Profile of the Apple Organization
Apple Inc. as one of the successful computer product development companies in the history has produced the most popular digital electronic devices such as iPhone, iPad and so on. The company designs and produces a series of superior electronic products using its unique technology and service concept. The success of Apple is not limited because of one aspect. In addition, the Apple was not as successful as present. The company treasures each of the factors that influence the corporate profitability. From the quality of products to marketing strategy, Apple developed a range of exclusive approaches for management and development. This report therefore is going to examine the reason of the success of this company. In order to analyze the inside perspectives of Apple, the report is composed by the following four parts. First part is the profile of the Apple, an overview of the development of Apple. Second, Apple’s marketing strategies, this part is going to introduce Apple’s strategies of reaching more customers with high-quality products with unique design and services. The third part aims to provide an examination about how did Jobs create a high-performance culture of the company. In the last part, the report is going to discuss the employee motivation strategy, which includes the company’s strategy of motivating employees to perform well and loyally for the Apple.
Profile of the Apple
Apple, Inc., one of the greatest product development companies in the world, was founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976 in America with the development of the first Apple personal computer. In 1965, Apple’s business decreased greatly because of the intensive competition from Microsoft’s Windows operating system (nyjobsource, 2011). In 1998, Jobs developed the iMac, an all-in-one Macintosh computer that saved Apple back to profitability (nyjobsource, 2011). As the advent of iPod in 2001, Apple led the digital electronic devices market and sold nearly 200 million iPods by now (nyjobsource, 2011). The great development followed by the new mobile communication devices: iPhone Smart Phone. In 2007, the company changed its name from Apple Computer to Apple Inc. Apple is well-known as one of the most innovative technological companies which own products with brilliant design and good quality (Jose, 2010). The company designs, manufactures and sells a range of mobile communication with the products such as iPhone smart phone, media devices with the products such as iPod, computer software with the products such as Mac OS X operating system, and personal computers with the products such as iPad, iMac (Jose, 2010). Apple sells all of its products through its retail stores, online shopping system, direct sales force, third-party cellular network carriers, wholesalers, retailers, and value-added resellers (Jose, 2010). It operates over 300 retail stores all around the world (including United States, England, Australia, China and Japan). Moreover, the company typically located its retail stores at high-traffic locations in shopping areas. Apple’s customers are mainly in the consumer, SMB, education, enterprise, government and creative markers (Jose, 2010).
When it comes to marketing strategies, Apple is a company that consistently leading the computer industry. For several years, Apple’s “digital hub” strategies included creating innovative products and services with Macintosh computer products function as the digital hub for digital devices, such as Apple iPod and so on (Marketingminds, 2011). More recently, Apple’s branding strategy is based around the customer emotions and experiences. The core value of the strategy is about lifestyle, imagination, liberty regained, innovation, passion, hopes, dreams, and aspirations, and power-to-the people trough technology (Marketingminds, 2011). Apple fully treasures every aspects of customer experience. The company is committed to bring the best user experience to its customers. The successful strategy for enhance customer services as well as increase public awareness is Apple intensified and improved its distribution market through opening its own retail stores in cosmopolitan cities all over the world. As of September 25 of 2010, Apple had opened overall 317 retail stores, including 233 stores in America and 84 stores overseas (Jose, 2010). In addition, when going into any of the apple retail store, the customers are not only well served by the Apple staff who have been fully trained to be knowledgeable in all fields of the Apple products but also enable to experience any of the interested Apple products. Apple believes that a high-quality buying experience with knowledgeable salespersons enhances chance to attract and retain customers (Jose, 2010). More than that, the Apple brand personality is about “simplicity and the removal of complexity from people’s lives; people-driven product design; and about being a really humanistic company with a heartfelt connection with its customers” (Marketingminds, 2011). On the other hand, the brand equity and customer franchise embodied Apple strongly. For the biggest competitor Dell, Apple has big advances in becoming more efficient with its manufacturing supply chain, logistic and operations. Although Apple’s product costs are similar to those of dell, Apple does not need to pay another company for operating system licences (Marketingminds, 2011). More than that, the company’s strategy is its unique technology to design and develop its own operating systems, hardware, application software, and services to provide its products with easy-to-use and attractive design and related services (Jose, 2010). The company is therefore uniquely offer superior services and products with high quality.
