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Sony Corporation marketing plan

Sony Corporation founded in Japan, revolutionized the consumer electronics field. The Sony became familiar throughout the world for innovative products as the transistor radio, the Trinitron television, the Walkman cassette player, and the compact disk (CD). The company also joined in other diversified industries such as entertainment, battery manufacture, life insurance, and sports equipment. By the end of the twentieth century it cooperated with the People’s Republic of China to produce television sets. Sony had become a major player on the international market.

Sony is a global manufacturer of audio, video, communications and information technology products for consumer and professional markets. Sony Corporation is no.1 in its industry, with 60 years of integrity and high quality behind its well-recognized brand name. Recently, however, it has sustained serious damage to its product quality, customer service, and reputation for honesty and integrity that need to be addressed if Sony is to retain its supremacy. This strategic plan details the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, proposing an approach for leveraging them to recoup the company’s good standing, as well as its bottom.

Sony has achieved a standing in the electronics industry rivaled by none. It has nearly universal brand recognition, and that brand stands for quality, innovation, integrity, and service. Sony’s consistent efforts to keep its finger on the pulse of innovation have made it the pioneer in many electronics discoveries, such as the first Japanese tape recorder and the first Japanese radio, as well as the compact disk. Sony has a large base of customers who for a long time have refused to buy any other brand but Sony when it came to electronics.

Sony Corporation has a unique culture which is firmly rooted. The research and development section of Sony differs greatly from other companies with its great flexibility, Sony; is a traditional Japanese company in many ways. There is life-time employment, with strong norms and values which in turn create strategies through their actions.

Sony delivers thrilling digital entertainment experiences by capitalizing on the synergy between its electronics business, content creation capabilities and movie, music, mobile and computer games interests. As a world leader in high definition, Sony already offers an exciting range of broadcast and consumer HD products, as well as content assets that are driving the industry towards HD digitalization.

Marketing Plan of Sony Corporation

Marketing plan of Sony consists of the following framework:

Purpose and Mission

Situational Analysis

Marketing Strategy and Objectives

Additional Consideration

This marketing plan is aimed at highlighting one of the product line extensions of Sony Corporation. It mainly focuses on the internal and external environment of Sony Corporation. Apart from that this plan include the marketing strategies, brand promotion strategies, marketing mix involved and various initiatives which Sony Corporation took. SWOT analysis one of the major content which is included in this marketing plan.

Purpose and Mission

The main purpose of this marketing plan is to analyze various aspects of product-line extension by Sony Corporation. Here the chosen product-line extension is Sony-Bravia. The mission of this plan is to find out whether Sony-Bravia has met Sony-Corporations expectations before launching this product in the market. Sony-Corporation is one of the world’s leading digital entertainment brands, offering an outstanding portfolio of exciting multimedia content.

Sony’s mission is to commit to develop a wide range of innovative products and multimedia services that challenge the way consumers’ access and enjoy digital entertainment. By ensuring synergy between businesses within the organization, Sony is constantly striving to create exciting new worlds of entertainment that can be experienced on a variety of different products.

Sony focuses on strengthening its all-important electronics business and maintain market leadership in high profile areas such as televisions, digital imaging, home video equipment and portable audio. To achieve this, Sony is pursuing three corporate initiatives:

The Customer Viewpoint Initiative emphasizes the importance to staff of viewing Sony, its products and services from a customer perspective.

The Technology Nr. 1 Initiative focuses on reinforcing Sony’s cutting-edge technologies in the areas targeted for maximum investment of resources, including televisions, home video equipment, digital imaging equipment and Walkman

The ‘Genba’ Initiative aims at strengthening frontline operations (‘genba’ in Japanese) such as design locations, manufacturing facilities and sales offices.

2. Situation Analysis

In developing BRAVIA, Sony brought together its most advanced design, manufacturing and sales capabilities. Sony incorporated newly developed Sony Panels and other technologies for outstanding image quality and devised a high impact advertising programme. BRAVIA currently holds the worldwide No. 1 position for LCD TVs. Sony aimed to communicate a simple message – that the colour you see on these screens is ‘like.no.other’. This was the message given by Sony Corporation while launching Sony-Bravia.

BRAVIA, an acronym for Best Resolution Audio Visual Integrated Architecture, was first introduced in the United States with Sony’s flat-panel LCD HDTV line in late 2005.

Internal environment of Sony Corporation

In order to utilize limited resources, Sony promotes product designs that conserve materials by measures such as resources recycling and use of recycled materials.

