4ps of Sony Vaio - Marketing Essay Example
Sony is known as one of the most comprehensive entertainment and technology companies in the world, be it in the field of motion picture, television, computer entertainment, music or online businesses - 4ps of Sony Vaio introduction. It is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, communications, and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. And Vaio is a leading PC brand under the many of Sony’s family of innovations. Its name is an acronym for Video Audio Integrated Operation, but since 2008 it has been amended to Visual Audio Intelligence Organiser to celebrate the brand’s 10th year anniversary.
Although Sony made computers in the 1980s exclusively for the local (Japan) market, the company withdrew from the computer business around the turn of the decade. Sony’s re-entry into the global computer market happened in 1996 with the launch of the new line of PCV desktops under the VAIO brand. The idea was developed by Timothy Hanley, as a way of distinguishing items that use audio and video as well as been functional PC’s. The series of Sony VAIO are built for entertainment, whether it’s listening to music on their Dolby Sound Room technology or watching a Blu-ray Disc on X-black LCD screen. Environmentally friendly and often with great innovations such as solid state drives VAIOs are great computers. The Vaio logo also represents the integration of analog and digital technology with the ‘VA’ representing an analog wave and the ‘IO’ representing a digital binary code
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To establish an ‘ideal’ factory that puts emphasis on the spirit of freedom and open-mindedness. A place where designers and engineers can work out their creative and technological skills to the highest potential product like computers and Laptop. Vision:
To seek new approaches to transform their ability to achieve both profitable and sustainable growth.
To make a family product such as sony vaio laptop that completely changes the definition of home entertainment. Whether it is gaming, social networking, or enjoying HD entertainment, Sony Corporation aims to entertain a broad audience.
MARKET SHARE OF SONY VAIO AND ITS COMPETITORS
Sony VAIO has emerged as the market leader in the consumer notebook market in the 4th Quarter of 2011 from Oct- Dec 2011 period, grabbing an overwhelming market share of 20% by volume, as per IDC (International Data Corporation) research findings. Not only this, Sony VAIO is the fastest growing laptop brand in India with 18% growth from Quarter 3, 2011. Sony’s market share has rose consistently in the past two years, right from 6% in Quarter 1, 2010 to the current 20% in Quarter 4, 2011. Sony VAIO has emerged as the market leader in the consumer notebook market in the 4th Quarter of 2011 from Oct- Dec 2011 period, grabbing an overwhelming market share of 20% by volume, as per IDC (International Data Corporation) research findings. Not only this, Sony VAIO is the fastest growing laptop brand in India with 18% growth from Quarter 3, 2011. Sony’s market share has rose consistently in the past two years, right from 6% in Quarter 1, 2010 to the current 20% in Quarter 4, 2011. But in the laptop category, it has tough competition from Dell, Apple, Lenovo, HP and Acer. In 2012, Dell was the leader in the laptop market, followed by HP, Apple and Vaio.
Sony Vaio and Its Major Competitors in the Light of 4Ps of Marketing
One of the greatest strength of Sony is their ability to produce innovative and quality products, and Vaio is one the outcome of it. Sony has expanded its use of the VAIO brand, which can now be found on notebooks, laptops, desktops, media centres and net books. VAIO notebooks are currently shipped with Microsoft Windows 8 or with Windows 8 Pro. It also includes as part of the out-of-box experience, prompts to register at Club Vaio, an online community for Vaio owners and enthusiasts, which also provides automatic driver updates and technical support via email, along with exclusive desktop wallpapers and promotional offers. On recent models, the customer is also prompted to register the installed trial versions of Microsoft Office 2010 and the antivirus software (Norton AntiVirus on older models, and McAfee Virus Scan or Trend Micro on newer ones) upon initial boot. As of 2013, Sony VAIO’s range counted on 7 different products. The most basic are the models contemplated in the E, T and S series while the high end model, the Z Series, has been discontinued. Sony also has a range of hybrid computers, with models called Vaio Duo 11 and Vaio Tap 20, as well as a desktop computer under the L series. Currently, models use Windows systems and Intel processors, as described above. VAIO witnesses an up-gradation to Windows 8 with the launch of touch-screen enabled VAIO models namely, VAIO E14A Series and Ultrabook, VAIO T Series. On the other hand, Apple also have a range of portable Computers – including Mac products such as Mac Book Pro, iMac, MacBook Air, Mac Mini, Xserve. And Dell believes that, ‘Marketing is not about providing products or services it is essentially about providing changing benefits to the changing needs and demands of the customer’. Dell provides a wide variety of both business class and home/consumer class products and services. Dell designs, develops, manufactures, markets, sells, and supports a wide range of products that in many cases are customized to individual customer requirements.
