This report
will interpret and analyse the marketing strategy and operations strategy of
Sony INC, focusing on the technology field which will include an analysis of
Sony, a chosen product and an insight of how the international marketing and
operations work, and how Sony’s international marketing and operations strategy
is used in selling the Sony Xperia XZ1 and other products. The report will also
focus on Porters five forces and SWOT analysis to assess the strategies and
strengths, weakness, threats and opportunities of Sony INC.

 

Sony
Analysis

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The origin of
Sony comes from the combination of two words such as “Sonus” and “Sonny”, in
Latin Sonus means sound and sonic while Sonny means young boy. Sony Corporation
was adopted officially the company name in 1958.

 

Sony Corporation
is an electronic company which is leading in manufacturing of video, audio,
imaging communications, game and information technology products for consumers
and professional markets. They operate in entertainment, electronics and
financial services sectors. Sony offers variety of products such as computers,
televisions, mobile phones, stereos, memory devices, accessories, broadcast,
semiconductors, components, video game systems, digital cameras, batteries and
DVD players. It also offers services like network services for games, videos
and music contents. Sony operates in nine business segments such as mobile
communication, imaging products, devices, pictures, game and network services,
home entertainment and sound, financial services. Sony operates all over the
world, Asia, Europe, North America, Latin America, Oceania and Africa. The head
quarter is based in Tokyo, Japan.

 

Sony Xperia
XZ1 is one the latest product that Sony has produced, it comes with great
features that is really interesting. This phone is dust and water resistant,
HDR display which is great for making videos and it is the first phone that has
Anderiod 8 Oreo which places it high in the ranks of greatest phones.

Sony has been leading in motion picture, Video
games, music, and television. The product that really shows leadership is the
Sony Xperia ZX1, which is the first phone to have Android 8 Oreo.

Marketing

Marketing is about creating customer value and
engagement in a fast moving, increasingly digital and social marketplace. It
starts with  understand consumer needs
and wants , finding out which target market the company can do best in and to
develop a compelling value proposition so that the company can attract and grow
valued customers. Today’s marketers want to engage customers and build good
customer relationships, which makes their brand a meaningful part of consumer’s
conversation and lives.  Marketers
utilise online, mobile and social media tools for engaging customers at any
time and any place so that they can shape bran conversation, experience and
community.  Sony’s marketing objective is to
increase the sale of its innovative quality products and to deliver value to
customers and partners.

 

Pricing strategy

The pricing
strategy of Sony is the premium pricing, this is done so that they can create a
premium image in the eyes of the customers. Sony’s customers are from higher
ends, small and big businesses, therefore they sell premium technology products
with high quality and great features. The premium pricing helps Sony to do two
important things such as investment in technology, research and development.
This strategy also shows how Sony has created a premium customer experience.

 

Promotions

Sony spend
huge sums of money on marketing and advertising, it’s 2016 advertising budget
was $3.7 billion (source:businessrevieweurope). Digital marketing is the main
focus of Sony’ promotional strategy. Sony also uses social media for promoting
and advertising and it plays an important role. Television and print media is
used in Asian markets. Sony creates TV ads that are highly interactive and
really shows the core values of its products and Social media is used for
making their customers engaged and updated.

 

Sony is a very diverse brand that provides variety
of products and services for people. Their main focus will be on expanding the
segments in women’s market, this is because the women make up almost over half
of the sales in consumer electronics and control over 80% of the purchases, and
this suggests that they are very important for Sony.

Despite how successful Sony has been,
it has some important marketing challenges such as sales declining in consumer
electronics which has made Sony reduce the TV screen sizes. Many jobs have been
cut which is over 16000 and they have shut down the Sic production bases. 

SWOT
Analysis

Strengths are the internal factors that support
business profitability and growth, Sony’s strengths are; strong brand, highly
diversified, focus on sustainability and profitable products. Sony’s strong
brand enables it to attract customers to its new products and offers. Sony’s
diversification such as having different products decreases the market risks
and increases stability of the business. Profitability is on the top list of
Sony, while making sure that the best quality products are provided to the customers
they make big profits. Strengths make sure that the business is successful
continuously and Sony has to keep working on its strengths to be ahead of its
competitors.

