Apple Strategy

Topics: Steve Jobs, Marketing, Apple Store Pages: 6 (675 words) Published: October 6, 2014
The questions to consider are:
1. What is Apples value proposition?
2. Are their capabilities align with this proposition?
3. Is this a sustainable competitive advantage?
1. What is Apples value proposition?
An easy and extremely good design of customer experience.

2. Are their capabilities align with this proposition?

Processes: The 2 key processes for Apples success are R&D and Marketing. Apple in one the most innovative companies with a huge number of inventions and patens. At the same time the marketing strategy of Apple is design in way that it creates a pull effect in the market rather then the usual push strategy.

People (Skills): Apple has a reputation for having some of the best, creative and innovative people.

Systems/Technology: The case doesn't give sufficient information about Apples systems but publicly available information indicates that Apples internal systems and technology are very sophisticated and focused on affectivity, efficiency and quality.

Alignment: These capabilities are very much aligned with Apples value proposition. First, R&D develops new technologies that make Apples products easier to use with and outstanding design. Second, marketing places the product as an highly advanced technology, initiative to use. Lastly, People and systems are in line with this strategy.

3. Is this a sustainable competitive advantage?

As  discussed here: http://class.coursera.org/strategy101-003/forum/thread?thread_id=1293

the PC industry is highly competitive but Apple has always managed to distinguish itself as a premium product based on design and customer experience. This is primarily based on innovation. As innovation per se is not a sustainable competitive advantage one has to ask if Apple therefore has one but as argues above all the company and its capabilities are aligned with their value proposition. Therefore I would conclude that they have competitive advantage.

First of all : 
Apple Value Proposal: 
Apple is a company that through good design and good marketing offers the best user experience for consumer electronic.  I think that there are 3 main value strategic capability in Apple:  Design: The capability of designing best product and end user interaction in the market. I intentionally include marketing in this capability.  Managing Outsourcing Producing. Apple creates an apple oriented economy ousourcing and commoditizating product production. This capability seems peripherical , but in my opinion is "core" in maintaining the production outside and  guarantying the high product standard the customer expect form Apple.   Maintaining a DIrect Relationship with Customer. Apple speaks directly to the customer. They do not use third party reselers or a third party owned retail store. Any interaction with an appleproduct is head to toe a full Apple experience. 

Below my Capabilies Analisys 

 
What's the result of all this?

In my opinion main strategical strength of Apple are Process , People and Patents. People the more important and that's take us to a last question. Except for the cash for how long "Apple people will give to the company all this advantage?". As Wilma Jeanne Merello has wrote here  the median age at Apple is remarkable high for a company in that business (I wouldn't dismiss "old", err.. "more experienced people" so simply, but that's a datum). With the Steve Jobs loss Apple lost a focal engine of change and adaptation.  I do not see any new product being designed after Steve Jobs demise. I remember how the same company was struggling when Steve Jobs was not there and how it flourished under his leadership. I wish any luck to Tim Cook  for the future, but I think they lost THE key capability.

Anyway Apple will be very profitable for many years in the future, they created an entire ecosystem that offer a strong market rent, but I don't think that the company will be able to replicate the incredible success they enjoyed in the last 15 years....
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