Where Is Sony Vulnerable Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:24:05
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Sony started as a radio repair shop, founded by Masuru Ikura and Akio Morita after World War II. The company began its long history of producing compact consumer electronics in 1957, when it introduced the worlds first pocket-sized all-transistor radio. The companys name, Sony, was taken from sonus, the Latin word for sound. Sony went on to invent a series of transistor-based TVs and increasingly smaller audiocassette recorders. In 1979, the Sony Walkman introduced the world to a new, portable way of listening to music. Sony became a world leader in consumer electronics and was the first Japanese company to have its shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange. In the late 1980s, Sony began expanding into media, purchasing a U.S. record company (CBS Records for $22 billion in 1988) and a major Hollywood studio (Columbia Pictures for $4.9 billion in 1989). The purchases made Sony a major force in the entertainment industry. The importance of marketing at Sony started with Akio Morita, who said that for a company to be successful, it must have three kinds of creativity: creativity to make inventions, creativity in product planning and production, and creativity in marketing.

Creativity in marketing at Sony means not just clever ads, but deep insight into its customers. For example, Sony knows its PlayStation customers like to find clues and to decode things. So Sonys ads for PlayStation 2, like Signs, feature a young man walking the streets of a city where he encounters various signs foreshadowing the events. Mannequins appear in a store window, arms outstretched, and point enigmatically to something thats about to happen. The lead character is almost in the midst of his own role-playing game. He needs to follow clues to save the heroine, said Andrew House, Sonys executive vice president of marketing. In the ads, we were essentially trying to tap into a range of emotions that we think we deliver in the games”intrigue, foreboding, excitement, panic, relief and achievement at the end. Sonys marketing also includes careful measurement of each campaigns effectiveness. For example, Sony runs 30-second commercials for its PlayStation as part of the previews in more than 1,800 theaters and on 8,000 movie screens.

The ads appear before such films as The Cat in the Hat. Sony Computer Entertainment America has been running movie ads for six years. Cinema advertising has been very effective for us, said Ami Blaire, director of product marketing. The reason why we have committed to cinema every year is the tremendous unaided recall shown by our own research and Communicus commissioned ad tracking. Another example of measurement is Sonys GenY youth marketing efforts. The online program promoting the NetMD, ATRAC CD Walkman and Cybershot U30 ran July 1 through September 30 2003, and we found that more than 70 percent of the clickthroughs were spurred by rich media ads via Eyeblaster, versus static banners, said Serge Del Grosso, Director of Media and Internet Strategy, Sony Electronics. In fact, Sony has even developed a direct-marketing solution which it sells to other companies who want to measure marketing effectiveness. The product, called eBridge[TM], allows marketers to use video, measure the effectiveness of the campaign, and gain insight into the target audience, all in one package.

Sony expects that the next big breakthrough will not come from a single new electronic device. Rather, Sony president Kunitake Ando says that the future lies in making a whole range of devices more useful by linking them in a networked home-entertainment system. The company believes that its clout in consumer electronics, combined with its media content, will allow it to steer that convergence in a way that suits it. Whether the future of convergence resides in TVs or PCs or devices, $62-billion Sony makes every one of them”with a strong brand name that gives them an extra push off retail shelves around the world.

Discussion Questions

1.What have been the key success factors for Sony?
2.Where is Sony vulnerable?
3.What should it watch out for?
4.What recommendations would you make to senior marketing executives going forward?
5.What should they be sure to do with its marketing?

SONY

Sony started as a radio repair shop, founded by Masuru Ikura and Akio Morita after World War II. The company began its long history of producing compact consumer electronics in 1957, when it introduced the worlds first pocket-sized all-transistor radio. The companys name, Sony, was taken from sonus, the Latin word for sound. Sony went on to invent a series of transistor-based TVs and increasingly smaller audiocassette recorders. In 1979, the Sony Walkman introduced the world to a new, portable way of listening to music. Sony became a world leader in consumer electronics and was the first Japanese company to have its shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange. In the late 1980s, Sony began expanding into media, purchasing a U.S. record company (CBS Records for $22 billion in 1988) and a major Hollywood studio (Columbia Pictures for $4.9 billion in 1989). The purchases made Sony a major force in the entertainment industry. The importance of marketing at Sony started with Akio Morita, who said that for a company to be successful, it must have three kinds of creativity: creativity to make inventions, creativity in product planning and production, and creativity in marketing.

Creativity in marketing at Sony means not just clever ads, but deep insight into its customers. For example, Sony knows its PlayStation customers like to find clues and to decode things. So Sonys ads for PlayStation 2, like Signs, feature a young man walking the streets of a city where he encounters various signs foreshadowing the events. Mannequins appear in a store window, arms outstretched, and point enigmatically to something thats about to happen. The lead character is almost in the midst of his own role-playing game. He needs to follow clues to save the heroine, said Andrew House, Sonys executive vice president of marketing. In the ads, we were essentially trying to tap into a range of emotions that we think we deliver in the games”intrigue, foreboding, excitement, panic, relief and achievement at the end. Sonys marketing also includes careful measurement of each campaigns effectiveness. For example, Sony runs 30-second commercials for its PlayStation as part of the previews in more than 1,800 theaters and on 8,000 movie screens.

The ads appear before such films as The Cat in the Hat. Sony Computer Entertainment America has been running movie ads for six years. Cinema advertising has been very effective for us, said Ami Blaire, director of product marketing. The reason why we have committed to cinema every year is the tremendous unaided recall shown by our own research and Communicus commissioned ad tracking. Another example of measurement is Sonys GenY youth marketing efforts. The online program promoting the NetMD, ATRAC CD Walkman and Cybershot U30 ran July 1 through September 30 2003, and we found that more than 70 percent of the clickthroughs were spurred by rich media ads via Eyeblaster, versus static banners, said Serge Del Grosso, Director of Media and Internet Strategy, Sony Electronics. In fact, Sony has even developed a direct-marketing solution which it sells to other companies who want to measure marketing effectiveness. The product, called eBridge[TM], allows marketers to use video, measure the effectiveness of the campaign, and gain insight into the target audience, all in one package.

Sony expects that the next big breakthrough will not come from a single new electronic device. Rather, Sony president Kunitake Ando says that the future lies in making a whole range of devices more useful by linking them in a networked home-entertainment system. The company believes that its clout in consumer electronics, combined with its media content, will allow it to steer that convergence in a way that suits it. Whether the future of convergence resides in TVs or PCs or devices, $62-billion Sony makes every one of them”with a strong brand name that gives them an extra push off retail shelves around the world.

Discussion Questions

1.What have been the key success factors for Sony?
2.Where is Sony vulnerable?
3.What should it watch out for?
4.What recommendations would you make to senior marketing executives going forward?
5.What should they be sure to do with its marketing?

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