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Impact of Mission, Vision, and Primary Stakeholders on Success of Apple, SWOT Analysis Example

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SWOT analysis

Like in other tech success ventures in the contemporary technology world, Apple’s excellence as largely been underpinned by Steve Job’s focused mission, vision and the dedicated efforts of the workforce. Clear mission and vision statements at Apple have been the instruments of success in that they continually relay the stated purpose of the organization to both internal and external stakeholders (Sutherland, 2012). Importantly, the mission and vision statements form the capstone of strategy development at Apple Inc., which continually inform purposeful decision making even at a time when Steve Jobs is not at the helm of the technology giant. Additionally, it is worthwhile mentioning the crucial role of these core venture formulation statements in that they are the instruments that drive establishment of clear and measurable goals for the organization, and specific objectives that guide the growth and continual development.

The primary stakeholders at Apple Inc. include the founder, the dedicated workforce, and the supportive customers. The success story of the company revolves primarily around the founder’s visionary leadership, which bolstered the attraction and development of completive talent. Additionally, the prioritization of customer needs has consistently won and retained clientele support, which is the basis of Apple’s income growth and development.

Five Forces of Competition on Apple Inc.

The Porter’s five forces analysis Walter (2012) provides the best competition analysis tool for Apple Inc. Although apple is a leading company in the digital entertainment industry, it is not comparable with other companies because it does not profess in one scope of products, but a more sophisticated portfolio of products and services.

According to the strategic evaluation, the threat of competition is not severe for most of Apple’s products but in some segments: PC, Mobile, MP3 and online music service industry. The high level rivalry is largely characterized by high external force in terms of the power of suppliers. However, the marketplace seasonal patterns appear to be turbulent in that they continually distort all the conventional boundaries in every industry. For instance, the MP3 has drastically evolved from just being an audio device because of more technology integrations that have made it an enhanced too for full motion videos and high volume data storage that were originally a preserve of PCs. Another market destruction dynamism has been witnessed in the Mobile industry where the device is stretched from the traditional calling and receiving, but has since encroached the digital cameras and PCs for internet and data storage.

However, Apple has been strategic in seizing opportunities through market analysis and adoption of innovative concepts that customize the market trends to the organization’s advantage. For instance, the optimization of mobile technology to integrate applications of PCs, MP3 players, and internet played music has been rewarding for Apple.

SWOT Analysis: Apple Inc.

Apple’s situational analysis is characterized by strong competencies in marketing, strategic partnerships, competitive brand management, and leading innovation. The Ipod has particularly characterized Apple’s strength owing to its unrivaled market share within the digital music world. The company has successfully achieved substantial control in the supply chain management that drives high product sales volumes. The expansive external environment within which Steve Jobs had webbed facilitates establishment of strategic partnerships that add the marketing and distribution strengths. The brand management has been at the core of Apple’s success especially because of the reputation garnered by adequate planning and strategic implementation of brand development and marketing strategies. Apple’s talent pool has been a basis of unrivalled strength in that the company is able to utilize innovative skills and creativity that continually feeds the new products release stream (Walter, 2012). Moreover, a well established customer responsiveness and full time customer oriented service delivery has been the platform on which Apple’s brand integrity anchors on, which in addition to strong cultural appeal have shaped a sustainably audience niche. Important to note is the persistence with which the company’s financial performance has prevailed, which enables Apple to maintain strong sales volumes, reliable and promising cash flow, and the efficacy registered in the control over inventory.

Apple Inc has some historical weaknesses that include the persistent challenge ensuring software compatibility especially in the computer and digital music formats. The over dependence on Steve Jobs in terms of personal competencies: negotiating power, networking with stakeholders, team management and visionary planning has been a challenge to Apple. The ever increasing external competition from new rivals cannot be overemphasized in this context.

Strategy

Although overdependence on Steve Jobs has been quoted a weakness for Apple Computers, his overarching business strategy remains a capstone element that leveraged the organization’s unique power of innovating unparalleled computer programs, hardware, and services. The company capitalizes on the core competency to deliver superior new products and solutions that are distinctive in the market because of the inherent customer focused features: ease- of use, unrivaled designs, and high performance.

Apple has an appealing marketing strategy that begins with simple and customer-pulling designs, which often go viral drawing more clientele interest on the branded products. The increasing shift toward lean thinking and deployment of high end talent all company functions is a primary strategy that has traditionally seen the organization sail in the increasingly low profit margin industry. The deployment of Apple’s core competencies in diversifying product base for different markets decreases the company’s reliance on revenues from single market (Sam, 2012). Additionally, the diversification approach helps integrate the lean thinking principles that have seen Apple share resources, technologies and skills optimally to build a competitive edge.

Apple’s strategy values continual pursuance of supply chain relationship improvements, and strategic alliance building that not only expand the market for its array of products but also repels competition by strengthening its brand reach.

Maximizing Competitiveness and Profitability

A continual pursuance of Apple Computer’s primary mission and vision provisions can greatly steer the company’s sustained growth and profitability. The underlying competencies: control over inventory, power over suppliers and distributers, pool of talented skills, and the promising sales volumes and financial performance cement Apple’s competitive advantage and optimize value. To take full advantage of the unique competencies, the organization has to persistently secure the established brand image and strategically invest in its wealth of innovativeness and marketing apparatus.

Research and development is a fundamental component forming the cornerstone of Apple Computers. This implies that the company should dedicate more resources in the area to stay ahead and lead radical product designing and development, and technological innovations. Apple can maximize its profit base through persistent improvements to the Mac platform and the uniqueness of the hardware, software, and the customer-oriented product development.

