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Apple-Total Brand Management

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Apple Inc., is an American multinational corporation start with a focus on designing and manufacturing consumer electronics and closely related software products. Established by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, in Cupertino, California on April 1, 1976.

Apple develops, sells, and supports a series of personal computers, portable media players, mobile phones, computer software, and computer hardware and hardware accessories. As of December 2007, the company operates about 200 retail stores in five countries and an online store where hardware and software products are sold. Apple employs over 20,000 permanent and temporary workers worldwide and had worldwide annual sales in its fiscal year 2007(Sept ’07) of US$24.01 billion

Apple Inc’s revenues come from the computer hardware, software and consumer electronics industries. It’s competitors are Dell, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Sony.

Apple Inc. has undergone a sea of change over the years, from being PC creators to IPod, the revolutionary digital media player. This write-up will discuss the article Total Brand Management, Choices Again and vis-Ð" -vis Apple Inc (AAPL).


When a product is designed as a brand business system, brand management cuts across different business function streams. It requires decisions and actions at every point along the value chain. This leads to total brand management.


- Major escalation in the amount and kind of investments necessary to support a successful brand. Total brand management takes a variety of forms: Heavy investments in information systems, customer service which contribute to marketing of the core product, Leveraging innovations, marketing investments and trade promotions over a coherent brand portfolio, Designing the entire retail system as the brand.

• For total brand management to work, simply increasing advertising budget doesn’t help. To succeed, the following three high-leverage activities hold key.

- Maximize synergies across a coherent brand portfolio.

- Strengthen the brand portfolio through innovation.

- Secure the brand through close relationships with customers and the trade.


- Apple is vertically integrated, designing its own operating system, software, and hardware, and selling these products through its own retail stores. To retain an edge in the highly competitive Personal Computer and Consumer Electronics markets, Apple's stated philosophy is to increase investment in research and development, as well as marketing and advertising to extend market position. Over the years, Apple Inc has introduced products like Newton, iMac, MacBook Pro to iPod and iPhone which has helped them build their brand. Apple’s baseline score for customer service was 77/100 and the Q2 2007 score was 83. It has been voted as one of the top ten companies in customer service.

- Apple decided to go for a brand and image overhaul. In the early 2007, the word �Computers’ was dropped from the company name to make in Apple Inc. This was done to draw attention to Apple’s diverse product portfolio. Also they started marketing individual product apart from the brand as a whole. Slogans like �iThink therefore iMac’ were used for promotion. The rainbow-colored silhouette of an apple with a bite taken out of it and currently the strictly monochrome logo is synonymous with the brand which has given it extremely high recall value.

- Apple has built a coherent brand portfolio. It has also reinvented its product line by repositioning, extension and transformation. Apple has also honed its brand through slick marketing moves, such as its distinctive white headphones, multi-colored Macs, the lowercase “i” preceding product names, and dramatic buildups to product announcements. This has left their competitors Microsoft, Dell, SanDisk to figure out their strategies to counter them.


- When demand is lean and the competition is fierce, it boils down to survival of fittest. At this juncture, it is important to make the choices and decisions carefully.

- The first set of choices concerns where to compete. It requires a thorough understanding of the competitive landscape. The questions to be answered are the number of business segments to compete in, with a competitive advantage to make good profits. Which segments and locations are unprofitable, if so, deciding exit methods that will make the company still a strong and profitable competitor?

- The second set of choices concerns how to compete. It requires exploring alternatives to the current business and operations methodology. The issues to be tackled here are restructuring cost base, impact of elimination of unproductive costs and assets.

- Companies that have courageously tackled the above issues have emerged triumphant and have made profitable ventures. These choices and questions have made the companies realize their core competencies and areas of strength, giving them a chance to continuously improve, be efficient and profit. Thus, they are able to increase their sales in the chosen area.


- Apple’s strength lay in its ability to produce hardware, software(color graphics and GUI) Initially Apple refused to license its operating system to other PC makers, a misstep that helped Microsoft’s Windows operating system become the industry standard. Through the late 1980s and early 1990s, Apple struggled



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