It is clear that completing for sustainable and superior performance improves a firm’s profitability. Similarly, this exact same level of success depends largely on the appearance of the market which is quickly measured using the Porter’s 5 tools and more significantly, the position the firm takes within the industry to take advantage of on its strengths. To complete effectively, a company needs to attend to two fundamental concerns. Should it concentrate on recognizing a microcosm of the market or serve the entire market? According to Michael C.
Porter, the porter’s 3 (3) generic methods are really important strategies, which can be applied to services and products in any market or organization regardless of its size.
In order to acquire competitive advantage, Michael Porter established 3 generic strategies that a company could utilize; The Expense Leadership Strategy, The Differentiation Strategy and the Focus Method. These methods have been used by different organizations to become more competitive in the market.
Below is a representation of these techniques.
This strategy is everything about reducing the expense of creating/delivering the company’s product and services. It means having the most affordable average expense of production compared to relative rivals and still not jeopardize on quality. There are 2 main methods the strategy can be attained;
While this technique may be attractive due to the fact that of its apparent advantages like the entry barriers that result when competitors are not able to produce at the very same low level of expense or size of the market share the company gets, there is still the danger of losing the advantage when other rival firms start to cut expenses also by using improvement in technology to improve their production capacity.
The cost leadership strategy is also broad in scope as it sells to different customers in its industry. Firms looking to use this strategy must be able to;
This strategy allows companies to produce products and services that offer unique attributes that customers can perceive to be better than what the competition offers. It can be seen as a way for firms to compete by creating a completely new market and dominating it. The extra value the product or services provides to the market allow the firm to charge higher prices (premium) which then compensates the increase in costs used to provide that extra service. The differentiation strategy is achieved by using any combination of the following approaches;
This strategy is a slight variation of the other two generic strategies. However, as the name implies, the focus strategy allows firms to focus on a particular niche market and provide uniquely low costs (cost focus) or uniquely different products (differentiation focus). Since the strategy is targeted to a select part of the market, it creates a strong loyalty for its brand from its customers, which helps to further reduce the threat of rivalry.
Founded on April 1, 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, Apple Inc is a multinational corporation that designs and leads innovation in the consumer electronics, computer software and personal computer’s industry. Apple Inc. traditionally focused on personal computers but later shifted its focus to consumer electronics. It now has a range of high-end products including the Macintosh line of computers, iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. They are also involved in developing innovative operating systems and browser. Its main competitors are Microsoft, Samsung, HP, Blackberry, Acer, Toshiba, Nokia and Dell. Apple Inc. leads the competition by implementing a Differentiation Strategy. Apple Inc. sets itself apart from its competitors by providing unique features for its products, which the customers really cannot get anywhere else.
These unique features include design, functionality, durability and consistency. Also, Apple electronic products are known to be sleek, simple and minimalist. It’s MacBook and iMac products have a reputation for long battery life and completely zero tolerance for viruses, which are known to plague other competitor’s products that run either Windows or Linus operating systems. Another aspect of differentiation that Apple utilizes well is its amazing customer service.
Through its Apple Stores worldwide, Apple creates a very interactive forum where customers can come to purchase new devices or fix faulty ones. These unique aspects of its differentiation strategy are what give Apple the right to charge higher prices, thereby commanding a premium for their services. This strategy has proven to work well for the company because its market share has constantly been increasing since it released the iPod in 2005. The following diagram illustrates Apple inc’s strategic position relative to two of its competitors in the mobile industry;
Apple inc. implements a number of strategies that makes it different from its competitors. It is more focused on meeting the customer’s needs than anything else, so they didn’t need to compete on price, and could set their own prices, because they were delivering something much more valuable to the consumer. The following are some of Steve Job’s quotes that reflect Apple Inc’s focus on the differentiation strategy; “If it could save a person’s life, could you find a way to save ten seconds off the boot time?” “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back towards – not the other way around. “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me.
Going to bed at night, saying we’ve done something wonderful; that’s what matters to me.” One of Apple Inc’s business strategies is to release few but highly anticipated high-end products while others like Samsung focused on releasing a wide variety of products to the market. Apple Inc. allows for long development cycles that grow anticipation and showcased new innovations with each new release under Steve Jobs whose strategy was develop and sell brand new, innovative products which blended art and technology in order to provide a simple and streamlined user experience. After its initial release of the iPod and iPhone, Apple Inc. continued to innovate in the mobile device market through smartphones and then tablets which began to create a loyal customer base around their brand.
Since inception, Apple Inc carved its own market by creating unique products that targeted a specific market. The company continuously innovates to produce the best products in the market and strategically rolls them out so that its customers appreciate it even more. The following are its production and marketing emphasis:
Apple Inc. focused on making technology more artistic with design features that catch the eyes of the customer. The efficiency of its products also makes customers want to pay a higher price. The company differentiated itself and its products from the competition and ensured that its loyal customers were always satisfied.