Strategic Brand Management


Since Apple was set up in 1976; the company has continually grown and achieved a status that other organizations desire to attain. It began as a small company that was confined to the production and sale of individual computers. However, Apple has grown to be a leader in the global arena. After struggling to attain a unique branding position the company has developed a universal perception to its customers that its devices are of superior quality. Moreover, Apple has succeeded in presenting itself as a peculiar brand from its competitors (Burmann, Jost-Benz, and Riley, 2009, pp. 395).  Its consumers have been loyal due to its marketing approaches, its capability to rise above the competition, and highly innovative product lines (Rosenbaum-Elliott, Percy, and Pervan, 2015, pp. 8). Apple is a dominant force in the market because of its innovative and user-friendly high-quality products. The company is likely to realize more growth if it will continue to implement and improve on these core values. The key aspects that have helped Apple remain successful are their commitment to producing high-quality products and continuous provision of new innovative ideas. The following are the significant aspects that have made Apple become a leading global brand. These are a reliable operating system, unique design, multi-tasking, relatable, innovation, quality, and tech specs (Gobeli, and Brown, 1987, pp. 28).

Brand Inventory

Logo: The Company uses a single color in its logo where it shows a bitten apple. The logo reflects the high-class products made by this brand (Rohan, 2013). Any individual that is aware of the reputation of this company associates it with high quality wherever the logo is noticed. The logo is considered to be a symbol of the highly most excellent products in the electronics industry.
Packaging: Concerning packaging, Apple uses white colored boxes bearing only the name of the product, information explaining the origin of the product, and a colored picture. The company intentionally uses this simplicity to create a curiosity which makes consumers desire to open it as soon as possible (McElhearn, 2015).  Writing little information on the packaging material focuses the consumers’ attention to the product itself. In doing so, the opening of the boxes remains to be a memory remembered by many for an extended period.

Slogans: The use of slogans seem to work well for Apple. Once the company has launched a new product, it employs single line slogans to market it to its potential consumers. For, example, the motto that the best important thing to occur to iPhone is iPhone, is designed to express what the device can deliver and also arouse curiosity pushing buyers to purchase the commodity.
Communication: Apple crafts and communicates its messages with extreme care. Many brands use celebrities as endorsements for their products an approach which Apple appears to disapprove. Instead, Apple seeks to establish relationships with its customers. It is known globally for its use of the least number of words but manages to bring out the message in an elegant manner (Fitzsimons, Chartrand, and Fitzsimons, 2008, pp. 21). The messages display how Apple offers its valuable products to its consumers. Since the brand has managed to create a sense of superiority among its consumers, the company uses ideas like “I am Mac” which means that users will too become greater if they purchase Apple goods (Mattu, 2015).
Pricing Strategy: The pricing strategy adopted by Apple is also an important strategy to consider. It keeps its prices higher than those of other brands since its target market is the elite members of society. The implication should not be that its products are overpriced since these prices are set to match the superior quality contained in these products (Bastien, 2015).  Accordingly, Apple is committed to delivering unique fashions to meet the desires of the elites. Its pricing plan is usually successful as observed from the huge amount of sales it records.

Marketing and Delivery: Apple uses multiple resources to market and delivers its products. It uses its website, App store, and key retailers including Wal-Mart and its outlets positioned in diverse markets globally. These retailers and outlets are also some of how the products are circulated. The devices are displayed at Apple retail outlets and availed for use by prospective users before they can decide to purchase (Smith, Quelch, and Smith-Quelch, 1993, pp. 21). Using Apple products at outlets helps the company convince its customers better since they get a firsthand experience of using Apple products. In doing so, the company reduces distances that would hinder potential consumers from buying the products.

