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Customer experience is all about getting an overview about the practice of crafting as well as reacting towards buyer reactions so as to meet or even exceed their expectation level. This is required to increase overall satisfaction of consumers, gaining of loyalty as well as advocacy (Carpenter, 2010). The management of consumer experience deals with an in-depth knowing of consumers in order to provide them with customized offerings and entice them to show high levels of loyalty towards the company. In this respect, it is very essential to delight consumers so as to drive the firm towards process of growth. This can be achieved by capturing valuable set of feedbacks while interacting with clients (Dalal, 2013). This helps in providing for a clear report to undertake thorough analysis of upcoming trends in product needs and wants and prevailing issues that circulate around consumers. This concept also assists in knowing out how to derive the process of improvement.
The notion of product innovation is also about creating as well as subsequently introducing goods or service offering that is either new or considered an improved version of previous product range (Andrews and Kim, 2007). A broad definition of product innovation basically encompasses various processes like new product development, bringing changes in designing of established products, usage of new materials to carry out making of established products etc.
It is very essential to have a brief understanding about what is the relation of CEM and overall concept of product innovation. It is only on behalf of undertaking valuable suggestions from the clients via a process of customer experience management that there can be an improvement in overall product innovations undertaken by firm. It is also a known fact that the key part of successful innovations to be brought in a product can only be determined by finding out what is the exact needs and requirements of consumers (Arif and et.al., 2011). This access is only possible if a company is able to manage consumer experiences in a better manner.
The present research proposal is based on the aim of finding out what is the effect of successfully implementing CEM over the product innovations carried out by Apple. In this respect, the objective of current research study has been designed;
To understand importance of CEM on Product innovations.
To understand the factors affecting Product innovation.
To recommend strategies so as to attain a successful implementation of CEM over the product innovations.
After proper formulation of given research aims and objectives, there has been a preparation of research questions which have been mentioned below;
What is the importance of CEM on Product innovations?
What strategies can be recommended for successfully implementing CEM over the Product innovations?
It is a known fact that CEM has got far reaching impacts on the overall success of organization. These are required to be taken into consideration for helping the firm in getting a full-fledged success in the operations undertaken by it. The very area of successful innovation is dependent on how a company is able to utilize the suggestions given by its consumers in a best possible manner. The company has been making products and services and also the subsequent innovations to satisfy increased needs and wants of consumers (Andrews and Kim, 2007). In this respect, the prevailing issue is that most of the firms have been giving very less focus on the concept of product innovation based on understanding consumer experiences. Hence, this can be a bit problematic for any firm in a long run as introducing products without gaining an overview about consumer experience with existing range of products can lead to failures for the company (Dalal, 2013).
In this respect, the planned research is worth the effort so as to find out how Apple has given top priority to the very concept of customer experience and has also utilized it to change the overall product innovation. Hence, the companies are required to understand that consumer experience is not only about creation of a unique identity or enhancing overall loyalty (Jonash, Koehler and Onassis, 2007). It will also help in finding out how any company including Apple can move towards an entire spectrum of processes so as to satisfy overall consumer expectations. It is also about taking valuable suggestions from consumers in order as bring changes in existing range of products and to surprise as well as delight the clients.
Apple Inc is a multinational corporation which has got its headquarters in California. It basically belongs to consumer electronics industry. This industry has been manufacturing electronic equipments related to entertainment and communications. The main product which is a part of this industry is inclusive of audio/video equipments, recorders, digital cameras, television sets, personal computers, laptops, mobile phones, MP3 players etc. Majority of the products which are a part of this industry are based on digital technologies and have merged with computer sector.
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Apple, is also an important company of this industry and has been involved in designing, developing as well as selling of electronic based items, computer software’s, as well personal computers. It is also known for its added variants of hardware products in terms of smart phones, tablets, operating systems, web browser, creativity along with many kinds of productivity suites (Apple's 'brand power' tops Japanese consumer survey, 2012). Apple has thus been regarded as one of the most valuable as well as profitable firms all over the globe. The firm has recently been ranked on sixth position in the list of top 100 global brands in the year 2009. The technology based company has been thought to have an estimated brand value of around $63,113m. There has been an overall increase in the sales and profit margins since the year 2006. During the year 2007, the firm dropped word computer from its name to reflect the operations which are not restricted to personal computers but have widely spread in the area of consumer electronics market.
Customer experience can be regarded as a sum total of all the interactions that a consumer has with a brands during course of overall lifecycle. It can be regarded as a critical differentiator in the world which is very competitive and hyper connected as per global market scenario (Moorman, 2012). There is a requirement of many things to be utilized by a firm so as to provide for a superior customer experience. They are required to quickly respond towards requests of consumers and must ensure to make customer interactions very person specific (Gianluigi, 2006). The management of Customer experience must also focus on delivering the right kind of information at right place and at fixed time. Then only the firm can analyze where it is lagging, what are exact consumer requirements and the level of satisfaction in terms of existing product range.
