For the last decade, Apple has shown its ability to conquer the marketing hurdle from time to time. Under the guidance of Steve Jobs, this company has always been in a position to carry out successful launching of its products and maintained markets for the same. However, there is a great factor that has to be considered by this company. Most of its products incorporate the need to keep up with the latest technologies. In addition to this, there is the need for consumer friendliness in the market. The combination of these two factors has proven to be a difficult task for Apple Corporation in Japan. However, this is not the same case in the rest of the world. This is the reason as to why this essay has put more emphasis on Japan. A company is always as strong as its weakest point. Therefore, Japanese market that has proven hard for Apple to penetrate should be the major point of interest in the bid to better their sales.
The new version of Apple's iPhone has shown great success in terms of sales all over the world. However, this has not been the same case in Japan. The sales that have been made in this country are about half of what analysts had predicted. This shows that there are some assumptions that had been made by this company that do not apply to Japan. Therefore, a study of the Japanese area is the best measure of one extreme of the market. This way, the research can be made as diverse as possible.
Current Marketing Strategies
The fact that a phone has 3G network can be a huge advantages in most parts of the world. This is the point that was most emphasized for the Apple's latest iPhone 5. There is the 5C and 5S. Of the two, 5C is cheaper, as compared to 5S. In the adverts for this phone, the company emphasized the fact that it had 3G network. This is one detail as to why the phone sold all over the world. However, Japan is a developed nation. Most of the features that can be incorporated into a phone are not much of a deal for them. Most of the local Japanese phones have 3G networks. As a matter of fact, this is a standard feature for most of their phones. This explains one of the reasons as to why new iPhone sold all over the world, but did not succeed in Japan. However, this does not mean that no sales were made in Japan. There were some consumers who opted to purchase new Apple's iPhone. This brings us to the next strategy that was used by the company, with regards to the features of the iPhone (Dixon Adamson, 2013).
The iOS7 was a feature that attracted most of the Japanese consumers. For starters, this is the most advanced OS in the world. Holding other factors constant, a consumer would buy a phone that has new OS and would prefer it over others. The fact that new OS is for the iPhone only makes it unique. This is another fact that consumers are attracted to. It is important for a company to be unique in the software and hardware that they manufacture. When this happens, consumers are able to identify with this company without any strain. However, ordinary features, such as 3G networks cannot be considered as additional factors for boosting the sales that a company makes, with regards to a particular product. However, the use of new methods and features should be moderated (Hawkins, Best & Coney, 1995). This is because they might produce a counter effect, as compared to what had been predicted. This brings the discussion to the incorporation of the touch screen.
There is a great need to retain some of the features that a company has incorporated for some of its products. This ensures that the consumers do not complain about some of these inventions and additional features. As for the touch screen, this was a negative incorporation, as far as Japan is concerned. This is because most of the consumers found touch screen to be a new feature that they cannot get used to with great ease. Analysts believe that this is one of the factors that contributed to the low level of sales that happened in Japanese market. However, it has been mentioned above that Japan is one of the nations that have experienced extensive technological advancement. Therefore, the shortcomings that can be held in the sale of products in the same nation would include the lack of incorporation of certain features in the introduced products. This was the major obstacle that Apple had to overcome in the Japanese market (Hawkins et al, 1995).
How It Works
The Japanese consumers have one major advantage over other consumers in the world. This is because most of the phone features that can be imagined are found locally. The people are able to access all the technical features from the local companies that produce cell phones. Therefore, the introduction of a new product would have to be more superior to available phones. The fact that the iPhone did not have some of the features that these consumers expect contributed greatly to the low sales. It is not only the existence of some of the expected features that can attract the Japanese. It also involves the incorporation of all, or most, of them in the product. The local Japanese phones have features such as digital TV-viewing capabilities. This is convenient and makes TV available for the consumers anywhere anytime. Other services include satellite navigation, digital camera, HD video recording, large internal storages of the phones and music players. With particular reference to Japan, "emoji" is another feature in emails that Japanese would want incorporated in any product that they are willing to have. However, it may be difficult to incorporate all the features that are required by a certain group of people. At some levels, the company might even decide to overlook the disadvantages that come with ignoring these features (Mooij, 2010). This is because it only affects a certain group of people. However, when this group is Japan, there is a great need to consider bettering the features. This is due to the fact that penetration of this market is the ultimate test for a company in the consumer electronics industry. Once Apple is able to make its desired sales in this nation, it would create more confidence in their consumers around the globe. Therefore, this is a part of the world whose contribution should not be overlooked. Apart from testing the competitiveness of a company, it also helps to show the rate and level to which the company can show its diversity. This is because it is able to satisfy the most sophisticated culture in the world.
Effect of Different Cultures on Marketing Mix Strategy
Japan is just a representation of the different cultures that a company has to come across when in the quest to present and sale their products. Therefore, the case study of the market is not as nearly as important as the lessons that can be learnt from the same. This is the fact that forms the basis for this part of the essay. It deals with the derivations that can be gotten from the above discussed factors. First, it is the consumers who need to be satisfied. This proves one vital factor that consumers hold the secret to successful penetration of different markets. This is a strategy that should be used by the company in the launching of a product, as well as the addition of features to iPhone. They should conduct researches in the market and establish the general consumer demands around the world. This is vital in ensuring that the features that are expected by the consumers are incorporated in the product. This is better than coming up with independent features without engaging consumer views and distributing a standard product (Steers Nardon, 2010).
However, this does not mean that the company should lose its originality. The fact that the Japanese market is of interest does not mean that the other parts of the world have become irrelevant. They are more important than Japan alone. However, the fact is that the views of people around the globe should be actively involved in the determination of the features for a particular product. Nevertheless, conducting this research in Japan can act as a representative of the other consumers, since they are the most advanced. The matter of the fact is that the market outside Japan is more concerned with the views of this country on a certain product. This is the reason as to why analysts based their investigations on Japan, instead of any other market.
Different advertising techniques should also be applied to different markets in the world. This ensures that the right facts are considered in the advertisements. For example, the market outside Japan is not as demanding as Japan itself. This is because the technological advancement is not as developed as that in Japan. Therefore, most of the emphasis can be put on the features that seem ordinary to the Japanese. An ideal example is the emphasis on the fast 3G network. The incorporation of this feature in the advertisement can be of great advantage outside Japan. This is because most of the people find this feature to be fascinating. However, the effect on Japan is counteractive. This is because the Japanese consumers consider it an ordinary feature for any standard phone. Therefore, specific markets and cultures should be allocated specific strategies, with regards to marketing. Factors like a reduction in the prices, incorporation of unique features and consideration of consumer views should be included in the advertisement strategies. This ensures that these consumers are attracted to the particular product. The discussed strategy should not only happen in Japan. Instead, it should take place in all the nations that are of unique cultures, demands and developments (Hawkins et al, 1995). This way, the product of a company is not only able to reach many consumers, but infiltrates all parts of the world and reaches the estimated volume of sales without failure. These are features and activities that cannot work only for the Apple Company, but for all the companies around the globe.
This essay is a clear guideline on the steps that a company should undertake in its quest to become a success. It is an explanation of the factors that a company should take in a bid to satisfy everyone with their products. The marketing strategies that should be incorporated by the company in order to reach consumers from different cultures have also been looked into. This has helped to eliminate the problems that exist for most of the companies in the world, with regards to penetration of the markets in the world. It is a summary on the consumer behaviors in different cultures and how it should be dealt with.