Apple marketing communication mix explains the company’s stance towards individual elements of the marketing communication mix such as print and media advertising, sales promotions, events and experiences, public relations, direct marketing and personal selling. The main aim behind Apple marketing communications mix is to communicate the marketing message of the brand to the target customer segment through elements listed above. Apple is effective in using elements of the marketing communication mix in an integrated manner to ensure the consistency of the marketing message.
Since its foundation more than 40 years ago Apple has been using print and media advertising extensively to promote the brand in general and new products in particular. Some of the ads by the tech giant have become truly iconic raising the bar for advertisement globally. The following is the list of the most memorable print and media advertising campaigns launched by Apple:
- “1984” campaign directed by Ridley Scott and first shown during 1984 Super Bowl is widely considered as one of the most successful marketing campaigns of all times
- “The Quadra Revolution” is 1991 campaign that was a successful attempt by the tech giant to further itself ahead of the competition at the beginning of the digital age of 90s
- “Misunderstood”, a Christmas ad of 2013 won Emmy Award for the year’s most “Outstanding Commercial.”
- “40 Years in 40 Seconds” is a viral video that chronicles 40 years of the company in 40 seconds
- “Meu Bloco na Rua” (2017) is the latest ad released in Brazil for the Rio Carnival, highlighting the iPhone 7 Plus’ new portrait photography mode
Apple also uses celebrity endorsements in print and media advertising extensively. In the past Apple’s ‘Think Different’ print and media advertising materials featured the images of innovators and pioneers in different areas such as Albert Einstein, Alfred Hitchcock, Charlie Chaplin, Dalai Lama and Jimi Hendrix. Present cases of Apple celebrity endorsements include Aubrey Plaza, Neil Patrick Harris, Drake, Taylor Swift and others.
The tech giant also uses product placement marketing technique regularly and effectively. The most notable instances of Apple product placement include films and TV shows such as Gossip Girls, Mission: Impossible, 24, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, Tron; Legacy and others. It has been noted that the iPhone maker does not allow villains to use their products in movies and TV shows and only positive characters are allowed to use them.
Buzz created by positive review in the media is another and arguably the most important element of media advertising for Apple. This technique is very efficient because it comes with little or no cost for the company.
Sales promotions represent short-term incentives to commit to the purchase and Apple uses some forms of sales promotions marketing technique as discussed below:
1. Point of sales materials. Apple Stores are designed in an attractive format and people have a chance to use Apple products. Each Apple Store has creative and unique elements. For example, trees are used as partitions inside the first Apple Store in Thailand and Apple Store in Chicago has Macbook-shaped roof.
2. Free gifts. Apple does not offer free gifts as a part of its marketing strategy. Apple used to run 12 Days of Free Gifts giveaway during Christmas period from App Store from 2008 until 2014. The practice was resumed in 2019, when iOS users were offered to download paid apps or games for free from December 24 until December 29.
At Apple Shopping Event 2022 the company offered a free gift card for the purchase of any product. The value of free gift card ranged from USD 25,00 for Apple and Beats accessories to USD 250,00 for M1 MacBook Pro 14″ and 16″.
3. Loyalty programs and cards. Interestingly, unlike the majority of premium brands, Apple doesn’t have a formal customer loyalty program. There have been some speculations about the company’s ‘secret’ loyalty program that only applies when a customer spends more than USD 5000,00 in one year. However, there is no official acknowledgement of such a program by the company.
It has been noted that “the reason Apple doesn’t have a loyalty program has nothing to do with the potential difficulty of starting a loyalty program for their brand. As one of the wealthiest companies in the world, they can more than afford an effective retention strategy that rewards their best customers for their brand loyalty. No, the reason Apple doesn’t have a loyalty program is because they already have a retention strategy – it’s just not labelled as one”
4. Seasonal sales promotions. Apple rarely uses seasonal sales promotion marketing technique. However, major resellers regularly announce sales promotions techniques to sell Apple products. There are a few other exceptions to the Apple no-discount pricing strategy. For example, when a new generation of iPad, iPhone, iPod or computers are about to be released, authorized Apple products dealers are given permission to discount their existing inventory to make room for the newest releases.
Apple Inc. Report contains a full analysis of Apple marketing communication mix and Apple marketing strategy in general. The report illustrates the application of the major analytical strategic frameworks in business studies such as SWOT, PESTEL, Porter’s Five Forces, Value Chain analysis, Ansoff Matrix and McKinsey 7S Model on Apple. Moreover, the report contains analyses of Apple leadership, organizational structure and organizational culture. The report also comprises discussions of Apple business strategy, ecosystem and addresses issues of corporate social responsibility.
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