Brand auditing is a diagnostic tool than helps an organization to understand and evaluated what its brand strategy is, what it stands for, how clearly it is delivering the message and how it is perceived at all consumer touch points. Holistically brand auditing is an endeavor to understand the brand identity of a product or organization and how it is living up to the desired positioning strategy. Sony Corporation Sony will be long remembered as the pioneering Japanese company.
For more than half a decade it stands for innovative quality, highly miniaturization of technology and delivery superior quality of products. The brand punch line ‘It’s a Sony’ suggest all the three attributes the company wants to convey – latest technology, innovative product & consumer friendliness. (Rothman, 2001) Sony today is in the field of making electronic products like – television, music system, MP3 DVD players, gaming consoles, Office products like Laptops, pen drives etc, Movie making by owning three of the biggest movie houses in the world, and financial services provider.
Apart from the financial services all the other three businesses are inter-connected. Sony started as a walkman company and slowly moved into other music system. From there the company positioned itself as home entertainment company by producing television and now defunct VCR’s. From home entertainment the company entered into gaming industry and today with PlayStation 3 it is the biggest gaming company in the world. Today Sony has filled the personal entertainment and communication space with new camcorders, camera’s and mobile phones.
Brand Auditing of Sony Corporation For years now Sony has been in forefront of innovation in the field of personal and home entertainment. Its products stand for latest in technology, consumer friendly features and delivering more in miniature products. Brand Positioning and Strategy The company for long has used umbrella branding strategy where all the products are Sony first and then their product brands for example – Sony Viera (LCD Television brand), Sony Cybershot (Camera brand), Sony Ericsson Walkman Series (Mobile phone brand) etc.
By using this strategy Sony wants to convey to the customers that each product from Sony they buy they will receive the core values of the brand – latest in technology, miniaturized products and consumer friendly instruments. (Rothman, 2001) PlayStation E-Toy Case Sony’s PlayStation 3 gaming console is arguably the best home entertainment system in the market but before launch the company was worried about it being perceived as just a gaming console rather than a home entertainment product too. To change this perception Sony went ahead with Stealth positioning of product.
With the console it provided a camera called ‘Eyetoy’ and game software called ‘Play’. The concept was simple; people can plug the camera and see themselves playing on screen. This not only help the consumers realize that they are interacting with latest technology but also that product is not only confined to hard core gamers. The product was huge success and reinstated Sony’s position of latest in technology, miniaturized solution as before this people can only play these games in the gaming zone with having large masks on face, and consumer friendly.
It sold 3 million units in first seven months of its launch. More importantly it exposed new customers to the console and people are purchasing PS3 for home entertainment rather than purely for gaming. (Youngme Moon, 2005) Similarly company has used its core competency and innovative know how in music and camera to produce walkman and cybershot series of mobile phones. Different segments of Sony products provide comprehensive coverage in home and personal entertainment, and they don’t overlap each other in terms of target market.
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