Sony manages the chemicals we use in products and at sites in a reliable manner which is based on precautionary approach.

Sony is taking steps to protect biodiversity at its sites through site greening activities and initiatives aimed at helping to restore areas outside its sites to their natural state.

In manufacturing and non-manufacturing sites worldwide, Sony carries out consistent environmental activities based on policies such as Sony Group’s environmental mid-range targets.

Sony strives to provide environmentally conscious products through measures such as conducting product environmental assessments.

Sony strongly believes in the importance of informing stakeholders that include customers about our environmental philosophy and initiatives. Furthermore, employees of each group company receive environmental training and other self development programs to help raise employee awareness on the environment.

The greatest asset of Sony is of its human capital, especially its engineers which make up the R&D department. Their constant innovation is crucial for a consumer electronic firm which specializes in audio-visual equipment and the higher profit margin, which comes from being the leader of the pact.

External Environment of Sony Corporation

Competition: Sony was the inefficient in manufacturing structures which decrease Sony’s quality that badly affects their reputation and caused a decline in product competitiveness.

Market: Sony was insufficient in responding to the shift of market demand and losing of its competitive advantages.

Technology: To bring miniaturization to its product, Sony ensures that technologists, engineers, and marketers have a shared understanding of customer needs and of technological possibilities in order to become more customer-orientated with the aim to increase competitive advantage, as well as create more value added activities.

Thus, we can see that keeping in mind the following above mentioned environmental aspects; they can launch a product in the market. Sony Corporation has to keep in mind the challenges faced by them in the past and the mistakes made in the past which has affected their reputation. They have under gone a serious plan for their future.

Marketing Strategies

Marketing strategies used by Sony Corporation is very effective that it has created value in consumers mind to the product offered by them. Sony has targeted its product-line BRAVIA in the urban areas, in big cities like New Delhi, Pune, Mumbai etc. In most of all this places, Sony has more than four different distributors like Sony world and also they have Sony service centers. For the customers in urban areas the supply seems to be satisfactory, though the rural areas are left out.

Sony’s Marketing Mix consists of:

Product

Price

Promotion

Place

Product: Product is a tangible thing which is used to satisfy a particular want. Sony Corporation launched a product called Sony-BRAVIA. BRAVIA is a Sony brand used to market its high-definition LCD televisions, projection TVs and front projectors, along with its home cinema range under the sub-brand BRAVIA Theatre. The BRAVIA name is an acronym of “Best Resolution Audio Visual Integrated Architecture”.

In providing a wide range of products and services with high quality, Sony has by far influenced most of the its customers perception favorably towards its products

Price: Pricing decisions are almost always made in consultation with marketing management. Price is the only marketing mix variable that can be altered quickly. Price variables such as dealer price, retail price, discounts, allowances, credit terms etc. influence the development of marketing strategy, as price is a major factor that influences the assessment of value obtained by customers.

Customers directly relate price to quality, particularly in case of products that are ego intensive of technology based. Sony being a company which emphasizes product quality, it tends to sell its products with price range from moderately-high to high-prices, depending on the use and the targeted customers. Even though the prices imposed by Sony seems to be fair with consideration of the quality of the products and services offered , the only problem is that, Sony has priced its products too expensively for a middle or lower class customer to afford to buy those products. Apart from that Sony has targeted its market mainly to urban customers who can afford such expensive products. Sony has to create also some of low end products with low prices which can be affordable to low income users.

Skimming Strategy

Sony Corporation has developed a price Skimming Strategy, since the product has enough differentiation to justify a high price and desire quick cash and have minimal desires for significant market penetration and control.

Promotion: Sony has promoted its BRAVIA brand through wide advertising campaigns which includes many of its portfolio stars, starting off with Taylor Swift, showing off the Cyber-shot DSC-TX7. Each ad featured a Sony-affiliated celebrity to pitch its electronic products, such as its 3-D television and its e-reader. Sony spent nearly $5 billion on their global ad campaigns. The launch of BRAVIA was different in different countries like in India advertisement featured thousands of square anthropomorphic pixels. A Kathakali dancer’s green face turns into pixels which run away from him. He finds his face later in a Sony BRAVIA television

Pull Strategy

Sony Corporation has adopted a The PULL STRATEGY to have direct interface with the end user of the offering. Sony has minimized the use of channels of distribution is during the first stages of promotion and a major commitment to advertisement has been under taken. The objective is to “pull” the prospects into the various channel outlets creating a demand the channels cannot ignore.

