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Attractiveness of Consumer Electronics Industry

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    Sony MP3 Player 1.                  Attractiveness of Consumer Electronics IndustryThe development of electronic industry has spawned several gadgets and equipments that are getting smaller but more powerful and faster. Two decades ago, portable equipments such as Sony Walkman and was considerably small enough and has attractive capability since it can play audiocassette while the customers walking down the street, playing golf or skateboarding.

    However, in the early 21st century, the sizes of portable gadgets like mobile phone and audio/video players are getting much smaller that people can hang them like necklaces (figure 1). Figure 1          Siemens XELIBRI  a necklace-type mobile phonesSource: The development of portable gadgets also driven by the attractiveness of consumer electronics industry that stands in the 2nd place behind the expenditure on food.

    In the UK during 2006, for instances, the market size of consumer electronics accounted for 4.74% (Table 1)Table 1            Lifestyle Indicators in the UK4.74%Source: (Euromonitor International, 2007a)Meanwhile in the USA, the market size of consumer electronics accounted for 6.5% in 2006 (Table 2).

    It means that the industry is very attractive since it is possible to put aside the consumer expenditure for food. The market has also entered maturity since many players exists in the market that significantly bring down prices in shorter period. Table 2            Lifestyle Indicators in the USA6.56%Source: (Euromonitor International.

    2007b) The magnetism of consumer electronics industry has driven Sony to produce innovative electronic gadgets continuously. The company that established more than 60 year ago is now associated with endless innovation.Historically, the invention of Sony Walkman in late 1970s becomes a milestone in the history of Sony since it marked the development of portable electronic gadgets. However, the popularity of Sony Walkman faded away in 1990s.

    In order to gain brand awareness, the company started embedding the MP3 audio player in their gadgets such as Sony Ericsson latest mobile phone series and Sony MP3 Walkman. 2.         Positioning of Sony MP3 Walkman2.1       Current Positioning of SonyPositioning is a term describing a procedure to deliver the values of products to customers.

    The result of positioning initiative is extensive outbound communications. The situation suggests that the best positioning strategy of a product is that giving customers a solution to a problem they face.Therefore, according to Jack Trout and Al Ries (2000), positioning is not action that producers do to their products but their action towards the mind of their customers since the objective of positioning is to generate a perception of products, services, and a corporate identity.There are many benefits of performing positioning for a business.

    Typically, they relate to the embedding the benefits of products in customers’ minds. For example, Volvo, a Swedish car is  perceived as the safest cars in the world. Another example is IKEA, since the company does not only deliver furniture products to our home but also children drop-off etc, the company’s positioning is a service company. Figure 2          Variety of Sony MP3 PlayersSource: www. Concerning the positioning of Sony MP3 player, it is obvious that the product is positioned as multi purposes MP3 player. This is true since Sony develops many kinds of MP3 players; each has particular characteristics (figure 2).The figure shows that Sony provides MP3 players that suit for different occasion.

    S2 Sports Walkman, for instances, is clearly targeting people who often do exercise while Flash MP3 Walkman target general customers who need MP3 player that can be used for storage system (Sony Electronics Inc., 2007a). Figure 3          Variety of Flash MP3 WalkmanSource: www.sonystyle.

    com2.2       New Positioning Statement of Sony Walkman MP3 PlayerIn MP3 player industry, Sony is not the first product available in the market. The strongest brand in the industry is iPod from Apple. As a latecomer, Sony MP3 Player should differentiate themselves from competing products.

    Under such circumstances, the suitable positioning strategy for Sony MP3 Player is fashion MP3 player. Sony has performed this strategy effectively since their competitors produce somewhat general products. Apple’s iPod, for instance, appear to offer customers in variety of colors and size of storage memory without a big deal difference in shapes. Figure 3 shows the models of Apple’s iPod that comes in the variety of colors that Sony also does in their Flash MP3 Walkman.

    Figure 3          iPod NanoSource: 2.3       Improvement of Sony Walkman MP3 Player PositioningAlthough Sony MP3 Player has an attractive model, Sony Corporation needs to communicate the positioning of Sony MP3 Player effectively to customers since the brands of iPod still dominate customers’ minds.

    In order to do so, Sony can take benefits of corporate image in which Sony is known as a producer of consumer electronics that integrate people’s everyday life/activity in the design of electronic products.3.         Market TargetingAccording to Insight (200), targeting convey the ideas to categorize market based on similar characteristic. There are several market characteristics; they are competitive position, cost of reaching market, and projected growth, to name a few.

    Therefore, targeting will have following questions like Are our customers young or old ones? Men or women? What are their lifestyles? By answering these questions, a company can project the market growth by employing the update demographics data (Insight, 2000). 3.1              Five-Stage Model of Consumer Buying ProcessThere are five-stage model when a company assess buying behavior of customers. Below the scenario of the model for Sony MP3 Player:Problem recognition à lack of MP3 players that have fancy designinfo search à assess the saleable models of consumers electronics like mobile phones from mass media, advertisings, and familyevaluating of alternatives à customers looks for certain benefits from Sony MP3 player and compare it with iPod and other MP3 playersPurchase decision à customers discuss with their friends to decide which products they buy.

    This occurs since young customers are likely to buy in-group in order to have similar products among them, the decision include brands of products and benefits. For those buying Sony MP3 player, customer will have benefits of free shipping, for instances.Post-purchase behavior à customers are likely to assess the post purchase service. For those buying Sony MP3 Player, they will likely to take benefits of 5 Free music downloading from www. that will add the strengths of Sony MP3 Walkman.3.2       Market Segment of Sony MP3 playersAccording to the design of Sony MP3 Player that address various characters of customers and considering type of customers that love music, it is clear that market segment of Sony is people who are young at heart since music is associated to young people just like the MTV generation.

    This is true since the models of Sony MP3 player are fancy and fashionable that address people who like to be different from their counterparts. S2 Sports Walkman has a clear segment; that is individual who like doing exercise while hearing music. Reference: Bartlett, Michael. (2001).

    ‘CES: plethora of Portable Audio Player- Industry Trend or Event’. Newsbytes News NetworkEuromonitor International. 2007a, ‘UK’, [Online] Available at: http://www.euromonitor.

    com//FactFile.aspx?country=GB—. 2007b, ‘USA’, [Online] Available at: http://www.euromonitor.

    com//FactFile.aspx?country=USInsight. (2000). Developing a Marketing Strategy.

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    htmlKotler, Philip. (2002). Marketing Management. Prentice Hall, New York.

    Recklies Management Project GmbH. Marketing. (2006). Segmentation / Target Marketing / Positioning.

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    (1998). Security and Exchange Commission. Retrieved January 30, 2007 from http://www.hoovers.

    com/freeuk/co/secdoc.xhtml?ipage=635852&doc=1Sony Electronics Inc. (2007a). 5 Free music download.

    Retrieved January 30, 2007 from—.

    (2007b). MP3 Player. Retrieved January 30, 2007 from http://www.sonystyle.

    com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/eCS/Store/en/-/USD/SY_BrowseCatalog-Start?CategoryName=pa_mp3players&Dept=audio—. (2007c). Sony Guides: Sony Walkman Digital Music Players.

    Retrieved January 30, 2007 from, Jack.

    And Ries, Al. (2000). Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind. McGraw-Hill

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