Marketing Plan Phase III
As iDrive passes through the product life cycle from introduction to growth, maturity, and decline its pace will depend on the marketing situation, the differentiation that takes place, the competitor action and rate at which features are added (Saaksvuary. A & Immonen. A, 2005). The pace will also depend on the alternate uses Apple is able to devise and the promotion strategies it uses (Olling. G, & Soenen. R 2003).
The pace at which the iDrive will move through the product life cycle will depend on several factors. In the introduction stage the pace will depend on the branding and the quality level of iDrive. Apple will ensure that iDrive is positioned as the best portable digital audio player device in the market and this will be reinforced through aggressive advertising and sales promotion campaign. In addition, Apple will patent iDrive and obtain protection of trademarks so that competitors cannot replicate the product. Apple will ensure through penetrative pricing that iDrive captures a large market share. Each of these measures will ensure that the progress of iDrive through the introduction stage of the product life cycle is not very rapid and Apple gets the major share of the consumers that show acceptance of the product. Apple will target its promotion at innovators and early adopters so that these adopt the iDrive.
During the growth stage Apple will seek to slow down the passage of iDrive through the product life cycle by increasing brand preference and market share. Apple will maintain the quality of iDrive during the growth stage but will also add accessories, improve the quality of navigation and possibly decrease the weight of the gadget. Apple will maintain the pricing and increase the number of channels through which iDrive will be distributed. Not only will all the channels that are involved in the distribution of iPods will be used but even those channels that sell traditional music hardware will be developed. The promotion will now be focused on a much wider audience.
In the maturity stage Apple will fight to keep its market share as growth in sales tapers off. Apple will maintain the superiority of the iDrive by improving its quality and adding additional features. Some of the possibilities are that videos may be beamed with some music tracks and limited Internet functions can be performed on the iDrive. In the maturity phase the focus of Apple will be to defend its market share and so it may lower its prices to fend off competition. Apple will also strive to slow down the passage of the iDrive through the maturity stage by regularly increasing the number of features in iDrive. Finally, to slow down the pace through the maturity phase, Apple will stress on product differentiation in its promotions.
Finally, in the decline stage, Apple will slow down the pace of iDrive through the decline stage by adding new features. It will also endeavor to find new uses for the iDrive. Only, when the iDrive reaches the tail end of the decline stage and the sales have declined by more than half will Apple harvest the product by reducing costs and marketing it to all time loyal customers. At this stage the price will be maintained. In the end when the sales have become one-fourth of what these were during the maturity stage will Apple liquidate the existing inventories of iDrive and discontinue the product. At the liquidation state the price of iDrive will be drastically reduced. Also, if at this stage if Apple has a good offer from another company it will consider selling off the brand to that company.
To sum, the pace at which iDrive will progress through the product life cycle will depend on the strategies of Apple and its competitors at the different stages of the product life cycle.
Olling. G, & Soenen. R (2003), Feature Based Product Life-Cycle Modeling, Springer.
Saaksvuary. A & Immonen. A, (2005), Product Lifecycle Management, Springer.