Place: Sony has targeted its markets in the urban areas, in big cities like New Delhi, Pune, Mumbai etc. In most of all this places, Sony has more than four different distributors like Sony world and also they have Sony service centers.

Addition Consideration

Based on the above mentioned information, a critical SWOT analysis can be made with the help of available information. SWOT analysis helps an organization to understand their strengths and weaknesses and also to have an idea about what the opportunities available to them outside and what are the likely threats they can face in future.

Strength

Large market share: Sony has the ability to be successful in several different markets. They have made an impact in the video game market, the PC market, and especially the television market and there are still numerous others.

Providing end-to-end solutions in today’s highly developing world: Sony is the only company which is delivering complete, end-to-end solutions for today’s HD World. Sony provides tools for our customers to create, edit, store, share and enjoy High Definition content. Sony Pictures and Sony Computer Entertainment create movies and games that maximize the full power and potential of HD while independent film makers and programme producers are encouraged to realize their unique creative vision in full Sony HD.

Cutting-edge technologies: Sony has adopted cutting-edge technologies to produce their products with distinctive feature.

Innovations: Sony has always been a leader in technology, creating markets by looking for new markets where bigger, well-established companies are not a threat. One of Sony’s greatest strengths is their ability to produce innovative, quality products.

Flexibility: The research and development section of Sony differs greatly from other companies with its great flexibility, Sony; in its essence is still a traditional Japanese company in many ways. There is a planned direction for Sony, their actual product development through launching is emergent with great flexibility.

Weakness

Inefficient manufacturing structures: Sony was inefficient in manufacturing structures which decreased Sony’s quality that badly affects their reputation and caused a decline in product competitiveness.

Loosing competitive edges: The failure of Sony in effectively implements Kaizen or sustain an effective manufacturing structure to ensure that they have high quality products had damage their strong brand name and reputation which caused them to lose their product competitiveness and competitive advantages in the market.

Insufficient in responding external markets: Sony was insufficient in responding to the shift of market demand and losing of its competitive advantages. Sony was incapable of fulfilling the increasing market demands which increased the stake for Sony as there are other strong competitors such as Microsoft and Nintendo to have a head start in gaining market share and enjoy first mover advantages.

Opportunities

Green-lighting asset sales: Sony has been green-lighting asset sales to free up cash so they can rebuild the company around a tighter core of businesses. The managing of value strategy which is “concerned with maximizing long-term cash-generating of an organization” by disposal of assets to get more funds and reinvest back into different business units such as R&D, production and others can help Sony to strengthen its core competencies.

Resources-based and positioning: Sony are implementing emergent strategies from both “inside out” – Resources Based View and “outside in” – Positioning view or so called Market Based View to secure its current position. An integrated approach of the resources-based and positioning view can maximize the capabilities of organization and sustaining more competitive advantages.

Miniaturization Sony implement to boost its core competence is miniaturization. To bring miniaturization to its product, Sony ensures that technologists, engineers, and marketers have a shared understanding of customer needs and of technological possibilities in order to become more customer-orientated with the aim to increase competitive advantage, as well as create more value added activities.

Strength of Innovation: Sony can utilize their innovative ideas to gain more and more opportunities present in the environment.

Threats

Competition: A common threat facing any company in sales is competition. Sony’s BRAVIA is a innovation in LCDs. Apart from this Sony has innovated many products and models of the same product. Moreover Sony’s price range is some what higher and if the same product is available in the market with slightly less feature, customers are likely to change their decision. However, competitors like Samsung and others are also playing an important role in the market.

Failures in the past. Sony was the inefficient manufacturing structures which decrease Sony’s quality that badly affects their reputation and caused a decline in product competitiveness. Moreover, Sony was insufficient in responding to the shift of market demand and losing of its competitive advantages. The failures in the past are likely to repeat in future and customers are likely to have a bad impression in their mind which is likely to be a threat for Sony.

Failure to implement Kaizen effectively : The failure of Sony in effectively implementing Kaizen or sustain an effective manufacturing structure to ensure that they have high quality products had damaged their strong brand name and reputation which caused them to lose their product competitiveness and competitive advantages in the market. It can be a threat for Sony in future.

Conclusion

Sony must learn from their mistake and implement more effective and efficient strategies if they want to get out from this current unfavorable situation. Sony has the potential to innovate into a company with international operations as well as culture since it was one of the first Japanese companies to set up a main branch in the United States. With strategy and luck, Sony could become a great firm as it was and will be.

