Sony Product The first market mix element is Product. A product is anything that can be offered to a market for attention, acquisition, use or consumption that might satisfy a need or want. Product decision normally base on brand name, Functionality, Styling, Quality, Safety, Packaging, Repairs and Support, Warranty, accessories and Services. These product attributes can be manipulated depending on what the target market wants. Also, customers always look for new and improved things, which are why marketers should improve existing products, develop new ones, and discontinue old ones that are no longer needed or wanted by the customer.
Sony has a variety of products ranging from electronic devices, games and entertainment. So, briefly Sony products can be categorized in the following major product categories: i. Television and Projectors. ii. Home video. iii. Home Audio. iv. Home Theatre system. v. Digital Photography. vi. Hand cam video camera. vii. Computer Peripheral. viii. Portable Audio. ix. Game x. In-Car entertainment xi. Mobile phones xii. Storage and Recording media xiii. Batteries and Charger xiv. Other Accessories Promotion Brief Introduction:
Promotion is a key element of marketing program and is concerned with effectively and efficiently communicating the decisions of marketing strategy, to favorably influence target customers’ perceptions to facilitate exchange between the marketer and the customer that may satisfy the objective of both customer and the company. A company’s promotional efforts are the only controllable means to create awareness among publics about itself, the products and services it offers, their features and influence their attitudes favorably. Sony Marketing Communication Mix:
Sony India will spend Rs 200 crore in this financial year on advertising and promotion (Promotional Budget) of the entire range of consumer electronics, out of which Rs 60 crore will be spent only on digital imaging products. The major elements of promotion mix include advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, direct marketing, and publicity. Sony Corporation has used all of these marketing communication mix elements. Advertising Advertising is any paid form of non-personal mass communication through various media to present and promote product, services and ideas etc. y an identified sponsor. So far, SONY has advertised its products through many different ways and media. Through TV we have seen different advertisements of its products such as Bravia televisions or Sony wega TV. Sony also advertise its products by targeting those favorable television programs, like sports, series and also it has its own channel called Sony TV channel. Sony uses some events like Miss India 2008 to promote its products. Also, Sony has advertised its games like Playstation 3, Playstation 2 and PSP using sports like football in England premiere league.
Through newspapers like Times of India, Sony has advertised a wide range of products it offers to its customers. And also through Posters a message has been sent to a lot of people to be aware of the products which Sony offers. Sony also uses direct – response advertising. This is type of advertising that encourages the consumer to respond either by providing feedback to the advertiser or placing the order with the advertiser either by telephone, mail or the internet. Such advertising is done through direct mail or catalogues. Sony incorporates co-operative advertising in its advertising process.
Sony corporation provides the dealers (e. g. Sony World) with the materials and guidelines to develop ads for print, television or radio commercials. This ensures that message is in line with, what the manufacture wants to communicate. The company and the dealers usually share the media costs and hence, the name ‘co-operative advertising’. Sales Promotion Sales promotion is a marketing discipline that utilizes a variety of incentives techniques to structure sales – related programs targeted to customers, trade, and/or sales levels that generate a specific, measurable action or response for a product or service.
Sales promotions for example includes free samples, discount, rebates, coupons, contents and sweepstakes, premiums, scratch cards, exchange offers, early bird prizes, etc. Sony has promoted its products through different sales promotional strategies. For example after the release of the Sony BRAVIA television sets, Sony promoted them by earl bird prizes by saying that all BRAVIA full HD LCD TVs purchased during July 2008 and registered within two weeks of purchase qualify for a Bonus Playstation 3 as long as the customer claims is one of the first 35,000 received and validated by Sony.
