugh (2008) indicates that the middle and lower classes make up 75% of global structure for the time. According to this reason, Apple changed the product and price of iPod in order to accommodate to meet a social-demographic structure differentiation. Apple introduced the different memory capacity of iPod such as 8G, 16G etc. and different models like a smaller iPod shuffle. Apple did a clever move by create the new marketing mix to cater the different purchasing power based on different social demographic structures.
Applying this principle of theory, Apple has successful seized the potential consumers 'psychology, create products differentiation to handle a consumer's needs and strong urge to purchase on a premium price.
The main criticism of this theory is that consumers are get affected by other variables such as marketing and social factors observably. Consumers are unlikely to be due solely to the prices of Apple products to decide their purchase intentions. Hence, the theory is ignores all the other aspects, is too simple and inadequate (Arena, 2003).
A second view is that the consumers are not likely to fully aware of the market, Kotler (1979) believe that this theory is unrealistic.
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Theory 马氏需求层次论
Maslow is a well-known hierarchy of psychological needs theory (Abraham Maslow, 1943). Maslow categorizes five basic levels of human needs in lower level needs to higher level needs (see Figure 6), range from biogenic need to psychogenic need (Kabuk, 1997). Loudon (1993) support this model is that better understands the consumers' motivation and used to market segments.
Wahba & Brudwell (1976) has argued that found little evidence to rank the hierarchy of needs in their extensive research. Manfred Max Neef (1990) has also argued the result for the hierarchical human needs have not included all, such as freedom. Maslow's model has also been criticized as difficult to categorize because of the ever-changing needs along with a changing environment (Della Bitta, 1993).
Despite the much criticism on this model, the marketers of Apple think that it is useful in marketing mix strategy as result in it can provides an understanding for consumers' perceptions and motivations. For instance, there is main motivation for consumers to purchase an iTouch are to listen to music, play games, or see the moves and as a higher status symbol. These are the primary drives of their motivations to purchase iTouch. The drive of motivations is a pressure that is come from the consumers by their social groups and intentions are the final satisfaction of the buying cycle.#p#分页标题#e#
The motivate level can be measured through the iTouch if satisfy the consumers' expected for quality. According to the Maslow Theory of Need Hierarchy, the consumers purchase the iTouch in order to satisfy their wants and needs due to the iTouch as a luxury product that makes the consumers feel pleasure and satisfy the highest hedonistic needs within total hierarchy.
Additionally, Apple use this hierarchy as a comprehensive framework to guide their create advertising through appeals for the need level towards target consumers, focus on their distinct products features and service experience.
Pavlovian Model 巴夫洛夫模式
O'Shaughnessy (1992) describes that the learning of Pavlovian model is also called classical conditioning (see Figure 7). Pavlov (1890) explains that the relationship with drive, cue and response results in habits. This model contributes to provide insights to research concerning consumer behavior and marketing.
Apple marketing is like the dag of Pavlov, the reason is that once the bell of Pavlov rings, numerous consumers are queuing outside the Apple retail store to purchase Apple product around the world, a huge proportion of consumers are almost become habit. For instance, when the iPad 2 was introduced in last year, nobody mind or even aware of its camera was less than 0.92 megapixels, but the Motorola Xoom's was 5 megapixels and clearer.
The weakness of Pavlovian Model is inability to adequately explain the interpersonal influences, perception etc. to be important result (Gatersleben, 1998). For example consumers may not be able to purchase the Apple product under their financial situations.
However, this model contributes to Apple by offers industry insights, in term of guidance for advertising strategy to target consumers. Apple active in a hype way and repetitive slogan has frequent appear in anywhere and anytime to arouse consciousness of consumers and strong brand identify.
Howard Sheth Buyer Behavior Model Howard Sheth买方行为模型
Howard Sheth Model was considered as an advanced theory of consumer behavior by most scholars (see Figure 8). The major advantage of the model presents with a large number of variables has been linked in the consumer purchase decision based on behavioristics (Bridgewell, 1987).
This model help Apple to identify that their target consumers' individual characteristics, consumer purchasing decision making process, interaction of their marketing mix stimuli, and consumer responses on Apple products under the macro environment stimuli depend on internal personal stimuli and external force stimuli. Apple applies it as guidance of marketing mix that better understanding for a relationship between the stimuli and the response of the consumers by behaviorism.#p#分页标题#e#
However, in reality many decisions are not made in awareness of a determined problem by the consumer.
However, the limitation of study is that the model too comprehensive involvement of almost all variables and many consumers' decisions are not awareness, it'll difficult to measurement and cannot be realistically tested (Francesco, 1976).
Porter's Generic Strategies 波特的一般策略
Michael E. Porter (1995) developed a model of generic strategies to how a company to sustain the competitive advantage and better position in a market (see Figure 9). Porter suggests three generic strategies of achieve a market leadership position, which are cost leadership strategy, differentiation strategy and focus strategies based on target market.
Cost leadership is where the company must offer lowest costs than its rivals (Thompson, 2007). Cost leadership can be achieved by cost-saving, minimizing waste, standardized product and large scale production (Martin 2006). Differentiation strategy makes use of unique product, special brand, innovative services and superior value to capture the market (Stahl, 1997). Focus strategies concentrates on a limited range of market segments. Focus strategy can gain both cost leadership and differentiation (Stopford, 1992).
Critics have always questioned the use of generic strategies, its lack specificity, lack flexibility, and are limiting nature (W.Chan Kim, 2009). Two objectives of cost leadership and differentiation will likely conflict mutually (Baden-Fuller, 1994).