Sony: Promotion is the communicated process to the market between buyer, seller, retailer or others. Giving the information such as persuasion is recognized about brand and product well. Promotion is very influence to change the attitude, belief, feeling and target market’s behaviour. Sony VAIO gives importance to the communication of its promotion; VAIO is a brand that is successful in term of promotion because it chooses the right key promotion strategy. Sony has used various elements of promotion mix, i.e, advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, direct marketing and publicity.
VAIO uses pull promotional strategy that attracts consumers on advertising to buy or demand for product. Consumers receive directly information from the media on TV, radio, billboards, leaflet, Internet, and mobile-ads etc. This strategy can sell the product without suggestion of seller. Advertising:
VAIO uses advertising to communicate to consumers. Moreover, it classifies its segmentation to communicate directly with each ages or lifestyles of consumers. Message on advertising must classify to depend on target group because they are different such as teenager or young. Those target groups want notebook to reflect to their lifestyles. Using message to make recognition about functional, smart, cool, and modern is available for teenage or young. Besides, the obvious promotional strategy is taken an emotional advertising instead of representing performances. Nowadays, VAIO is entering to a stage of an emotional benefit. Representing only an advance technology isn’t enough, VAIO uses the emotional advertising to make consumer feeling accompany with VAIO. An emotional aspect is made consumer to be proud when they use VAIO and feel required to possess it. For example of VAIO advertising campaign, “Show It with Your VAIO” this advertising emphasizes feeling and pride to possess and use VAIO.
Sony Vaio, India also made Style icon Kareena Kapoor as the face of slim and trendy range of Vaio Laptops. They also offered it in bright and glossy colours. They launched catchy TV commercials, billboards and print ads in order to try and talk about something apart from performance.
Billboards take a similar but more 3-dimensiona approach, as the drips rolls off the boards and settle in pools on the sidewalk. In this print ad created exclusively for architectural magazines, the assorted FJ line is bound into the spine in the form of a colour swatch.
Public relationship corporate social responsibility is public relationship. Sony VAIO has advantages of public relationship from the corporate brand to take the good brand image. The Sony Group recognizes that its businesses have direct and indirect impact on the communities in which it operates.
Besides VAIO uses pull strategy; it also uses push strategy to enhance its promotion more and more. Push strategy is a promotional strategy that is used for increasing consumer to demand the product by trade promotion activities. Moreover, using sale promotion or personal selling is kind of persuading customers. Sales Promotion
Sale promotion is a marketing discipline that utilizes a variety of the incentive techniques to structure sale. Sony has promoted its product through different sale promotional strategies. For example, distributing a premium product is a standard promotion. The premium product is accessories that are case & pouch, mouse, docking station, and micro vault. These premiums supported absolutely VAIO users to enhance when using it. Furthermore, VAIO uses the sale promotion of price-off especially in Commart X’Gen Thailand that consumer can buy VAIO for the special price. For example, VAIO CS series discount 2,000 Baths and pay by instalments zero present within a year.
Personal selling has an importance to be inferior to advertising campaign. In VAIO store, the sale force makes the good relationship and will communicate well to costumer when they want to know more information. VAIO has training the sale force to communicate VAIO information both its product and entertainment from VAIO. They must have the technology knowledge to relate with product to teach consumer. Personal selling has every VAIO dealers that is a force promotion in highly competitors.
Sony 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. These are also done through direct mail or catalogues.
On the other hand, Apple, Inc offers special discounts on refurbished i-Mac. In each case a 1 year warranty is included on the all products. Apple, Inc authorized Training Centers are located throughout the U.S. each provides instruction in Mac systems, Mac OS X, and Apple’s professional applications. A wide range of certification exams and courses offer innovative learning opportunities for IT and creative professionals, educators, and service technicians—delivered exclusively by Apple Certified Trainers. The Apple Consultants Network website provides a search tool allowing visitors to locate nearby certified Mac product consultants in the U.S, Canada, and a number of international locations. And Dell in the past have not concentrated on extensive marketing campaigns but these revolutionaries in 1999 when Dell changed its tactics by engaging in extensive marketing campaigns. Dell markets its products primarily by advertising on television and the Internet, advertising in a variety of print media, and mailing or emailing a broad range of direct marketing publications, such as promotional materials, catalogs, and customer newsletters. Dell has recently started promoting its products through retailers like Best Buy, Staples, Wal-Mart, GOME, and Carrefour.
