Apple has a somewhat different approach to promoting its brand and specific products. It does not spend heavily on advertising compared with companies such as Samsung and Xiaomi in the mobile device market and with Lenovo and HP in the personal computer market. The promotion strategy of Apple centers on maximizing its several sources of competitive advantage such as its strong brand presence, reputation, and a large pool of loyal consumers.
Promotional Mix: Major Activities in the Promotion Strategy of Apple
Remember that promotion is an integral part of the marketing mix of Apple and its overall business strategy. It also communicates the value propositions of its products developed in its product strategy and supplements its distribution strategy. Understanding how the company promotes its brand and products require understanding the following key promotional activities or the elements comprising its promotional strategy:
Note that Apple still does advertising. However, rather than using traditional mediums of communication or expensive marketing communication channels such as television and outdoor ad placements, it focuses more on digital advertising.
The company places regular ad spots on search engines such as Google Search to promote its official website and social media such as Twitter to promote some of its products. It also launches special ads as part of moment marketing. Some less popular products are advertised on traditional and digital mediums or platforms.
It is also interesting to note that third-party distributors of its products such as its authorized resellers and network carriers spend on advertising iPhone and iPad devices as part of their own promotional strategies. This means that Apple gets mileage for free.
2. Digital Marketing
Part of the promotion strategy of Apple is to maintain its presence in different digital mediums or online platforms. Remember that it has an official website that provides target consumers with product information while serving as an online storefront.
The company also has official accounts on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. These social media platforms serve as mediums for rolling updates about its products and other announcements relevant to its business such as critical activities and press statements. It also uses social media to connect to its existing consumer base and target customers.
Content marketing is also an aspect of its digital marketing push. It produces and uploads content such as blog articles, press releases, media assets, digital posters, and videos showcasing its products and relevant company or brand information.
3. Public Relations
One of the strengths of Apple as far as promotion is concerned is public relations. The company has specific tactics and activities aimed at building and maintaining its relationships with different stakeholders while capitalizing on free publicity.
Included in its critical stakeholders are its customers and target customers, members of the media and tech enthusiasts, software developers and third-party manufacturers, and investors. The company has reached a point in which its announcements and events have become sought-after by the media, tech reviewers and influencers, and the public in general.
The company also hosts events for software developers and third-party manufacturers. There are also dedicated corporate communication campaigns for investors and other stakeholders such as non-profit organizations, business partners, and advocacy groups.
4. Events Marketing
Another major promotional activity of Apple is the series of events it hosts each year. These events supplement its specific public relations strategy and other marketing efforts such as digital marketing push and brand promotion.
Two of its notable events are the Apple Event and the Worldwide Developers Conference. The former is a venue for introducing new products such as devices and software. The latter has also become a venue for product announcements but it also provides an opportunity for journalists, developers, and manufacturers to participate in specific activities.
Events marketing allows the company to build and maintain its relationships with its stakeholders. Furthermore, considering the reputation of its events, these activities generate buzz to hype upcoming product launches and provide the company with media mileage.
5. Sales Promotion
The company also uses different sales promotion tactics to stimulate demand for specific products, improve product availability, appeal further to consumers and target consumers, and increase consumer retention and engagement.
An example of its sale promotion activity is discounts. Apple offers discounts for students and business customers. It also uses reduced pricing and installment pricing based on a particular as part of its pricing strategy. There are also freebies with each purchase. These include free access to software and services within the Apple Ecosystem.
The company also has a trade-in program that supplements its supply chain strategy. This program allows individuals to trade their used and old Apple devices to receive credits or discounts that can be used for purchasing new devices.
6. Corporate Image
Note that corporate image campaigns are part of the promotional activities and promotion strategy of Apple. These are similar to public relations and the collective goal of these activities is to create a favorable image for the public.
Apple has launched several corporate social responsibility initiatives to create win-win situations that would benefit itself or its entire value chain and its stakeholders. Its involvement with the Product Red campaign which aims to generate funds to tackle diseases is an example. The campaign has resulted in the launch of limited-edition Apple devices.
The company also has a comprehensive environmental strategy that supplements its supply chain strategy, product strategy, and distribution strategy. It intends to lessen the environmental impacts of its business through various sustainability initiatives.