Organizational Change Management: iPod

The iPod is a portable media player. This product has changed the company more than any other product. Prior to its arrival, MP3 players were the realm of competitors with limited budgets that were not capable of providing a match in content. The introduction of the iPod has changed the computer world and its interests in the digital music industry.

The credit of this digital musical phenomenon was largely due to the vision of Tony Faddell. After several unsuccessful pitches to various electronic companies, Fadell found himself at Apple. Met with enthusiasm from Apple executives, Fadell was hired in 2001 and provided a development team with a one year deadline to develop and release a full product.

October 23, 2001, Apple announced to the world the release of the iPod. This proved to be a shock to the world of technology as most predicted that the release would be a revitalized Newton or PVR. The introduction of the iPod took the world of technology by storm and the importance of this product would only be realized later.

Approximately nine months later, Apple made a major change in the iPod product. In July 2002, Apple released a new and improved version of the iPod that had 20 GB of storage space and was now compatible with windows. The release of this version of the iPod was phenomenal in that never before did a MP3 based player been given the compatibility to software product.

Apple continued with its domination over the competition in the MP3 digital music industry with the third generation release of the Apple iPod. In April 2003, Apple released an improved version of the iPod to include fuction buttons below the screen in a solid state which was in the appearance of a scroll wheel. This version of the iPod, the 3G iPod, Appled moved from the lithium polymer batteries to the lithium-ion batteries. The release of this version of iPod fulflled the vision of Tony Fadell’s goal of creating an entire business around the iPod.

The progression of the iPod continued with the release of the 3rd generationof iPod followed by the iPod mini and 4th generation iPod. This progression has continually moved in a forward manner. In September 2007, the latest version of the iPod was introduced which was the iPod Touch. This version of iPod transended all other versions of the iPod by integrated the portable media player with the personal digital assistance and Wi-Fi mobile platform. This version of the iPod has seen two generations of upgrades and remains in the forefront of all portable media players.

Apple’s branding strategy is integral to the success of all Apple products. There are several key factors in Apple’s strategy in marketing its products. At the forefront is Apple’s brand. Due to the success of the Apple brand in the arena of personal computers and network systems, Apple uses this same barand to compete across several acompetitive technological markets.

The strategy incorporates the creation of innovative products and services. A portion of this strategy also focuses on the emotions. A key strategy in the Apple branding is the association of its products to a personality.  Due to Apples ability to tie its brand to the consumer’s emotion, its not just initimate with its customers, it’s loved and establishes a real sense of community among users of the iPod. When considereing the Apple brand, it is important to note that Apple’s success was largely due to the removal of complexity from peoples lives. The strategy brings about a humanistic sense that receives a huge response in marketing the product.

In reviewing Apple’s original intent to develop a portable media product in the early 2000’s, Apple not only achieved its original intent but transcened the market in producing a product that has successfully evolved and remained at the forefront of its competitors for almost a decade. Apple’s venture into this product area was successful due to its use of the music business in boosting the appeal of their business.

Through the use of the iPod, iTunes and other Apple products, the company continues to reinvigorate the Apple brand. The strategy of creating popularity with the iPod has caused interest and market increase in other Apple products. This strategy has proved successul in both the number of units sold worldwide as well as the establishment of financial success for the company.

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