INDIVIDUAL CRITICAL REFLECTION

Sony Corporation is one of the largest manufacturers of electronic items. Sony is a global manufacturer of audio, video, communications and information technology products for consumer and professional markets. Sony Corporation is no.1 in its industry, with 60 years of integrity and high quality behind its well-recognized brand name.

In providing a wide range of products and services with high quality, Sony has by far influenced most of its customer’s perception favorably towards its products. From time the company was created till now, the quality of the products that Sony offers is improving each year, although there are some occurrence of defects like that of defect on laptop batteries which were sold and got exploded and caught fire in Japan has caused the company a great loss as it had to recall a million of those defected batters, and also this issue degraded the company’s reputation. But the overall products offered by Sony to my opinion will still be of best quality.

In some of the products Sony has created deviations but still Sony has succeeded in offering value to customers to the last extent.

Sources which shows that Sony Corporation has offered value to the customers:

Sony has improved its technologies in such a way that it has produced high quality products with goods features which has created a good impression in the minds of customers.

Sony has adopted various other strategies like it has more than four different distributors like Sony world and also they have Sony service centers. So, whenever customers find any problem with the product, service centers are nearby and the customers are offered services as and when they need. This creates value to the customers.

Sony strives to provide environmentally conscious products through measures such as conducting product environmental assessments. This will help Sony to deliver product which are environmental friendly, which creates value to the customers, since customers are happy to use products which are harmless to them.

The Customer Viewpoint Initiative emphasizes the importance to staff of viewing Sony, its products and services from a customer perspective. Sony has given greater importance to its customers by delivering high definition products with cutting-edge technologies.

Sony’s mission is to commit to develop a wide range of innovative products and multimedia services that challenge the way consumers’ access and enjoy digital entertainment.

Suggestion to improve the value offered to the customers by Sony

Even though, Sony has improved a lot in delivering its products as per the customers needs. Still it can improve in many ways to satisfy its customers. There are lot of area where it has to concentrate. Following the suggestions:

Currently Sony Corporation has targeted only the cream of the market i.e. they have delivered products only to the high class people of the society. More or less the middle class and the lower class people cannot afford to by Sony’s products because of the cost. So, Sony can offer value to a large group of people by launching a product which is capable of delivering the same satisfaction with less cost.

Sony can have strategic alliances or some other strategy, so that they can learn the domestic market and can deliver high value to its consumers as per there needs and preferences.

Sony can employ Domestic employees who have a better idea of what is happening in the society and as per the ideas generated by them, products can be produced. It will deliver high value to the customer.

Sony must put on effort on its R&D, which should be capable of applying the lasted and highly improved technologies with minimal cost. Efficient use of available resources should be ensured.

Thus, applying above mentioned suggestions, Sony Corporation can surely deliver high value products to its customers.

Sony usually adopted ad campaigns to promote its products in the market. It has created a direct relationship with the end consumers. So, we can say that Sony Corporation has applied Pull Strategy which have direct interface with the end user of the offering. Sony has minimized the use of channels of distribution is during the first stages of promotion and a major commitment to advertisement has been under taken.

Role of Advertisement in creating value to the customers

The effect of advertisement plays an important role in the promotion of a product. Sony has spent nearly one million in its ad campaign all around the world. The ad campaigns were different in different countries as per the culture of the country. In India advertisement featured thousands of square anthropomorphic pixels. A Kathakali dancer’s green face turns into pixels which run away from him. He finds his face later in a Sony BRAVIA television

Advertisement is one of the best media which offers value to customers because while looking at the advertisement people are visualizing the same in there mind and have the tendency to buy and use it after having a brief idea about its features and pricing.

Sony’s Marketing Mix consists of:

Product

Price

Promotion

Place

Product: Product is a tangible thing which is used to satisfy a particular want. Sony Corporation launched a product called Sony-BRAVIA. BRAVIA is a Sony brand used to market its high-definition LCD televisions, projection TVs and front projectors, along with its home cinema range under the sub-brand BRAVIA Theatre. The BRAVIA name is an acronym of “Best Resolution Audio Visual Integrated Architecture”.

In providing a wide range of products and services with high quality, Sony has by far influenced most of the its customers perception favorably towards its products

Price: Pricing decisions are almost always made in consultation with marketing management. Price is the only marketing mix variable that can be altered quickly. Price variables such as dealer price, retail price, discounts, allowances, credit terms etc. influence the development of marketing strategy, as price is a major factor that influences the assessment of value obtained by customers.

