Corporate Responsibility And Marketing Strategies Research Papers Examples
Corporate and social responsibility with examples
As a global icon, Apple understands the role of its corporate image in the business society. With this understanding, Apple Inc. has strived to maintain its corporate and social role to the society and consumers amid great organizational change. The change came after the loss of the company leader Steve Jobs who had participated in the leadership and management of the company largely. Business analysts concur that Apple has played a remarkable role as a company in information technology. According to the website, Apple has committed itself and its resources towards ensuring that only the highest standards of social and corporate responsibility (CSR) are maintained when the products are manufactured (Jefferies, 2014). The responsibility runs from treating the workers with respect and dignity to ensuring that the manufacturing processes within the company are environmentally responsible.
An example of how Apple Inc. has moved towards maintaining the correct social image and enhancing its social and corporate responsibility is seen in the supplier responsibility report. The 2014 supplier report indicates that the company has taken a step towards stopping the unethical practices committed by the suppliers (Apple Inc, 2014). Apple Inc. has given ultimatums to 10 suppliers to stop using underage labor or to lose the supply contract. These facilities have changed from using the underage labor to adhering to the correct labor practices. Additionally, since 2012 Apple Inc. has been running counter audit of the supply companies to ensure that the falsification of audit materials stops. The falsification of audit materials reduces the government revenue, which means that the suppliers do not work under the required government setting. However, when Apple. Inc takes the position to monitor the supply companies; it reduces the illegal business practices. The CSR for Apple Inc. as a global business leader and icon is to ensure that it sets an example for other companies. Monitoring the suppliers to ensure that the irresponsible business actions are prevented is a step towards taking the correct steps in business leadership.
Apple maintains three concepts at the core of its CSR strategy. These concepts include integrity, empathy, and zeal. For the global business leader, integrity is a vital principle especially in hiring and firing employees. In this regard, Apple seeks to maintain a diverse workplace but also ensures that the hiring process is fair and displays the integrity of the company through this process. For this reason, jobs are offered because of the qualification as compared to favoritism (Klein, 2011). The employment process sets Apple Inc. as an example to other global companies. Empathy is also an important virtue for Apple Inc., which means that the company takes time to bond with the stakeholders to ensure that both parties endure during the difficult financial times. As a large company, Apple Inc. is faced with numerous lawsuits from different sources. However, the company uses empathy to ensure that the stakeholders remain on board and assure that their investments in the company are secure. The company continues to protect its innovation. Finally, zeal is a core principle in Apple`s CSR strategy. Zeal ensures that the company continues providing the consumers and the market at large with innovation and excitement through a range of products. The exciting innovation always places Apple at the top in terms of technology and offering the market value for their money.
The impact of the publication of violations on Apple`s reputation
Surely, the publication of labor and business violations made by Apple`s supplies had a negative effect on Apple`s public image. The publication of the labor, corruption, and audit violations made by different suppliers changed the perception of many consumers. For some, it appeared that Apple was irresponsible in monitoring the stakeholders such as suppliers and the employees in these factories (Moorman, 2012). Additionally, it appeared that Apple. Inc did not commit its attention to vetting the suppliers regularly prior to engaging in a long-term business relationship. Due to the tarnished image, Apple`s top executive Timothy Cook made a physical visit to the Chinese suppliers who service much of Apple. Inc`s supply needs.
Secondly, the publication of the violations let to Apple taking action. The action taken by the executive indicated that Apple intends to change and revolutionize the manner of conducting business. Additionally, the step taken sent a public image that Apple appreciates positive criticism. The move by Timothy Cook to visit and witness the reported violations indicated that Apple intends to retain its position in global business leadership. Timothy Cook addressed the management in the mentioned factories to ensure that the adhered to the required production regulations (Apple Inc., 2014). More so, these steps were a stamp of Apple`s authority in the business world, to summon other companies and see effective change. For this reason, Apple`s reputation was strengthened due to its stamp of authority. In this manner, the company used the negative image to maintain the production of visionary products as has been the trend. Additionally, coming out of the bad reputation was an indication of how business leadership should take place.
