Give an example of one company you are familiar with that is in one of the four industries covered in class – perfect competition, monopoly, oligopoly, and Monopolistic Competition. Explain why it is in that particular industry/market structure. Justify your response How are prices set and sales and profits determined in your chosen industry? How does the company advertise (if at all)? What kind of advertising and where? How does it spend on new product innovation and creation? How does it improve service and quality (if at all)? An example essay is provided below: Apple, Inc. is known to generate a buzz since the introduction of the Mac. Throughout many years of growth, innovation, and challenges, it has become one of the most well-known and wealthiest companies in the world because the owners of Apple sought not only to make a profit but to create an experience for the customers that would keep them coming back. Apple is both an oligopoly and monopolistic competition. Due to its iPhone operating systems, iOS, it can be considered an oligopoly because there are only a couple of other competitors: Android, owned by Google, and the Windows phone, owned by Microsoft. Although there may be other competitors, they are nowhere near to competing against these three companies. All of the firms are able to stay relevant and keep consumers’ attentions by creating and introducing new features. On the other hand, Apple can also be considered monopolistic competition because of their computers. Apple faces many more competitors in this market including, Dell, Toshiba, Acer, Asus, and others. Each brand of computer has its own benefits that allows equal opportunities for competition. Apple is unique when it comes to pricing its products. Many competitors offer promotions to generate sales and persuade customers to purchase their products, but not Apple. It is very rare to find an Apple product at a discounted price because they use what it known as “price maintenance”. What this means is they use the popularity of their products to their advantage and require retailers to advertise their products in a certain way. Apple also differs from its competitors because they only offer a small wholesale discount to the retailer so retailers cannot offer Apple’s merchandise at a bigger discount and create a larger profit than what the Apple Store provides. By making sure all retailers sell their products as the same price, it prevents them from having an advantage over Apple. This is both a positive and negative: it does not offer price competition, which is usually seen in a free market. Apple can do this because their products are generally of better quality compared to competitors, leading to the fact that having a large profit margin allows Apple to create a better, high-quality product. Apple’s advertising strategy is a little different than their competitors as well. Their main form of advertising is word of mouth. Apple introduces their new products at press conferences. After that, customers and network operators do majority of the advertising. Their loyal customers do a decent job of spreading news about new products, and network operators help persuade customers to buy a new iPhone by offering deals on contracts. When Apple does advertise, they keep it simple. For example, a past commercial compares a Mac and PC was to the point: it was just two people against a white background explaining how Macs are better than PCs. There was no mention of price or product features that could cloud the message to consumers. When it comes to innovating and improving services and products, Apple has both had some trouble and excelled. Apple has been known to have great customer service. When customers walk into their store they enjoy an experience that no other store can offer them, which keeps the customer returning. However, Apple has to constantly find new ways to keep customers interested and create experiences that will not bore them. One rule at Apple is when creating new products and improving current products is to keep them simple and easy to use. When Steve Jobs was head of the company, engineers had to create products that he would want to use. To this day engineers still stick to that rule. Although they may be able to create intricate and complex technologies, they have to remember they are creating a device that customers should be able to use easily. Some theorize that Apple has lost its touch and are now just copying their competitors’ inventions: the iPod was not the first MP3 player. Apple focuses on creating a better product. They did this with the iPhone and iPad as well. They were not the first company to create a smart phone or a tablet, but, arguably, created better ones. Apple is known as one of the most competitive and wealthy companies. They can be found in different types of markets and industries, which shows how diverse they can be. Although they have faced some struggles and their competitors have been stepping up, Apple has continued to stay relevant and will likely continue to do so.
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