Also Sony has promoted its Sony Ericsson P1i phones by including a scratch cards which gives the customer the offer to download 10 free software application for that mobile phone. Sony Ericsson has also promoted its Sony Ericsson K550i Mid-Range Cyber-shot Phone that if you buy it you get a free Bluetooth headset with one year manufacturer’s warranty. Public Relations and Publicity Public relations is a broad set of communication activities employed to create and maintain favourable relationship with employees, shareholders,
Unpleasant situations arising as a result of negative events may precipitate unfavorable public reactions for an organization. To minimize the negative effect of such situations leading to unfavorable coverage, the company has policies and procedures in place to manage help any such public relation problems. For example, Sony released an ad depicting a man smiling towards the camera and wearing on his head a crown of thorns with button symbols (? , O, X, ? ). At the bottom, the copy read as “Ten Years of Passion”. This supposedly took advantage of the publicity from the Mel Gibson film The Passion of the Christ.
The advertisement outraged the Vatican as well as many local Catholics, prompting comments such as “Sony went too far” and “Vatican ex-communicates Sony”. After the incident, the campaign was quickly discontinued. Another example is that, In July 2006, Sony released a Dutch advertising campaign featuring a white model dressed entirely in white and a black model garbed in black. The first ad featured the white model clutching the face of the black model. The words “White is coming” headlined one of the ads. The ad has been viewed as racist by critics.
A Sony spokesperson responded that the ad does not have a racist message, saying that it was only trying to depict the contrast between the black PSP model and the new ceramic white PSP. Other pictures of the ad campaign include the black model overpowering the white model. So it’s the duty of the public relation department of Sony to solve such issues as mentioned above so as to ensure that it maintains a good public relation with the public. Place Decisions with respect to distribution channel focus on making the product available in adequate quantities at places where customers are normally expected to shop for them to satisfy their needs.
Depending on the nature of the product, marketing management decides to put into place an exclusive, selective or intensive network of distribution, while selecting the appropriate dealers or wholesalers. Sony being the company which positions itself as a seller of durable and high-end products, it is practicing selective distribution of its products from the selective dealers i. e. SONY World. Apart from this there aregrey-markets in India and other countries where a practice of intensive market coverage is practiced, and the products in these kind of markets normally do not posses all the features and benefits which Sony offers e. . warranty and guarantee. Sony distributes its products in various channels. It uses Zero-level channel, one level channel and two-level channel. In India, Sony has used the method ofone-level distribution channel. This means that, customer buy their Sony product from the retailers recognized by Sony, and these retailers buy the products directly from the company itself. Through the internet, Sony has helped its customers to find the nearest retail shop where they can buy the Sony products. All you have to do is to go to their website e. g. www. sony. co. in/section/shop and specify the product and location.
Then it will display all the nearest retail shop available. 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 emphasize 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. For example, Lets consider Sony series of VAIO laptops. Sony has tried to categorize the laptops according to style, user, purpose, mobility and performance, and each a corresponding price. The laptops sold by Sony in India include a series of Sony VAIO, this are VAIO SR, VAIO FW, VAIO tokage, VAIO CR, VAIO NR, VAIO TZ and VAIO SZ. VAIO SR, boast on the excellence in mobility and perfection in performance.
This laptop was designed for businessmen and its price is around Rs. 75,000. VAIO FW, boast of theatrical experience and world class performance. This model was designed mainly for home user or casual user of laptops who aims on media playback. The price of it is around Rs. 80,000 and Rs. 1,25,000. VAIO CR, boast on style and texture. Depending on the configuration, the prices are from Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 65,000. VAIO NR, boast of natural, chic design. It was designed to meet customers ambiance and lifestyle. For this reason the Sony corporation has decided the price of the laptop to be Rs. 40,000 and Rs. 50,000 depending on the configuration.
VAIO TZ, boast of elite lifestyle, and high class performance. The laptop was designed purposely for business as it is light weight, high processing speed, and flash memory storage and longer backup power. For all this facts Sony has priced it to be between Rs. 1,15,000 and Rs. 1,40,000. VAIO SZ, boast of premier mobility and executive excellence. This laptop was developed by Sony to target executives and business people who are mobile. The laptop is fitted with hybrid hard disk drive and motion eye camera and Bluetooth compatible headset with applications for increasing mobility and video conferencing. It’s price is about Rs. 1,24,000.