Ensuring that suppliers adhere to the wage and benefits
Most of the violations that had been accused against Apple`s suppliers were low wages and benefits as well as poor working conditions for their employees. In order to ensure that the suppliers adhere to the required wages and benefits, Apple Inc. should share its CSR with the suppliers. Once the suppliers understand the social responsibility that Apple is trying to achieve and maintain, they will work together in achieving these goals. However, if the suppliers are unaware of the corporate and social responsibility goals that Apple has planned to achieve over a period, they will work independently (Wingfield, 2012). The aim of the suppliers, in this case, will be to supply the products to Apple. Inc but not share the goals. Currently, Apple Inc. intends to address all concerns about how their products are made and the procedure used in acquiring the labor for the production process. Therefore, the first initiative involves sharing the production requirements that the company has set for its suppliers. This will ensure that any contrary action by the suppliers will be regarded as a breach of contract. A breach of the supply contract can lead to the termination of the contract or sue of the suppliers by Apple Inc. Therefore, the first step should involve involving the global suppliers of the supply requirement, which puts both the suppliers and Apple Inc. at the same page.
Secondly, Apple should constantly monitor the suppliers in ensuring that they adhere to the labor requirements. The second step is a follow-up of the initial recommendations made by the company prior to issuance of the supply contract. However, Apple, in this case, should also purchase the supplies at a higher price to ensure that the suppliers cover their costs, and they can provide the required wages and benefits to the employees (Apple Inc., 2014). Therefore, it means that the role that Apple should take is a leadership role. The responsibility requires Apple to understand that purchasing at high prices allows the suppliers to cater for the employees appropriately. Therefore, the monitoring process requires a constant reviewing of the purchasing prices by Apple to ensure that the products are bought at the right prices.
Customer’s reaction on higher prices for Apple`s products
Yes, the customers would be willing to pay more for Apple`s products if the higher prices were focused on increasing the wages and benefits for the suppliers’ workers. First, the effect of consumerism has transformed the consumers into a conscious society that only consumes products, which have a clear process of production (Wingfield, 2012). In this case, consumers have abandoned some products based on the production and supply process involved before reaching the final product. Therefore, the consumers will understand that the additional prices will enable Apple to take an initiative in improving the production process. Furthermore, the consumers will continue buying the Apple products with the anticipation that the quality will change. The increase in benefits and wages for the suppliers` workers means that the workers will be highly motivated to work and provide Apple with quality supplies. Finally, Apple leads in technology and service in the computing industry, which means that the consumers will accept the additional prices. In this perspective, the consumers will purchase the product with the notion that they will continue receiving better quality of service from Apple.
Marketing strategies and recommendations
Apple received the Award for Marketing Excellence from CMO in 2012 due to their unique marketing strategies. First, the company ensures an iterative customer involvement. Throughout the design process of their devices and apps, the company ensures that the consumers are involved through participatory design that is also usability testing. The strategy ensures that changes in a product are made in the design process, which is much cheaper than making changes after production. For this reason, the consumers receive products, which have been keenly reviewed by other consumers in the participatory design process (Wingfield, 2012). Secondly, the company aims at building compatible experiences. Apple ensures that the products are not only usable but that they also appear to the users as a system. In this regard, the devices from Apple do not serve a single purpose but multiple purposes. For example, the iPhone is not only a cell phone but also a high-speed computing device and an entertainment gadget. These features make the product accomplish different uses for the clients.
The recommendations in marketing include making the applications affordable. Currently, Apple devices are used widely in America but little use in other markets due to the mode of transaction and high cost of applications and services from Apple. Applications to run on Apple platforms are more expensive than other application software thus making the experience of having Apple devices expensive (Moorman, 2012). Secondly, the company should hire empathetic employees. In this regard, the employees need to help the consumers in understanding the technology and devices built by Apple. In most cases, Apple leads in manufacturing new technology but the consumers have no experience to operate or optimize on these technologies. As a result, with empathetic employees, the consumers will receive the value for their money by obtaining assistance whenever they purchase Apple devices.
Apple.Inc,. (2014, July 2). Retrieved January 25, 2015, from https://www.apple.com/supplier-responsibility/pdf/Apple_SR_2014_Progress_Report.pdf
Jefferies, D. (2014, March 4). Retrieved January 25, 2015, from http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/apple-act-on-labour-right
Klein, P. (2011, September 12). Where Is Apple's Social Purpose? Retrieved January 25, 2015, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/csr/2011/08/12/where-is-apples-social-purpose/
Moorman, C. (2012, October 17). Why Apple Is a Great Marketer. Retrieved January 25, 2015, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/christinemoorman/2012/07/10/why-apple-is-a-great-marketer/
Wingfield, N. (2012, April 1). Apple’s Chief Puts Stamp on Labor Issues. Retrieved January 25, 2015, from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/02/technology/apple-presses-its-suppliers-to-improve-conditions.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0