Apple Computer Inc. designs, develops and markets a line of portable digital music players called iPods. Since launching the product line in the fall of 2001, the company has expanded the iPod product line to include related accessories and services, including the online distribution of third-party music and audio books. Last year the iPod product line generated more than 55% of revenues from the sales of all digital music players (Salkever, 2004). This paper will present a marketing plan for the iPod product line that will enable Apple Computer Inc. to meet its marketing objectives.
Ongoing competitor activity will require that Apple regularly adjust its marketing plan for its iPod product line. Some of this activity has already contributed to one significant marketplace trends, the movement in technology consolidation. The eventual consolidation in the digital music industry will enable customers to use products and related services from different competitors, eliminating the requirement for customers to source products from the same manufacturer.
Key Strategic Factors
Apple Computer Inc. will be able to sustain a competitive advantage for a number of reasons. These reasons include the following:
o The company has a strong team of committed people;
o The company has developed a very strong brand for the iPod product line;
o The company has developed a number of strategic alliances in response to the technology consolidation movement and evolving marketing objectives for the iPod product line; and
o The company has a well-known culture that supports it being market leaders in innovation.
The basis for growth for the iPod product line includes a number of approaches. These approaches include the following:
o Targeting the baby boomer market, which has been largely ignored by the digital music industry in general;
o Strengthening existing strategic alliances and...