Question: Apple with its almost 300 company owned stores uses independent intermediaries
Apple, with its almost 300 company-owned stores, uses independent intermediaries, which it refers to as “third-party resellers.” For its Mac computers, Apple is very careful about the intermediaries it selects to become members of its distribution channel. Once selected, Apple makes a substantial investment to enhance the capabilities of its chosen channel members to sell and service Apple products. Its “Apple Sales Consultant Program,” for example, places Apple employees at selected channel members’ stores to provide expertise on how to tell the Apple story and ensure a high-quality buying experience. The company also offers extensive training and support through what it refers to as its “Apple Premium Resellers Program” to selected channel members to help them develop high levels of customer service and product expertise. Apple strongly believes that providing high-quality salesand after-sales support is critical for attracting new customers and retaining existing ones. Do you think Apple’s careful selection of channel members and its efforts to enable them to provide high-quality sales and service support are as important as Apple’s unique products in creating a differential advantage for Apple?
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