Based on Porter's model, Apple is pursuing a broad differentiation strategy to marketing by providing a wide range of products and services for a high quality, luxury design, distinct features, personalized and user-friendly service. The products and services are breaking through all of race, gender, age and culture targeting populations. The example is personal computers products, such as the iMac, iBook. Apple computers pay more attention to innovation rather than pricing products at lower level. The Macintosh operating system of Apple computers is a unique system in the computer industry. Apple marketing is able to charge a premium price on their products by their differentiation strategy.
Current Market Trends and Challenges facing the Industry 当前市场的趋势和行业面临的挑战
Consumer electronics industry is a very fast moving and continually changing marketplace where new product is launched on an everyday basis. Today the consumer electronics companies work on the mantra of providing more significant product at faster speed than their rivals (Alan Flitcroft, 2008). Time is a key element where the new winner innovative competitive rules at speed (Hart &Murphy, 1998). Every day one marketer is rolling out new technology. In such a trend, no one knows what each marketer will bring out tomorrow that will pose threat to others. So fast innovation pace makes the companies' challenge is that it have been hit by more competitors who have entered market (Carter, 2005).#p#分页标题#e#
Thus, the marketers must seek for their competitive advantage, focus on innovate the new selling points to attract or retain customers. The words of Hart (1999) "must be able to getting different", which especially in the top managed company to go on the market in an invincible position.
Conceptual Framework 概念框架
The purpose of this research is to identify the influence of marketing mix on attitudinal buying behaviors consumers. Determine the significant differences exist in the relationship between Apple marketing mix perceptions of consumers and their consuming behavioral intentions based on their distinct demographic variables in Singapore.
The conceptual framework for this research is based on the several frameworks as mentioned above will be integrated into a new framework (Figure 10) for this research. The several frameworks include Vashisht et al. (2005), Kujnish et al. (2005), henry Assael (1987), Neil Borden (1953), Booms et al. (1981), Abraham Maslow (1943), Pavolo (1890), John A Howard et al. (1969), and Porter (1995). Whereas, intention to purchase Apple product would become as dependent variable, the independent variables should consist of all the influential factors about Apple marketing mix considered, namely, product factors, price factors, promotion factors and place or delivery factors. Furthermore, the demographic variables (age, gender, education level and income level) have been taken as an independent variable. Further how these independent variables will influence the consumer purchase intention (dependent variable) will be studied.
Research Design & Methodology 研究设计与方法
According to modified conceptual framework, the research will use the Research Onion (Figure 11) (Saunders, et al., 2007) in this dissertation. Following this model, the structured from "peel" to "core" the following layer are research philosophies, research methodology, research method, research approach, time horizons. The research design to this research will be described as following.
Research Philosophy: Phenomenology & Interpretivism 研究哲学：现象学与诠释学
Brief Research Philosophy 简短的哲学研究
This research is mainly applied with two philosophy paradigm, phenomenological research and interpretivism research. Although positivism and realism as ideal scientific philosophies are often used in an academic research, but they holds that a scientific truth can be verified by a strong evidence & proof, from the quantitative data, fact of form (Comte, 2005). However, this research major aims at understand the influences of Apple marketing on consumers' consciousness, and it is unlikely to be proved in terms of a scientific quantitative data. Therefore, in this dissertation, this remove positivism and realism as a useful philosophies as their nature of reducing human experience to preset setting.#p#分页标题#e#
Justification of the Applied Philosophy 应用哲学的正当性
Phenomenology as a philosophical research method is founded by Husserl (1984). Lacy (1996) states that phenomenology is a "phenomenon" attempt to describe how object offer the experiencing person, it not only by its physical attributes, but also by non-physical individual experienced. Phenomenology is to study on subjective lived experiences and consciousness (Magliola, 1978). Phenomenology, in Woodruff (2006) conception, is primarily described as a method that to understand a systematic reflection on an individual's personal consciousness and perception. Phenomenology is differentiated by characteristics such as demographics or external directedness etc. (Dermot Moran, 1999).
This research is trying to understand the how Apple to implement a successful marketing by influences of Apple's marketing mix on consumers behaviors, the research attempt to seek an influential relationship between marketing mix and consumer behavior. Due to Apple implement their marketing is direct to the consumers by marketing mix, which can be described in a process of experiencing and perceiving any product or service of Apple. Apple has brought their consumer what product, what value with price and what channel to obtain, a process of marketing communicate is a experiencing with Apple's consumers, the experiences involve all physical and non-physical attributes, so Apple marketing as a process is belong to a phenomena experiencing for their consumers.
Furthermore, consumer behaviors are based their individual characteristics like demographics or perceptions, and that is phenomenology can differentiate and explain it in a clear way (Sololowki, 1999). From the concept of phenomenology, it can help Apple Inc. understand their consumers' reflection on marketing, and these responds are different individual consciousness for a same product or service of Apple. Phenomenology should contribute to Apple plan marketing to more meet in personalized and popular requirements by their marketing mix. Hence, I'll adopt phenomenology as this research philology.
Consumer purchase decisions are established on the basis of "what they perceive in the product of Apple". These perceptions are a matter of personal viewpoint and will differ from each person. Schutt (2006) indicants that interpretivism as a useful philosophy applied in social research, tries to interpret the behavior of the human attach with an experience from phenomenology. Thus, interpretivism should be as a good choice for this social behavioral research because of this subject also is belong to phenomenology based on consumers' experiences. Interpretivism should be used to analysis the basis of reason or motives for consumers purchase Apple products by their purchase behavioral phenomena. I'm trying to understand how a product of Apple perceived to their consumers and what appeal them, so phenomenology will be most suitable to my research, help me to quantify the perceived experience of the consumers purchase behaviors, and seek to find a trend to help Apple to improve marketing plan in future#p#分页标题#e#