3. PLACE (DISTRIBUTION)
Sony: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 practices selective distribution of its products from the selective dealers’ i.e, Sony World. Sony India has its footprint across all major towns and cities with a distribution network of over 7,000 channel partners, 260 Sony outlets and 21 direct branch locations.
On the other side, Apple Consultants Network includes independent professional service providers and technology consulting firms that specialize in Apple and third-party solutions. Certified on Apple technologies, these providers deliver on-site technology services and support to home users and businesses of all sizes. Apple service providers are certified technicians, who complete regular Apple training and assessments, and offer repair services, and exclusive access to genuine Apple parts. And Dell has been able to affect the location strategy aspect of its marketing campaign. As Dell’s products are always available at the nearest dealer’s customers develop trust for the “local Dell” thereby achieving the objective of gaining their trust in Dell products and services, and forming a large and diversified consumer base.
Sony: Pricing decisions are almost always made in consultation with the 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. influences the development of marketing strategy, as price is major factor that influences the assessment of value obtained by customers.
Customers directly relate price to quantity, particularly in case of products that are ego intensive of technology based. Sony being a company which emphasises 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. Sony Vaio has categorized price range of its laptop series, i.e, VAIO SR, VAIO FW, VAIO CR, VAIO NR, VAIO TZ, VAIO SZ and VAIO W; according to style, use, purpose, mobility and performance.
Whereas, Apple’s i-mac is a premium brand laptops that does not attempt to compete on price. The company has reduced prices after some initial product launches. It uses skimming and premium pricing strategies. And in case of Dell, its main objective is to produce the low price and profitable PC for the customers. For the above reason Dell’s product pricing reflects the affordability of the local consumers. Because Dell products are so customizable, the price is largely dependent on the options and services added to the product. Dell is undercutting competitors in price to rapidly gain market share.
COMPETITVE ADVANTAGE OF SONY VAIO
1. PRODUCT INNOVATION
One of the greatest strengths of Sony has been its product innovation capabilities. It has always come up with something totally new to the world, and has the resources and quality management system to continue coming up with new products.
2. STYLISH AND TRENDY GADGETS
Sony Vaio had tried to talk about something apart from performance, i.e, stylish and trendy laptops. There are several parameters to measure a laptop’s functionality and every laptop-maker can claim excellence on something or the other. Vaio talked about the laptop colours and designs, projecting it as a fashion accessory and a lifestyle element.
PROBLEMS FACED BY VAIO
Sony is a very reputable company and their VAIO laptops are durable and reliable. They are also very stylish, as you may have noticed, with different colours and designs. The one drawback I noticed, though, was that sometimes they choose style over functionality, causing them to do some strange things to make the computer look cool. For example, fewer ports (no mouse/keyboard port) on the case, or putting the already weak speakers on the bottom where you can’t hear them. Also, because you’re buying a stylish computer from a reputable name you may pay more than for a similar machine by a competitor. The colours that Sony has come out with are all bright and glossy colours. Now, in India. an average customer has a laptop for professional usage, while for personal usage he/she tends to keep a desktop at home. Very rarely would he/she have two different laptops for different purposes. So, ultimately, if one has a laptop, it is very likely that it will be put to professional use.
MARKETING STRATEGIES FOR SONY VAIO
Sony should now try to re-position its product and should make use of its core competencies to beat its competitors. High quality product is something that Sony has been largely known for and because of which it still has customer loyalty. Therefore, with the same or even better, level of quality, it should try to re-establish its brand image.
Sony has revealed a possible future for its Vaio laptops at CES 2012 in Las Vegas, showing off two very different concept designs behind glass. The first concept is a two part solution; a thin curvy looking screen and a thin curvy looking keyboard. In the design mock-up on show, the screen is able to stand thanks to a bulbous panel at the rear, while in a second model in the same box the bulbous behind has disappeared. They could be two separate options, or as we like to think, a design that expands and retracts when needed.
The second concept is a tablet style Vaio that slides back to reveal a keyboard and stylus beneath. Vaio would take the laptop first, tablet second, approach. That’s likely to be a very strong possibility thanks to the upcoming launch of Windows 8 expected later in the year that plans to let Windows users enjoy a split personality from their OS. For those not fussed with typing on a keyboard, the laptop also comes with a stylus that slots in to the Vaio laptop in front of the large track pad and can be used to make notes on the screen.