Marketing Principles

Case Study and Question Pools


Part A : Case Study: Apple versus the World – IPAD sparks an Apple ifrenzy


Apple launched its tablet computer, IPAD, April 2010. The IPAD is a new product category in computers likely to change the way consumers interact with their devices. IPAD was able to meet a changing consumer need which saw them preferring to ‘swipe a finger across a touch screen’ instead of using a keyboard. More than 15 million units were sold in the first year alone. In a move which surprised many market watchers, Apple launched IPAD2, in March 2011, slightly more than a year after the first IPAD was released onto the market. Surprising! because many marketers would have thought that IPAD1 had not yet gone through its full product life cycle. This move by Apple was in response to the changing competitive environment which has seen growth in the interest of tablet computers from competitors. Analysts predict the computer tablet market to treble in size in 2012. By launching IPAD2, Apple has left competitors playing ‘catch up’ in a growing segment with consumers hungry for new products. There are a dozen or more competitors with rival tablets to IPAD2 likely to be launched in 2011 from competitors like Microsoft and Toshiba.

Apple’s fortunes have largely been driven by a cultural shift in consumer tastes. Changing consumer tastes have increasingly overtaken the needs of businesses as the leading forces shaping technology. At the launch of IPAD2, Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive officer, declared that the world was entering a ‘post PC-era’, one in which consumers are no longer glued to their desktop but to a fantasy world using tablets and smartphones. By launching IPAD 2, Jobs claimed that Apple was responding to the ever changing needs of its customers who lived in a fast paced technological environment. IPAD2’s launch has been no exception to Apple’s customers’ traditional habit of waiting in long queues around city blocks in order to be the first ones to buy the product. Apple’s ability to understand its customers is often cited as one of their key strengths which enable the company to dominate the market and create barriers for entry for any new players. IPAD 2 is seen as a continuation of Apple’s philosophy to always create a new product and be at the forefront of meeting changing consumer needs.

The Apple store is viewed as a shrine which determines a large number of consumers to choose Apple’s products instead of competitor brands. The IPAD2 launch included coinciding with 5 pm news bulletins and infrequent shortages of the product which creates even more demand for the product. Apple employees were ready to serve and provide information on the significantly upgraded IPAD2 to loyal and new customers who had spent time in the long queues.

However, it is the experience and feeling of being an Apple customer which drives consumers stay in queues overnight as one confessed ‘Applelite” queuing for the new IPAD in Sydney summed it:

It is the feeling and experience of spending time in this queue chatting to fellow ‘Apple mad consumers and building up to the hype and expectation of being among the first people to lay your hands on the new IPAD that counts more. To me it’s more than just waiting to buy a device but it’s about anticipation for an experience and fantasy that lays ahead in using my IPAD’.



Using geographic, demographic, psychographic and behavioural segmentation bases, identify the segmentation criteria you consider were used by Apple to identify the chosen target market(s) for IPAD2. Explain the rationales for your choice of target market(s)?



How does Apple differentiate its products from competitors? Given the increase in the number of competitors in the computer tablets sector, how can Apple maintain its market share leadership for the IPAD?



Part B: Short question pool (Not related to case study in part A)


Explain the marketing management concept. Explain how a business that applies the marketing management concept will tend to be different in its approach to the market and consumers, from a business with a production orientation. Briefly argue the case EITHER that McDonald’s (the leading international fast food retailer) has a marketing orientation OR that it does not have a marketing orientation.


According to the product/market expansion grid, if a business seeks to grow, it can pursue one of four basic growth strategies: market penetration; market development; product development; and diversification. Explain each strategy and how they differ from each other. When Microsoft, a company that is dominant in software for personal computers, first decided to enter the games console market with its production and sale of ‘Microsoft Xbox’, what growth strategy was it following? Justify your answer.


Briefly describe the various stages that buyers pass through to reach a buying decision. Give an example to describe a buying situation where a buyer EITHER might not pass through all the stages of the buyer decision process OR might pass through the stages in a different order.







A good response has to describe the question/s and the theoretical frameworks and demonstrates good appreciation of how they are integrated.

The answer demonstrates an appreciation of the significance of the parts of the question in relation to the whole.

The overall answer has a coherent and appropriate structure where the parts of the answer and the connections between them are clearly demonstrated.

The answer has most of the following characteristics:

 Correctly and proficiently describes relevant material from the question and...

- correctly identifies the relevant theoretical framework

- correctly describes the relevant parts of the theory

- correctly applies the theory to the object of the question


- correctly relates the theory to question, and uses question material well to support argument

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