Apple’s Brand Portfolio

  • PC/Laptop
  • Mac
  • Macbook
  • Macbook Air, Pro and Mini
  • Smartphones
  • iPhone 5s
  • iPhone 6 and 6 plus
  • Music Devices
  • iPod Touch
  • iPod Nano
  • iPod Shuffle
  • iPad and iPad mini


  • Others
  • Apple TV
  • iMac
  • Apple Watch
  • Apple Music

Competitors: Regarding Apple’s competitors it faces a significant challenge from other established brands like Samsung, Android, Dell and Microsoft in the electronics market. Samsung is the leading competitor in the field of tablets and smartphones (Worth, 2015). The company has dramatically focused on technologies and specifications specifically tailored to satisfy customers’ needs. It has established a marketing strategy similar to that of Apple. They use comparison methods resembling those of Apple in an attempt to develop their brand as its rival. Through these comparison methods, they aim to prove that they have products that are equal to or better than those of Apple. The smartphone sector is the dominant area of competition between the two brands. The Android operating systems are similar to the Apple iOS software. Samsung is leading because it uses this operating system for all its phone models. They have also created operating systems and services similar to those of Apple. Some of these features include the music store, multi-tasking, and voice dictation functions.

Dell takes its position behind Apple in the market for laptops and PCs. The company has successfully reached out to students and educators by offering discounts and promotions on their products. Even though they have managed to create a prominent brand in the industry, they are yet to beat Apple. Their products are sold at lower process although many customers have reported a high number of malfunctioning rates. Here, Apple takes the lead since most of its products are dependable. Microsoft’s laptops and PCs are competitive due to the creation of windows and Intel processor a popular operating system. They have also entered the mobile market through the launch of windows phone. The aim is to create an overall brand image comparable to that of Apple to enable them to offer a variety of products. Microsoft seems to pose a significant challenge to Apple in the field computers. Microsoft’s Windows operating system is more preferred due to its ease of use and availability around the globe. Currently, there are more users of Windows operating system than Apple’s operating system. Moreover, its operating system can only be used in its devices and computers.

SWOT Analysis


  • It leads the market in the making of computers and smartphones (Jurevicius,2019)
  • It is a superior brand characterized by intensive innovations and high-quality products
  • The company is financially stable
  • Apple has very loyal consumers
  • It has well-established supply chains
  • The brand’s products are easily accessible
  • The brand enjoys enormous profit margins
  • Apple manufactures both hardware & software


  • Its products are sold at high prices compared to other brands
  • Apple products are not compatible with other brands
  • The brand has a few numbers of products
  • The latest products have shown diminishing trends of innovation (Jurevicius,2019)
  • Most recent products appear to be duplications of previous releases with limited adjustments
  • With the change in the brand’s executive, the working strategy shifted from innovation to protecting the already developed products
  • The marketing and promotion of products are only restricted to specific parts of the world.


  • Identifying and venturing into new markets
  • Additional product diversification
  • Establishing affiliations with existing brands
  • Ensuring that they improve on the compatibility of their products with other brands (Jurevicius,2019)
  • Conducting more research on new product developments and innovation


  • Emerging giants in the field of technology and creation of new software such as Android and Google
  • Competitors have low priced products (Jurevicius,2019)
  • Devices from other brands have more features more so computing features
  • Other brands are already available in most parts of the world.

Brand Plan

Considering the above strengths and weaknesses, it is evident that there is a need for various improvements. Even though the company manufactures high-quality, reliable machines, they are less efficient and since they are not compatible with other machine readers. Currently, the brand is disconnected from all other brands since it has kept information about its products confidential. Other manufacturers are not able to make compatible devices due to this reason.

Even though the company brags of having loyal customers, the clients find themselves in hard situations when they need to repair their devices as there are no qualified persons to do so. If the brand designed a brand that can allow repairs just as it is possible to upgrade its devices, the brand would make more sales.

The brand should stick to its original intention of innovation to ensure the prolonged existence of the brand. On this point, it should deal with the issues of diminishing innovation to avoid duplication of its previous products. In doing so, it will maintain client loyalty and brand reputation. The brand also needs to broaden its marketing strategy to acquire and maintain its consumers. It should also focus on entering emerging markets and even expanding in the existing markets. Currently, its focus is on helping customers remember their brand a strategy that its rivals have used against them. There is a need for coming up with new approaches to publicizing their brand. Apple also needs to improve the satisfaction level of its consumers to achieve more customer loyalty (Kelly, 2014).

Apple is known to enjoy the most substantial profit margins than any phone maker, and it appears that it has to reduce these profits by lowering the prices of its commodities a measure that it has already employed in response to fewer sales made by its new iPhones (Kelly, 2018, pp. 1).

