A consideration of Porter’s 5 Forces analysis model can provide some insight into the micro-environmental factors impacting APPLE.



A Formula for Customer Growth

Each New Apple Product is innovative and has a high value proposition. These are core competencies of Apple that align perfectly  with what customers value. As a result, Customers are Overwhelmingly Satisfied, because their expectations have been met or surpassed. This causes an attachment to the brand and ultimately, Customer Loyalty.

This now means that there is a higher likelihood of Purchasing Future Apple Products, each time something new is released.

In short, each time a customer goes through this loop, customer satisfaction and loyalty is further enhanced.

See Diagram Below:

There are 5 main Uniqueness Drivers that helps Apple maintain its Competitive Advantage.



  •   One of the most   innovative and transformational pioneers of all time- Steve Jobs. A true   visionary- Planted the seeds that made Apple who it is today; iPod, iPhone,   Tablet;
  •   Highly   protected IP: Harmonization of hardware and software products
  •   Distinctive  competencies in innovation, quality, ease   of use, style
  •   82 billion in   cash reserves enables them to lock in supplies and carry no debt.
  •   Rapid growth in   demand for Apple products
  •    Product launches create immense brand exposure   and hype.
  •   Loyal customer   base
  •   Made shopping   for electronics an experience



  •   Customer demand   at times exceeds supply of products
  •   Some Apple   stores struggle to keep up with influx of customers



  •    Opportunities to expand to emerging markets   and push sales of Mac’s and iPhones
  •   Opportunity to   Expand the Apple TV segment


  •   Other well   established competitors in each of their segments are quick to follow Apple’s   innovation
  •   Competing   operating systems
  •   Intense   competition for ad revenue, Apple’s app advertising platform; iAd competes   with Google’s AdSense
  •   Battle for   patents and lawsuits creates negative publicity and affects the share price
  •   Replica Apple   store in China


As we proceed with our own lives, let us remember the inspirational people like Steve Job’s, who has motivated us to explore the vast potential within each one of us.

He has undoubtedly left a mark on this world, and hopefully his words can leave a mark on you.

“We’re here to make a dent in the universe. Otherwise, why even be here?” (Qtd in the movie Pirates of Silicon Valley)


“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” (2005 commencement speech)


“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”


“Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the consequences of other peoples thinking” (2005 commencement speech)

There was also an arrogant side to Steve.

To Bill Gates: “We’re better than you are! We have better stuff.” (Qtd in the movie Pirates of Silicon Valley)

However, this side of him was overshadowed by pure brilliance.

STEVE JOBS, (1955 – 2011)



The Stepping Stones of Success

At some stage in our childhood years, we all have encountered at a park or garden the fun of leaping on stepping stones while trying to keep our balance, so as to not fall over.

However, stepping stones can also serve a function to entrepreneurs when mapping out a path to visualize their new venture. This is according to the author of the book, “Raising Venture Capital for the Serious Entrepreneur”, Dermot Berkery. “Stepping-stones represent groups of major milestones for the company.” (D Berkery, 20) On the way to achieving each milestone is a number of micro steps which are critical to being successful. These stepping stones are also imperative in highlighting exactly what each round of series funding will be used for as well as enticing future investors, provided previous milestones have been achieved. It is also important to remember that each stepping stone be assigned deadline. Upon reaching this expected completion date, one should take the time to evaluate and assess the progress thus far before making the next leap. Some questions that need to be addressed include, “Have we achieved the goal we set out?, What may have prevented the company from achieving its goal? , What new factors (regulatory, new entrants, financial) could affect the accomplishment of future milestones?”


Part of being an innovator or game changer requires one to see opportunities, new routes that others are blind to. Your initial stepping stone diagram can be used to chart these new paths or options that may present itself along the way. For example, penetrating new industries/markets or partnering with a smaller business to strengthen the overall value proposition to stave away competitors. It is these types of branch off opportunities that minimize risk of failure and excite investors.

This is a technique that can be used for any situation that requires some strategy and visualization and is not limited to business professionals.

So the next time you see some stepping stones, hopefully you will remember the immense power that can be derived from them, if thought about metaphorically.