What makes Apple successful? In addition of brilliant marketing strategies, Apple shares high-performance organizational culture. Steve Jobs, one of the Apple’s founders, described Apple’s culture as “that of a startup” (Merchant, 2010). That is because what caused Apple’s success is that caused startups to innovate. Professor David Caldwell (see Merchant, 2010:4) describes “culture as a shared understanding of assumptions and expectations among and organization’s members, and it is reflected in the policies, vision, and goals of that organization”. Leadership drives culture, and culture informs innovation and success of the company. Jobs concentrated on building a high-performance culture for Apple by doing three things well. First, he abstracted all the strategies into one thing. For example, he shut down big portions of revenue-generating business because they did not fit with Jobs’s idea of the company. Second, when forming new ideas, he eliminated passive aggressiveness and on the other hand encouraged debate. In fact, when designing a new idea or resolving difficult problems, disagreements are inevitable between bright persons. However, the debate which can be seen as creative conflict could promote the new ideas. Third, Jobs created a cross-disciplinary view of how to make the company succeed (Merchant, 2010).
Employee motivation strategies
According to Apple Inc.’s annual report (Jose, 2010), as of September 25 of 2010, Apple employed around 46,600 full-time employees and 2,800 full-time temporary employees and contractors. Apple is considered as the most innovative and admired company in the world, which attracts and retains employees (Muller, 2010). Apple not only offers product discounts, benefits, non-performance related incentives, insurances but also gathered bright and creative people together by its creative culture (Muller, 2010). According to a survey conducted by Silicon Alley Insider (Motivation, 08/07/2010), ex-employees of Apple claimed that corporate event management which allows employee fully employ initiative and innovation is highly rated by employees of Apple. In addition, Apple started Employee Stock Plan, that is, a plan provides for broad-based equity grants to employees, including executive officers (Jose, 2010). At the company’s 2010 annual meeting of shareholders, the Employee Stock Plan in 2003 was clarified to “extend the Company’s authority awards granted under the 2003 Plan intended to qualify as ‘performance-based awards’ within the meaning of Section 162(m) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code through the 2015 annual meeting of shareholders” (Jose, 2010:71). According to Apple annual report (Jose, 2010), as of September 25 of 2010, nearly 62.5 million shares were reserved for future issuance under the 2003 Plan. More than that, the company launched Employee Stock Purchase Plan and Employee Savings Plan which aim to improve employee’s benefit and enhance employee’s incentive.
Overall, Apple as the one most successful computer company in this industry, its success caused by a lot factors. From the management to production, Apple has invested its unique technology and strategy. The company creates ranges of marketing strategies in order to reach more customers and provide them high-quality products and services. In addition, the successful strategy for enhance customer services as well as increase public awareness is Apple intensified and improved its distribution market by the measure of opening its own retail stores on high-traffic streets all over the world. More than that, each of the store provide high-quality services by knowledgeable salespersons and free experience on new products. Another important strategy is focus on the characteristic of products. Apple is committed to produce superior products using its unique technology and design. By creating a high-performance culture, Jobs reformed and regulated the strategic approach of the company. First, he abstracted all the strategies into one thing. Second, when forming new ideas, he eliminated passive aggressiveness and on the other hand encouraged debate. Third, Jobs created a cross-disciplinary view of how to make the company succeed. For employee motivation strategy, Apple provided the chances of corporate event management in the company which motivates employees intensive. In addition, it launched Employee Stock Plan, Employee Stock Purchase Plan, and Employee Savings Plan which aim to improve employee’s benefit and enhance employee’s incentive. Therefore, Apple Inc. uniquely provides customers worldwide with superior services and high-quality products.
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Merchant, N. (2010). Apple’s Startup Culture. BusinessWeek, 6/15/2010, p4-4.
Motivation. (08/07/2010). Ex-employees offer insight into Apple’s leadership and motivation strategies.
Muller, C. (2010). Employee Motivation and Incentives at Apple: Do Incentives Really Help to motivate Employees? Germany: GRIN Verlag.
Nyjobsource. (2011). Apple Inc.