Customers directly relate price to quality, particularly in case of products that are ego intensive of technology based. Sony being a company which emphasizes product quality, it tends to sell its products with price range from moderately-high to high-prices, depending on the use and the targeted customers. Even though the prices imposed by Sony seems to be fair with consideration of the quality of the products and services offered , the only problem is that, Sony has priced its products too expensively for a middle or lower class customer to afford to buy those products. Apart from that Sony has targeted its market mainly to urban customers who can afford such expensive products. Sony has to create also some of low end products with low prices which can be affordable to low income users.

Skimming Strategy

Sony Corporation has developed a price Skimming Strategy, since the product has enough differentiation to justify a high price and desire quick cash and have minimal desires for significant market penetration and control.

Promotion: Sony has promoted its BRAVIA brand through wide advertising campaigns which includes many of its portfolio stars, starting off with Taylor Swift, showing off the Cyber-shot DSC-TX7. Each ad featured a Sony-affiliated celebrity to pitch its electronic products, such as its 3-D television and its e-reader. Sony spent nearly $5 billion on their global ad campaigns. The launch of BRAVIA was different in different countries like in India advertisement featured thousands of square anthropomorphic pixels. A Kathakali dancer’s green face turns into pixels which run away from him. He finds his face later in a Sony BRAVIA television

Pull Strategy

Sony Corporation has adopted a The PULL STRATEGY to have direct interface with the end user of the offering. Sony has minimized the use of channels of distribution is during the first stages of promotion and a major commitment to advertisement has been under taken. The objective is to “pull” the prospects into the various channel outlets creating a demand the channels cannot ignore.

Place: Sony has targeted its markets in the urban areas, in big cities like New Delhi, Pune, Mumbai etc. In most of all this places, Sony has more than four different distributors like Sony world and also they have Sony service centers.

Above mentioned is the marketing mix of Sony Corporation. Marketing mix plays an important role in achieving the organizations goals and objectives. Marketing mix of a company determines the future way of company’s growth. Change must be made in the marketing mix as per the changes in customer’s needs and expectations and the economic growth.

Marketing research is very important for the survival of a company. By doing marketing research a company can easily find out what is happening in the market and what are the changes which it should make in the organizations value delivering process.

The Marketing Plan is a highly detailed, heavily researched and, hopefully, well written report that many inside and possibly outside the organization will evaluate. It is an essential document for both large corporate marketing departments and for startup companies. Essentially the Marketing Plan:

forces the marketing personnel to look internally in order to fully understand the results of past marketing decisions.

forces the marketing personnel to look externally in order to fully understand the market in which they operate.

sets future goals and provides direction for future marketing efforts that everyone within the organization should understand and support.

is a key component in obtaining funding to pursue new initiatives.

The Marketing Plan is generally undertaken for one of the following reasons:

Needed as part of the yearly planning process within the marketing functional area.

Needed for a specialized strategy to introduce something new, such as new product planning, entering new markets, or trying a new strategy to fix an existing problem.

Is a component within an overall business plan, such as a new business proposal to the financial community?

In this project Following components are used:

Purpose and Mission

Situational Analysis

Marketing Strategy and Objectives

Additional Consideration

Prior knowledge with regard to the learning outcomes

If the market is very attractive and enterprise is one of the strongest in the industry you then the organization should invest best resources in support of their offering.

If the market is very attractive and the enterprise is one of the weaker ones in the industry then it must concentrate on strengthening the enterprise, using their offering as a stepping stone toward this objective.

If the market is not especially attractive, but the enterprise is one of the strongest in the industry then an effective marketing and sales effort for their offering will be good for generating near term profits.

If the market is not especially attractive and the enterprise is one of the weaker ones in the industry then the organization should promote their offering only if it supports a more profitable part of your business or if it absorbs some of the overhead costs of a more profitable segment. Otherwise, the organization should determine the most cost effective way to divest the enterprise of this offering

Comments on the learning process undergone

While undergoing learning process, I was able to apply various concepts which were taught in the classrooms to the practical situations which Sony has under went in their way of doing business.

I could analyze the importance of various factors which were directly related to the success of the business like the appropriate mix of marketing components called product, price, promotion and place.

I could relate various marketing concept which were studied in the text books like pull and push strategy and pricing strategies like price skimming and price penetration.

I could understand the market mix in dept and it was a great experience to find out what happens when there is a slight change in the marketing mix of an organization.

I could understand the strategies which Sony has followed from time to time in order to sustain and gain competitive advantage.

I could understand how organizations take strategic decisions in the long run and what were the effects if the strategic decisions does not work well

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