Apple Inc.: Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning


Every business needs a solid marketing plan to thrive successfully. Over the years, companies have come up with different marketing practices and strategies that will help their products sell in the markets. The most common marketing strategy among companies is the Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning, or STP.

STP is a core concept in marketing today. Without this concept, marketing in most companies will be rigid with little or no touch of personalization. There would only be general products for everyone, regardless of what individual preferences may be. Overall, businesses would not be able to convert marketing campaigns at an effective level. The STP concept is a three-step model that examines products or services and the way their benefits are communicated to target customers. In other words, segmentation, targeting, and positioning helps businesses tailor their marketing campaigns to meet the desires and expectations of their customers.

Apple Inc. STP Model

A recent study showed that Apple, like most businesses has adapted segmentation, targeting, and positioning as the core of its marketing strategy. The STP approach is an effective tool in marketing because it allows companies focus on breaking their customer base into smaller groups or segments, and develop effective marketing strategies to reach these groups and engage each target audience. STP is very necessary because no products or services can be all things to all people.

Segmentation

Segmentation is the process of segmenting or dividing the audience into smaller groups or segments based on certain characteristics such as age, gender, occupation, and other individual preferences. For these segments to become useful for marketing purposes, they need to be measurable, accessible, and actionable.

Targeting

Targeting involves the identification of segments that are most beneficial for the business. Basically, it is the step taken towards identifying specific groups or segments to sell products to. A multinational company like Apple prides itself in the fact that its technology products are targeted at an audience that is willing to pay a little extra for its products. Apple positions itself as a premium technology brand that offers products and services with advanced functions at an additional cost. As a result, Apple’s customer target is well-to-do individuals who appreciate its high-quality products and services, and are willing to pay extra for them. Common characteristics shared by Apple’s customers include appreciation of design, quality ad performance of its technology products and services, regardless of the prices.

Positioning

Positioning is the selection of products and services most appealing to each segment and presenting it to them. It is the final process where companies attempt to link their products and services to the preferences of each customer segment. For Apple, this involves tailoring products, services, and its overall business approach to appeal to each customer segment. Under the leadership of late Steve Jobs, the technology company used the mono-segment type of positioning, which only appeals to the need of a single consumer segment. However, under the leadership of Tim Cook, Apple has gradually shifted from mono-segment to multi-segment positioning by increasing its product ranges.

Unlike mono-segment positioning which only focus on a single segment, multi-segment, as the name implies focuses on multiple customer segment simultaneously with different products and services offerings. Marx P., a researcher explains the new approach as effective because “no longer do the barista and corporate executive use the same iPhone-today, there are high-end models, consumer models, and a long line of old products the company keeps around to fill every niche and price point.”

Segmentation are formed based on certain criteria. There are four main types of audience segmentation, they include:

  • Geographic segmentation: dividing audience by country, state, region, province, etc.

  • Demographic Segmentation: dividing audience by age, gender, education, level, occupation, etc.

  • Behavioral Segmentation: dividing audience based on their interaction with a business: what they buy, how often they buy, what they browse, etc.

  • Psychographic segmentation: dividing audience by their buying potential such as lifestyle, hobbies, activities, opinions, etc.


Apple Target Segment

Type of Segmentation

Segmentation Criteria







Devices: iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod

Services: iTunes and the iTunes Store, Mac App Store, iCloud, Apple Pay



Operating system & software: IOS, OSX, iLife, iWork

Accessories: Apple TV, Apple Watch and related accessories

Geographic







Region

US and international


US and international

US and international

US and international


Density

Urban



Urban

Urban

Urban

Demographic







Age

18-45

18-30

20-35

20-45


Gender

Males & Females


Males & Females

Males & Females

Males & Females


Life-cycle stage

Bachelor stage


Newly Married Couples


Full Nest I


Full Nest II

Bachelor stage


Newly Married Couples

Bachelor stage


Newly married couples

Bachelor stage


Newly Married Couples


Full Nest I


Full Nest II


Income

High Earners

High Earners

High Earners

High Earners


Occupation






Professionals, managers, and executives

Students, Professionals and managers

Professionals, managers and executives

Professionals, managers

Behavioral







Degree of loyalty




‘Hard core loyals’


‘Switchers’

‘Hard core loyals’


‘Switchers’

‘Hard core loyals’


‘Switchers’

‘Hard core loyals’


‘Switchers’


Benefits sought

Sense of achievement and belonging


Self-expression


Speed of service, advanced features and

Capabilities



Speed of service


Efficiency

Efficiency



Speed of service

Recreation



Self-expression


Personality

Determined and ambitious



Determined and ambitious

Determined and ambitious

Determined and ambitious


User status

Non-users, potential users




Users


Non-users, potential users

Users


Non-users, potential users

Non-users, potential users

Psychographic







Social class

Middle and upper classes



Middle and upper classes



Middle and upper classes



Upper class


Lifestyle

Resigned


Aspirer


Succeeder


Explorer


Aspirer


Succeeder


Explorer

Aspirer


Succeeder


Explorer

Aspirer


Explorer


Risk Aversion

Risk avoiding


Risk neutral

Risk avoiding


Risk neutral


Risk loving

Risk avoiding


Risk neutral

Risk avoiding


Risk neutral


Risk loving

Source: Business Research Methodology


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