DM5601 Innovation Strategy and Management – Individual Assignment
Innovation is an important step through which a company is able to develop a competitive advantage in the industry where it operates. Innovation is also important since it helps any organization to penetrate the target market faster as it captures the latest tastes and preferences that consumers have and ensures that the organization is in a better position to respond to those preferences to increase the level of profitability (Henkel et al., 2020). This report focuses on the Apple Fitness Plus which is the latest innovative practices employed by Apple. The first fitness experience built around Apple Watch was launched in December of 2020 and is set to provide a notable experience in the world of fitness as described in this task.
1.0 Critical Analysis
Apple has continued to leverage on its innovativeness to have a competitive advantage in the market. The company is considered as the number one innovative company in the world. The innovative strategy focuses on development of terrific products as well as innovative business models. The company also focuses on the key strength which is making the products easy to use which means that even the people who have never used their technology before have the leeway to use the company’s products with much ease. The use of Apple Fitness Plus as one of the latest company innovations is set to shape the manner in which technology is integrated in lifestyle changes. The new technology is the first fitness powered by Apple watch with notable workout types. The new technology comes at a time when changes in lifestyle is an important consideration for a huge number of people in the world. According to Bakir (2018), Apple’s innovative strategy focuses on making the lives of people better using smart and intuitive products. The people first approach is often at the heart of the company’s culture of innovation. Probably, it is in this regard that the company developed the first fitness plus strategy geared towards responding to the needs of the general population.
- Data Collection
The specific innovation developed by Apple is the Apple Fitness Plus technology which is the first fitness service that is powered by Apple Watch. The technology was developed and launched in December 2020 and the intention is to bring the studio, style workouts to the iPhone, iPad as well as the Apple TV (Apple.com, 2019). Furthermore, the technology seeks to incorporate the workout metrics from the Apple Watch for a first of its kind personalized as well as immersive experience where users can complete the workout plan at the place of their own convenience.
There are many physical fitness activities that are incorporated in the new Yoga experience. The Apple fitness app was launched with more than 10 work out provisions. The physical fitness provisions include High Intensity Interval Training, Yoga, Dance, Core, Cycling, treadmill for both running and walking as well as the Mindful Cooldown. All the physical fitness activities are accomplished by a team of trainers whose approach can be regarded as quite welcoming (Apple.com, 2020). Furthermore, the new technology is designed such that the new workouts are done with the incorporation of an inspiring music from favorite artists. This aims at keeping the product users motivated right from the start to the finish.
- Data Analysis
The big idea behind the Apple Fitness Plus app is to have people monitor their physical activities. The innovation came at a time when people are becoming more conscious about their own health and the struggle for a change in lifestyle is now more real than ever before (Taylor, 2015). The fitness app tracks how often a person stands, the general movement and the minutes of exercise that one engages in for a physical fitness plan. The summary of the activities is given in three rings that have different colors. The main aim of the fitness plan is to ensure that one is able to sit less, move more and above all, ensure more physical fitness by completing each ring every day. The apple fitness app keeps a record of the activities that a person engages in every day. This is an important initiative especially for a person who is conscious of the health wellbeing (Zhang et al., 2018). While using the app, a person can select either the calorie, time, distance, or have an open goal. The open goal ensures that a person has a workable work out plan even when there is no clear goal of what has to be achieved after a given time.
The target audience for the apple fitness app are people who have fitness goals. The app targets people that have general fitness plans or those that have chronic conditions and as such, want to exercise to improve their qualities of life. The app is appropriate both for beginners and others that may have an experience with physical fitness programs. The personalization of the fitness ensures that the diverse needs of the target audience are addressed. Another category of the target audience are people who want to work out but have no intention of visiting a physical fitness facility such as the gym.
To ensure that the new products idea serves the purpose for which it was created, design played a remarkable role. The fitness was designed to have a personalized workout experience. The design captures the targets for both beginners and experienced or committed exercisers who can both access the studio-style workout that are provided by world-class trainers (Padmasekara, 2014). The design also ensures that users can select the type of service they want during the physical fitness through the app. The personalization ensures that users have different experiences that capture their target workout plans. For instance, it is possible to select on the target number of calories that one needs to reduce, or the time to undertake the fitness plan or just have an open goal regarding the physical fitness plan to be achieved. These are dimensions captured through unique designs provided by the app.