Kharpal, (2019) notes that Apple has been performing poorly in China due to its weak pricing strategies observed from constant price cut downs. The poor performance is also contributed to by few exciting features in its products when matched with local brands like Huawei. Moreover, the locals have also claimed that using Huawei is a way of promoting their local brand since they also want it to go global. Apple needs an aggressive marketing strategy combined with fair pricing policies to dominate in such markets. Diversification of products to ensure that its devices have many features will also improve on the competitiveness of its products. The devices should be customized and sensitive to the specific markets in which they are to be sold to improve on sales. Apple is a strong brand but still has an opportunity to enhance and maximize its profitability.







Bastien, V. (2015). Marketing To A High-End Consumer, Using The Luxury Strategy. [online]        Entrepreneur. Available at: [Accessed 26            Mar. 2019].
Fitzsimons, G.M., Chartrand, T.L. and Fitzsimons, G.J., 2008. Automatic effects of brand exposure on motivated behavior: how apple makes you “think different”. Journal of        consumer research, 35(1), pp.21-35.
Gobeli, D.H. and Brown, D.J., 1987. Analyzing product innovations. Research             Management, 30(4), pp.25-31.
Hakala, U., Svensson, J. and Vincze, Z., 2012. Consumer-based brand equity and top-of-mind awareness: a cross-country analysis. Journal of Product & Brand Management, 21(6),   pp.439-451.

Burmann, C., Jost-Benz, M. and Riley, N., 2009. Towards an identity-based brand equity  model. Journal of Business Research, 62(3), pp.390-397.


Johnson, K., Li, Y., Phan, H., Singer, J. and Trinh, H., 2012. The Innovative Success that is Apple, Inc.
Kelly, G. (2014). The Majority of iPhone Users Admit to ‘Blind Loyalty’ – Why This Is A     Problem For Apple. [online] Available at:   –  admit-to-blind-loyalty-why-this-a-problem-for-apple/ [Accessed 26 Mar. 2019].
Mattu, R. (2015). Apple clarity and communication keep brand at top | Financial Times. [online]  Available at:–         00144feab7de [Accessed 26 Mar. 2019].
McElhearn, K. (2015). Wrapping it right: In praise of Apple’s packaging. [online] Macworld.       Available at:–      apple-s-packaging.html [Accessed 26 Mar. 2019].
Rohan, R. (2013). Semiotics Analysis of Apple Inc. logo. [online] Available at:           [Accessed 26 Mar. 2019].
Smith, N.C., Quelch, J.A. and Smith-Quelch, 1993. Ethics in marketing(p. 21). Homewood, IL:          Irwin.

Jurevicius, O. (2019). Apple SWOT analysis (5 Key Strengths in 2018) – SM Insight. [online]           SM Insight. Available at:– analyses/apple-swot-analysis.html [Accessed 26 Mar. 2019].

Kelly, G. (2018). Apple’s New iPhone Price Cuts Mask A Growing Problem. [online]    Available at:–          iphone-xs-max-xr-price-cut-cost-discount-reduction-upgrade/#3407b5a05e5d [Accessed        26 Mar. 2019].

Kharpal, A. (2019). Retailers are slashing iPhone prices across China as consumers say the             phones aren’t worth the cost. [online] CNBC. Available at:   – china.html?&qsearchterm=apple%20iphone%20retailers%20are%20slashing%20prices%          20across%20china [Accessed 26 Mar. 2019].

Rosenbaum-Elliott, R., Percy, L. and Pervan, S., 2015. Strategic brand management. Oxford            University Press, USA.

Worth, D. (2015). Samsung loses market share to Apple as Galaxy S6 fails to challenge iPhone 6     | V3. [online] Available at:–       uk/news/2422679/samsung-loses-market-share-to-apple-as-galaxy-s6-fails-to-challenge-          iphone-6 [Accessed 26 Mar. 2019].

Zhang, Z., Einbinder, L., and Seow, D. 2004. Founder & Apple to Deliver World’s Best Digital     Music Experience to Chinese Customers. [online] Available at:   –  Digital-Music-Experience-to-Chinese-Customers.html [Accessed 26 Mar. 2019].