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1 Omowumi Aiyeku Professor Andrew Klein Strategic Human Resources Management September 5, 2011 Case Analysis Question: What

is Strategic Management and why is it critical to the success of an organization in meeting its goals and mission? Background

In 1976, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple Computer Inc. together with a group of 20 other people and had humble beginnings in Steve Jobs garage. Apple started making computer circuit boards and followed that with an easy-to-use computer in 1978; through the years it focused on the PC business and developed applications for their own Macintosh computers. They created laptops called the Macbook in 1994 and even entered the MP3 player industry with the iPod brand in 2001 and more recently the mobile phone industry with the iPhone in 2008. Through the years Apple has changed from being the worlds largest producer of PCs controlling almost the entire market at the beginning of the 1980s, to only controlling a small share of the industry. After several circumstances which left the company in crisis, its market share had declined significantly to a current 3%. Still, Apple is a successful business due to its other products and because its Macintosh computers are still profitable. Currently, Apples PC business is on the rise again but the question is this only temporal, or can Apple reclaim its original market leader position in the PC industry?

2 Advice

Apple could build up its market share by using its resources more effectively. However, Apple does not possess a lot of resources that could provide a sustainable competitive advantage. The resources Apple has are the creativity to differentiate itself, brand recognition and the Apple Stores. These differentiated products can be patented and protected. The loss in popularity of Apple PCs operating system can be repaired by mass product placement in schools and a campaign aimed to teaching children and the next generation how to comfortably operate Apple computers. More user-friendly options should be added to ensure the success of the campaign and should be taken as seriously as a merger or re-launch of the companys computer-producing sector. Apples brand recognition must be used to rebuild the market share that is partly based on it and has been enhanced by the i-Brand that has emerged in the last decade. The popularity of the i-Brand among the youth seen on social networking super-sites like Twitter and Facebook can be exploited and used to shape the view of Apple as a sound stock investment. Social media has proven to be a lucrative tool used by most Fortune 500 corporations and could work to change the consumers perception of Apple products. The i-Brand can be used to create a facet of the internet sub-culture and has already begun so through the popularity of its wireless handheld devices. Apple Stores can also be used to further enhance the brand recognition and offer Apple PCs through direct consumer sales and store marketing and discounting. Sale campaigns through store outlets have proven to positively affect sales and profits of consumer products and the addition of more Apple stores

3 around the world makes their products more accessible to customers. Apple stores give the company the option to better paint the picture of the company through customer service and technical ambiance given in the stores. Good customer service creates clientele and return customers and technical ambiance creates a trust in the knowledge given by the technical experts in the stores. Another option to regain market share would be to lower the prices of the PCs while simultaneously aiming to retain the quality of the products. This is currently one of the larger problems Apple faces as its competitors all have cheaper products. Lower prices create a larger market of consumers and with Apples notoriety for good quality, the brand could only increase in recognition and instill a sound trust in Apple products in their consumers. The lower prices must not affect the quality in lieu of the customer relationship that will be established by the campaign to ensure the productivity and profitability of the implementation of the campaign as well.

Conclusion From my analysis and research I can derive the following: despite superior products, Apple has lost a significant part of its market share over time. This can be explained by a changing standard from Apples OS (Operating System) standard towards the standard of an Intel CPU with Windows OS. The problem stated can be solved by the use of social media and product-placement to re-familiarize the masses with the Apple computer. Also, the high competition has been a problem. This was supported by the standardization of PC components, the convenience of the distribution of PCs, and comparison by the consumers of the functionality and prices of PCs to Apples. If the brand can lower prices of the computers while

4 simultaneously retaining the quality of the software, the profit in market share can be increased dramatically. Furthermore, the use of Apples currently established resources can prove to not only improve the profitability of the market share but make Apple an essential additive to every home. Through product-placement in schools and a more userfriendly software format, the average consumer can be instilled with trust in the Apple brand. This trust has already been instilled in the companys production of their line of wireless handheld devices. Apple stores can complete the customer experience through interfacing with consumers directly and creating returning clientele.

Works Cited David B Yoffie and Michael Slind, Apple Inc., 2008