Apple’s Fitness Plus product innovation played a central role in shaping the organization’s mission, vision and/or objectives. The mission of the organization is to bring the best user experience to the customers through the innovative hardware, software and general services. On the other hand, the organization’s vision is vested in the belief that the company is on the face of the earth to come up with great products defined by innovation and that plan is not changing any time soon. The development of the new product idea responds to the organization’s mission and vision of remaining a key innovator geared towards responding to the specific needs of the target audience. By coming up with the new product idea, the company endears itself to the people with the aim of solving notable challenges facing them. As a company that is committed to establishing great products, the development of the apple fitness plus provides a remarkable experience of solving key issues that affect the society (Tien, 2019). Apple seem to be ready and committed to responding to the needs and aspirations of its target population.
Other than Apple, there are many other players that have come on board in solving the challenges facing the health wellbeing of the people today. For instance, amazon has also gotten into the health awareness bracket with a new fitness band as well as subscription called Halo. However, the apple product has the competitive advantage of having a screen. Other basic Fitbits also lack the personalization feature that is offered by apple. Consequently, apple emerges as they key contender in developing the fitness products that can respond to the specific needs of the target market. Besides, the new product developed by apple has the advantage of providing personalized health services and users can modify the target areas to suit their intensions. The output outperformed the products offered by competitors in that consumers can easily modify the product components to suit the specific needs and aspirations of end users.
To reach the unexplored markets or address latent needs in the case of radical innovations, the product was designed to have differentiated features which can suit the specific needs and aspirations of the end user. Product differentiation is meant to give the unique experience (Magwizi, 2020). The product is now rolled out in more than 15 countries with a remarkable range of instructors who can address the emerging healthcare and lifestyle issues affecting them. Using an app which is integrated on the apple’s smartphone allows the users to have a wider experience with the company’s products. The use of an app is not limited to space or physical location. Anyone who has the apple watch or the apple smartphone will have access to the company’s range of fitness instructors.
2.0 Innovation strategy development
Strategic thinking is an important initiative that every organization can rely on to improve on its operational framework. For a new product idea being generated by an organization, the ability to think beyond the normal allows an organization to come up with products that respond to the diverse needs of the target market. There are a number of approaches that Apple can use to ensure that the new business venture is developed further. To explore the opportunities for expansion that the organization has, it is important to consider the key questions developed by Roger Martin to explore the new strategic directions that the organization can take to position itself better in the competitive market.
Product differentiation is an important approach through which organizations often address the diverse needs of different target populations. Apple has an opportunity to address the needs of diverse target audience. The apple smartwatch which was created by Apple Inc has the fitness tracking and the health-oriented capabilities, an incorporation of with an iOS as well as other products and services. The Apple watch continued to attract a notable number of users. Therefore, apple should leverage on this usability to increase the presence of the products and services to a wider target audience. Since the watch is used by different target audience, apple should take advantage of this fact to increase the product presence on the target market. Furthermore, the company should leverage on the already established market presence as it is known for creating simple but technologically advanced products which go a long way in generating a significant number of sales (Eades1Ε n.d). To address the needs of different target audience, apple has the opportunity to use product differentiation strategy. This move will also be key in ensuring that the organization has a competitive advantage over other players in the industry.
Expanding on the Goal: To ensure that apple’s new innovation reaches a wider target market, it will be prudent to re-evaluate the scope or the goal of the initiative. The goal of the company’s innovation is to ensure that users have a unique experience with the kind of innovation the company has taken to the target audience (Kang, 2019). Therefore, to ensure that the innovation achieves the purpose for which it was designed, apple has the opportunity of expanding its operations especially by creating more components on the app. For instance, besides having only the calories, the time, distance, or have an open goal, other differentiated approaches can be used to ensure that more consumers can get the advantage of the diverse benefits provided by the fitness plus app. The goal can as well be expanded to capture the health fitness requirements for people that have notable health complications epically those with chronic health complications.
