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The Consumer Electronics Industry And Apple Company Marketing Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Marketing
Wordcount: 5432 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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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).

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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).

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).

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.

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?

1.2 Rationale

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.

1.2.1 Benefits to the Consumer Electronics Industry and Apple Company

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.

1.2.2 Benefits to the Academics and the Society

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.

1.2.3 Personal Benefits

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.

1.3 Research Aims

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.

1.4 Research Objectives

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.

1.5 Research Questions

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?

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?

1.6 Dissertation Structure


Literature Review

2. Literature Review

2.1 Concept of Consumer Buying Behavior

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.

2.2 Six Stages Consumer Purchasing Process

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.

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.

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2.3 Factors Influencing Consumer Behavior

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).

2.3.1 Personal Factors

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.

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.

2.3.2 Cultural Factors

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.

2.3.3 Social Factors

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).

2.3.4 Psychological Factors

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).

2.3.5 Situational Factors

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).

2.4 Types of Consumer Buying Behavior

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).

2.4.2 The Application for Apple Company

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:

H1: The significant differences exist in the relationship between demographic variables and consumers’ intentions to purchase Apple product.

2.5 Marketing & Marketing Mix

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).

2.6 The Extended Marketing Mix

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. Ph


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