An inevitable approach to guard the income lines and growth fundamentals of Apple revolves around a continual evaluation and performance monitoring to ensure that the company does not stray from internal strengths and extending its reach far away from sustainability (Sam, 2012). The company may use its competitive technology savvy workforce to install protective mechanisms that secure its image, product integrity, and customers to cement the existing appeal to more consumer groups.

Communication Plan

Founded in the strategic planning principles of Apple, simplicity underpins any successful communication apparatus for both internal and external stakeholders. The strategy communication plan has to overcome the proliferating technology hurdles and create simple information delivery pathways that are easily accessible to target audience.

To communicate the development and profit growth strategy supported by internal strengths and competitive advantage, Apple should maintain an open but secured customer relations channel, which not only tells them about the new products in the market but also enhances their perception of the corporation’s image. In this context, ongoing conversations and relationships that permit two-way communication would bolster adequate solutions to any customer concerns while maintaining loyalty and thus maintain realized profitability. Important to note is that purposive communication is a function of high quality products, which should be guarded exclusively.

Catchy visual apparatus should be deployed to all authorized communication channels portraying the organizational position with high regard. For instance, Apple should shun use of bear words and pictures, but integration of moving features that can engage target audience creatively and enable the grasp the sense of meaning communicated. Because new entrants present constant rivalry to Apple’s online products, it would be worthwhile limit any distractions that may hamper clear communication: the characteristic white spaces should be deployed more to reiterate the company’s sense of openness (Sam, 2012).

The down-up communication regime grounded by Steve Jobs should always be maintained in order to retain the engaged status of employees within serene working environments. Inclusiveness of all employees in appropriate decision making areas would be rewarding in terms of productive communicating without undue internal resistance, which would maintain the prevailing optimization of competitive advantage for continued profitability.

Corporate Governance Mechanisms

Although there are numerous policy constructs in the clearly stated corporate governance guide at Apple, the mechanism of defining the role of board of directors and the management review and succession planning are worthy mentioning in this context.

I a bid to avoid inconsistencies that may harm the company’s interests and the much valued image, Steve Jobs steered a clear definition of the role of the board of directors. The mechanism has worked in that the board supervises the chief executive officer (CEO) and other top managers. This clear provision ensures a continually ethical and competent administration and management of Apple despite the people at the throne of day-to-day operations. The use of a clearly stated leadership arrangement, the management is guided to secure the brand image through focused, proactive, and standardized approaches that bolster responsibility and ethical performance (Gitman & McDaniel, 2008).

Without a compensation review and succession planning mechanism, Apple would have disintegrated upon the founder’s departure from its leadership. However, the organization has a stable mechanism in which a compensation committee evaluates the performance of the CEOs and ensures fair compensation across all functions. Informed by reviewed development progress, and the prevailing business circumstances, the committee provided the mechanism for retaining or replacing the management as would be advantageous to the profitability and competence of Apple.

Effectiveness of Leadership

Although the efficacy of the exemplary leadership of Apple Computers is much aligned with the fundamentals established by Steve Jobs in its formative stages, the managerial competencies ingrained by proper governance mechanisms have been instrumental. Efficacy by successive COEs and line managers is anchored on the primary focus on giving the customers the best quality product and services while securing the valued corporate image.

Apple Computers has sailed through a democratic leadership style that values every employee’s contribution in decision making as regards the success of the company. Efficacy has as well been facilitated by recruitment and selection of best talent, and placement of skill competencies where they are optimally utilized. This approach has been instrumental in limiting need for supervision while cultivating innovations that constantly generates feasible solutions to any leadership concerns (Gitman & McDaniel, 2008). Continually engaged employees of Apple are the capstone of effective leadership in that they are committed to the organization and affectively contended with the motivating working environment.

It is recommendable that with the untimely departure of Steve Jobs from the center of Apple’s decision making, the successive management closely apes his leadership fundamentals carefully to sustain the uniqueness of the underpinning advantages. Ingrained innovation spirit should be utilized to integrate the traditional leadership styles with emerging market trends to ensure sustainability.

Corporate Responsibility

Like many electronics companies in the world, Google has had its share of hurdles in fulfilling its ethical onus to the citizenry. However, among many other corporate responsibility undertakings, Apple was stumped its imprint in this context in 2009 when a decision was reached to eliminate PVC from the company’s PCs power cords (Blowfield & Murray, 2008). This activity put Apple at the global picture as the first technology giant to offer the environmentally friendly PVC free personal computer power cords. This case was an exemplary corporate responsibility action underpinned by the desire by Apple to act an ethical citizen by reducing its footprint through reducing what is viewed worldwide as a highly toxic PVC material from its products.

Although Steve Jobs was not an ardent corporate social responsibility supporter in that he believed in equipping people with technology to solve the earthly problems, there seems to be a slight departure with the Cook gradually closing up on responsibility especially through the supply chain. Apple is increasingly requiring suppliers to ensure safe working environment, and pursue employee engagement.

References

Blowfield, M., & Murray, A. (2008). Corporate social responsibility: A critical introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Gitman, L.J., & McDaniel, C. (2008). The future of business: The essentials. (4th ed). London, Cengage Learning.

Sam, G. (2012). Navigating Apple’s new productscape. Businessweek.com.

Sutherland, A. (2012). The story of Apple. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group.

Walter, I. (2012). Keep simple. Smithsonian, 43(5), 42-92.

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SWOT analysis