As per works done by previous researches like Don Reisinger, “it is clear that Apple has given a due emphasis on Consumer experience management. It has inculcated the elements of experience and has been able to connect with the consumers in a deep manner” (Reisinger, 2011). It has also been recognized as a company which is most admired in terms of providing a unique customer experience. The firm has thus been able to create as well as deliver a controlled consumer experience which is also regarded as a major reason behind increased success of Apple.
Present times can be regarded as an era where clients have a complete access to wide variety of information. Hence, there is a huge requirement to manage the overall Customer Experience (Carpenter, 2010). It is only after utilizing this tact, there can be provision of an increased competitive advantage. It is only by creation of positive as well as realistic consumer experience, there can be a creation of multiple channels with the help of which every changing consumer needs can be met (The Real Story Of Apple’s ‘Think Different’ Campaign, 2013).
This happens as Customer experience affects the bottom line. As per recent reports released by Forrester report, a billion dollar company recently made a slight shift in the overall process of consumer experience. It has been cited as being able to generate revenue of a $65 million in terms of product sales, $116 million through reduction in churn and an overall increase of $103 million via word of mouth (Dalal, 2013). Hence, it s clear that proper management of consumer experience is bound to lead towards increased sales of a company.
Product Innovation has been regarded as a crucial part of any business so as to help in setting the company apart from the existing competitors. It is the ability to create a new product and service offering that can be regarded as the most valuable asset and can be utilized by a company (Andrews and Kim, 2007). Hence, product innovation is all about developing as well as introducing new, redesigned as well as improved range of products and services for consumers. These may be related to inventing an entirely new product, making substantial quality improvements in it, inclusion of new components and addition of desirable functions into existing product. As per view point’s given by McCray and et.al, 2011, “Apple as a technological giant has given due emphasis on the very concept of product innovation. It has done this by a creation of a high end line of premium products” (McCray and et.al, 2011). But there is a presence of many gasp in existing sources of literature. These are related to finding out the manner in which apple has utilized the elements of consumer experience management so as to bring an increased product innovation. These have been provided to moat affluent consumers. It has brought much innovative range of product and service offering in the existing Smartphone market (Jones and et.al., 2010). There has been usage of many world class techniques in form of fingerprint sensors, upgraded form of camera, new fitness application among others.
The inputs given by consumers can be regarded as very valuable component to bring about breakthrough innovations in the processes. It is via a fully fledged integration of consumer experiences, there can be intake of innovations. The learning’s gained via CEM can help a company to bring in breakthrough innovations without being worried about failures (Arif and et.al., 2011). CEM helps the company in knowing what they want. It further guarantees the company to develop new products so as to satisfy overall needs and requirements of consumers. According to Abel, 2008, “there is a deep impact of Customer Experience Management on Product innovations. It also increases the chances of being from consumers as they are well aware that the suggestions given by them have been inculcated so as to develop a product” (Abel, 2008). At the same time, integrating CEM in Product innovations helps to minimize the costs and overall reduction in profits that can occur by a delayed introduction of product.
However, there is also a presence of flaws in this concept. The growing inculcation of CEM in Product innovations is advantageous but has many negative facts as well. These are in form of an increased dependence on consumers leading to many unwelcome aspects. Hence, the requirement is to give due focus on concept the CEM but only during early stages of product innovation. The later stages should be solely dependent on the advice given by management and technological staff.
This section of the report assists the researcher in giving an overview about the processes that can be utilized so as to generate desired outcomes needed for the study. Hence, there has been a usage of wide kind of research tools and techniques so as to analyze the issue and provide for valuable suggestions (Peck and et. al., 2011). Hence, the research processes and strategies that have been used for finding out the effect of successfully implementing CEM on Product innovation are as follows.
There has been a use of descriptive research design whose aim happens to be finding out the impact of CEM over the Product innovations carried out by Apple. The use of given method has been justified as this acts as a precursor towards achieving results by utilizing quantitative and qualitative methods (Saunders, 2003). This will also assist in recommending and reaching at conclusions.
The given study has made use of inductive approach. This is a must for present topic as this method is more open ended as well provide for good means to explore the topic on product innovation and CEM of Apple Inc (Taylor and et. al, 2006). As the method does not involve any hypothesis formulation, therefore the method will assist in carrying out interpretation of results (Morris, 2006).
There is a presence of varied kinds of research philosophies that can be applied to any research study. In present scenario, there has been a usage of positivism philosophy of research so as to analyze data by qualitative means (Creswell, 2013). This research philosophy will aid in achieving the overall aim of product innovation and CEM of Apple Inc by process of observation and bringing improvements as per requirement.
In any research study, there is usage of two types of methods. These are Qualitative and quantitative in nature. In present scenario, there has been a usage of qualitative research study so as to assess the information on product innovation and consumer experience management of Apple Inc. This will further assist in getting an overview about underlying conclusions as well as recommendations.
There is a huge utility of adhering with the research ethics in given topic on Apple. In this regard, it has been made sure that the entire research study has been carried out in an ethical manner. All the data will be collected from valid as well as reliable sources. No biasness will be followed while gathering data through interview sessions conducted on employees and managers of Apple. Neither will there be any misuse of data so as to make the outcomes favorable for the researcher.
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