The scope and Advantage: Another key decision that the organization has to make is to explore its scope of operation and determine the strategic direction that has to be taken. Apple fitness plus helps a person to work out on how to close the rings and the tracking system for the workouts on the Apple watch. The length that a person has to use to close on all the tracks is determined by what the set fitness goals are during the time of setting up the fitness app. Therefore, a modification can be made such that specific target users are allowed to use the app based on the target goals. For instance, if the target is to reduce the number of calories by 25% in 6 months, the new app should be designed to capture such targets (Yang, 2020). The scope of the app should as well be improved to capture more users especially those at a young age. For instance, after school programs targeted at helping to fight the prevalence of obesity among school going children can also be designed to use the platform (Padmasekara, 2014). Expanding the scope of the tool to ensure that it captures a wider target audience will go a long way in expanding the scope of use of the app to a wider target market audience. Furthermore, instructors should as well be conscious of the different needs and expectations of the target audience and as such, come up with different fitness programs that address such needs.
Capabilities and Management Systems
Capability management refers to the capacity of the company to structure, combine and then leverage on the internal as well as external resources with the am of creating new value for its stakeholders. To win a notable number of a new target audience, there has to be tools that the company uses to underscore its capabilities and monitor whether the systems are working optimally to achieve the desired winning aspiration (McCann, 2011). Apple should come up with the how to win formula in its quest to achieve both the short- and long-term goals. The three key categories that underscore how apple can use its position effectively as described by Roger Martin start with driving disproportionate resource investment, followed by specifying the novel decision rights before finalizing with the mandate non-standard measurement and tracking (Raja et al., 2019). To ensure that apple achieves the set goals, an investment in research in the capabilities and management systems is key. Investing in research ensures that the specific needs and expectations of the target audience can be addressed with much ease.
A critical SWOT analysis of Apple company shows the strengths and opportunities that the company has especially in its quest to innovate more and deliver new product portfolio. The swot analysis can be summarized as below
|Company||Strength||An already established brand identity. The new innovation already has a ready target marketCompany uses its brand to sell a lifestyle of creativity Continued investment in its innovativeness||Possibility of product imitation which reduces the value and worth of the company’s productsThere is too much competition which can derail the organization’s profitability. The company may likely receive competition from other big players such as Samsung as well as the whole of the android market|
|Opportunity||Possible collaboration with strong and existing brandsContinued innovation makes the company to expand on its product ideasHigh health consciousness which increases the product marketabilityBetter product marketability even in developing countries||The company’s product prices are often relatively high which limits buyers from making purchasesThe new innovation may take long to implement due to overdependence on the middle class|
From the SWOT analysis, the company has a notable level of strength as well as opportunities which if well utilized will give it a competitive edge in the market especially for the innovation. One of the notable strengths that the company can leverage on is its brand identity which gives it an upper hand in the competitive industry s having a recognizable brand in the world (Hoppner & Westerhoff, 2021). For a company that is already known for producing quality products, building on the already established brand will be a key step towards meeting its target market. In future, apple should build on this brand presence to market the new product idea to a wider target audience.
Additionally, Apple often uses its brand to sell a lifestyle of creativity and sleekness. This strength brings forth a critical opportunity that apple can rely on in its quest to market the new idea (McConnell et al., 2018). The opportunity of increased product presence in other markets especially in countries where lifestyle change is a point of concern. For instance, countries such as the US and Japan have increased the level of consciousness regarding the need for the citizens to change their lifestyles and way of living (Kim, 2018). This presents a good opportunity for apple to develop new more user centered applications in the quest to address the increased demands.
The future of Apple fitness plus also lies in the ability of the company to invest more in research and to understand the new customer demands. For a company that invests more in innovative business practices, research should form the hallmark of all its daily engagements. Research should focus on understanding the customer needs among other trends that are key in the world of technology (Bakir, 2018). Investing in technology ensures that the needs and expectations of the people are addressed in earnest. The opportunity for better product marketability can as well go a long way in ensuring that the organization can fully respond to its needs and expectations.
Even with the continued investment in the company’s possible opportunities and strengths, apple should as well consider a critical evaluation of the risks and threats that may counter the gains made in its innovative drive so far. For instance, many other players such as Samsung have come forth to invest in almost similar business ideas (Asher et al., 2021). There is need for the company to put forth measures on how to solve the emerging competition from other key players in the industry. Such threats can be solved better when the company invests more in research and continually demonstrates innovativeness for the new product launched in the market.
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