Sony Marketing Mix

Introduction

Sony was founded in 1945 by partners Masaru Ibuka, (an engineer), and Akio Morita, (a physicist),and was originally named Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo (Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering). The firm was launched in Nihonbashi, Tokyo. Would you like to take a lesson on the marketing mix?

Four years later the company developed and produced Japans’ first magnetite-coated, paper-based recording tape, called Soni-Tape. In 1955, the firm began using Sony logo on Totsuko products. The group also launched Japan's first transistor radio, the TR-55, during the same time. In 1958, the group changed its name to Sony.

Today Sony has developed 'TransferJet', a proximity wireless transfer technology enabling the high speed transfer of large data files between electronic devices such as mobile phones, digital cameras, YVs, digital video cameras, computers and the company recorded revenues of JPY7,730 billion ($77.3 billion) during the financial year ended March 2009.

Product

  • Audio – Home, portable and car as well as personal navigation systems
  • Video – Video cameras, digital cameras, DVD/Video players & recorders
  • Televisions - LCD televisions, Projection televisions CRT-based televisions
  • Information and computers – personal computers, printers
  • Semiconductors- LCD, CCD, and other types of semiconductors
  • Games – PlayStation
  • Television and motion pictures
  • The company offers a Sony Card and a PlayStation card, these are rewards cards credit cards which allows customers to earn redeemable points when they purchase Sony products and services

Price

  • HVRA1U C-MOS 1080i HDV Camcorder – Broadcast & Promotion- U.S. List price -$2,750.00.
  • XCL5005 5 Mega Pixel PoCL B/W Digital Video Camera- Industrial & Professional U.S. List price - $4,377.00.
  • Total Performance Projector VPLDX10-2500 Lm 3LCD XGA Mobile Projector-U.S. List Price - $1,410.00.
  • Medical Equipment Monitors & Displays GXDL52H1 52inch Full Hd Ruggedized LCD-U.S. Listed Price - $5,700.00.
  • Security Systems - SNCCH140 Network 720p HD Fixed Camera with View-DR Technology U.S. List price - $1,298.00.
  • Video Conference Devices PCSG70S - 4 Mbps High-End Video Communication System (Codec Only) U.S. List price $8,200.00

Place

  • Sony has an online presence in several formats, for example http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/home.do provides information on products and their prices. The site also has information on corporate applications for its offerings.
  • Sony Product distributors that sell selling to VARs + System Integrators include: ASI Corp, Avnet Inc. and Bell Microproducts, Microland Electronics Corp.
  • Wholesale distributors of Sony Products include but are not limited to : Best wholesale co. Ltd, Dongsheng International Trade Co. Ltd, Denzuke Network Sdn. Bhd., Front-Page Trade Co., Ltd.

Promotion

  • The company offers a Sony Card and a PlayStation Card, these are rewards cards credit cards which allows customers to earn redeemable points when they purchase Sony products and services.
  • Sony implements a discount coupon program offering 25% to 50% discounts on products such as PC speakers, Blue-Ray Disc Players, notebooks and laptops.
  • Sony's Rebate Zone website provides rebates such as the following $500.00 rebate (by mai)l following the purchase of a Sony HVR-V1U HDV Camcorder or a Sony HVR-DR60 Hard Disk Recorder/Player or a $300.00 rebate by mail following the purchase of a Sony HVR-A1U HDV Camcorder.

Process

  • Sony employs an umbrella branding strategy by placing the product name along with corporate name. This strategy lets the product to assume its own identity and positioning, but also draws strength of the corporate brand. The goal is to bolster consumer confidence in the product. Sony has used this strategy to launch new products.
  • The company’s focus on its research and development (R&D) activities is evident in its expenditure of over $5 billion in 2009. The strong focus on R&D helped the company to launch technologically innovative products in the market. The strong focus on R&D would thus enable the group to revive its product base as needs are indicated by customers. Examples of this strategy include the introduction of BRAVIA, ZX1, a thin, lightest LCD TV featuring LED edge lighting; The VAIO P Series notebook computer (the world’s lightest 8-inch notebook PC) and the Cyber-shot HX1 compact digital camera (which allows users to capture wide-angle of 224 degrees views).
  • Sony operates from a philosophy it labels “uniquely Sony”. The company seeks to facilitate the development of its staff but spurs employees to manage their own career and but to avoid pigeon-holing. This is a microcosm of the company’s desire to foster adaptability. The company’s broad outlook extends to its corporate responsibility.
  • The desire to make its hardware and interfaces that are easy to use was a catalyst behind recent reorganization of electronics into “Personal” and “Home categories. The company has reaffirmed its commitment to make the “Home” category more user-friendly.
  • Sony has adopted a “Company of Committees” governance system in order to go beyond minimum compliance with legal requirements and to add additional transparency. To accomplish this, the company has revised some Directors’ functions to facilitate the proper functions of statutory committees.
  • Sony has a recently reorganized in order to further improve responsiveness and customer service. It has established a network of services tailored to the needs of local customers. The move acknowledges the growing complexity of its products. The company formed Sony Customer Services, Inc and has intiated special employee training to enhance its ability to respond to customers inquiries and requests.
  • Sony seeks to instill corporate social responsibility policies throughout its supply chain. For example Sony established the Green Partner Environmental Quality Approval Program for Sony suppliers. Sony maintains a common global quality standard for parts by purchasing electronic parts only from suppliers who have passed an audit and have been certified as Green Partners.

Physical Evidence

  • Sony Corporation Headquarters is located at 1-7-1 Konan, Minato-ku Tokyo
  • Other locations of subsidiaries include Sony Corp of America at 550 Madison Avenue in New York, Sony Electronics of Latin America 5201 Blue Lagoon Dr Suite 300, Miami Florida, and Sony Electronics 12451 Gateway Dr, Fort Myers Florida
  • In 1994 Sony opened its Wonder Technology Lab which is a free interactive technology and entertainment museum located at 56th street and Madison Avenue in New York City. The Museum is open to all ages.
  • Sony Plaza at 56th Street and Madison Avenue in New York City. The company compliments the facility with a website at http://wondertechlab.sony.com/index.html
  • Sony’s main company website provides helpful information ranging from service and support, music, electronics and gaming as well as a range of shopping alternatives.

People

  • Howard Stringer is Chairman, CEO and President of Sony
  • Hiroshi Yoshio is Executive Deputy President of Consumer Products & Devices Group (NPSG).
  • Kazuo Hirai is Executive Vice President of Networked Products & Services Group
  • Sony employs 167,900 people world wide
  • Sony has an ongoing talent development initiative . In 2008, the company created 13 global talent directors who are assigned to identify promising individuals in all businesses and regions and develop them into future business leaders. This initiative also includes a job rotation project with individuals moving through a schedule of job assignments designed to give them exposure to a variety of businesses and regions.

Disclaimer:
This case study has been compiled from information freely available from public sources. It is merely intended to be used for educational purposes only.

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