One of Sony’s best strategy to getting
international marketing is through partnership with world famous organisations
such as Fifa, the sponsorship of Fifa included 2010 and 2014 World Cups, which
got Sony’ known all over the world and customers appreciate the products that
Sony provide and they recommend and talk about Sony with other people. This
helps Sony to enhance brand awareness, recognition and trust within the people.
Also in July 2006, Sony joined the Climate savers programme, this is a
partnership between the world wide fund for nature (WWF), and NGO and other
companies in thriving to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Sony’s weaknesses are; lack of dominant mobile
phones, database and network vulnerability and imitability of products. The
lack of dominant mobile phone is the most important and biggest weakness of
Sony, Sony’s mobiles are low in performance comparing to its competitors such
as Samsung and Apple. Sony’s database and network vulnerability can be a major
issue because it involves business and customer’s data. Sony’s competitors
could possibly imitate the companies’ cameras and other data. These weakness
can cause a huge barrier for growth and if these weaknesses are dealt with, it
can highly increase profitability and competiveness.

Sony has opportunity to grow its business even
further; it can increase its business diversification, develop new products,
and increase innovation. Further business diversification will help Sony’s
growth; it can look at the opportunities in related industries. Sony can
develop new products to increase its income streams using the same marketing
and operations strategy it has now. In addition, increasing innovation increases
their chance of being on top of its competitors.

Sony has to work on solving the threats on its
gaming, electronic, entertainment and financial services. The threats are only
external strategic factors, which can decrease business performance. These
factors are; cyber-attacks, competition, and software privacy.  Cyber-attacks are the biggest threats against
Sony; this is because the company is increasing resilience on online networks
and databases. Competition is a huge threat to all businesses, only the most
renovated companies survive. 

Porters Five Forces

Low threats from new entrants High Bargain power of buyers Low bargain powers of suppliers High rivalry among existing firms Low threats of substitute products

Sony has many successful competitors such as Apple,
Samsung, LG, Nokia, Toshiba, Sharp and many more. Sony has been losing on the
LCD panels, since they have stop making them all of its competitors make them.

Pricing

Sony’s pricing strategy is following the market
skimming, they have product bundle pricing and product line pricing, and Sony’s
prices start very highly and gradually decreases. Sony has set different prices
for different phones with different features. Sony’s pricing strategy can be
affected by many factors such as the internal and external factors. Internal
factors can be marketing objectives, organisation goals and costs. External
factors can be demand of market and competition.

Web
Marketing

Sony uses Web marketing; it allows customers to
view different videos and PDF brochures to help them understand the products
well. In addition, Sony’s marketers have found a new way interact with
customer, they provide online courses to enhance customer experience. Sony has
a great customer relationship management, they welcome all sorts of feedback,
complains and ideas from the customers and then passes them onto the planning
and design group.

Operations

Operation
management is the activity of managing resources, which creates and delivers
products and services. Operations function is responsible for this activity.
All of organisations have an operation function as they are creating products
and services. The operations manager have responsibility on managing the
resources that comprise the operations function.

 

Sony’s
operation management is solely based on ten strategic decision, they must
maintain a flexible operations management so that they can control their
productivity and operational performances and to stay on top of their
competitors.

First
decision area is the design of goods and services, Sony only design it’s
products for maximising it benefits in the business, they minimize costs,
maximise quality, support operational sustainability and optimise their human
resource utilisation. These methods are there to help Sony maximise operations
in terms of process efficiency and productivity. Sony’s typical method of
differentiation is implemented through operations management approaches that
emphasize finest profitability along sustainability concepts in product design.

 

Second
decision area is quality management, Sony’s operations managers are focusing on
high quality standards and requirements as the main objectives. Sony’s
operation management recognises and supports Kando (power to stimulate
emotional responses), Kando is highly important in Sony’s vision and mission statement.
Kando helps Sony establish products which are taking customer’s attention and
helps to satisfy their expectations.

 

Third
decision area is Process and capacity design, there are three main objectives
that Sony focus on, adequacy of production processes, related standards and
resource allocation. These objectives are addressed through sustainability,
this also helps to integrate the business to fulfil the markets concerns such
as the environmental impacts of business operations. However Sony also use this
strategic decision to maximise capacity utilisation in production facilities,
which is maximising the productivity in each facility.

 

The fourth
decision area is location strategy, Sony is very concerned about their
distances to their customers, suppliers and resources. The aim of this
strategic decision is to decreases the distances and minimise operational costs
and maximise sales. Sony’s marketing mix is involving the stores to be in high
traffic areas like cities that are in the centre of a country malls and urbans.
This helps the company to distribute products with full potential and manage
sales operation.

 

The fifth
decision area is design layout and strategy, the aim of this strategy is to
optimise flow of resources, things like materials, human resource and
information. Sony’s managers monitors the requirements for resources, inventory
and operational capacity. High productive flow of resources can be achieved if
there is an annual review of layout designs and strategies. To make sure this
is achieved and out of the way, Sony gets expert opinion and feedback from the
employees on making decisions about the productivity issues that are related to
layout design and strategies.

 

 

 

The sixth
decision area is Human resource and Job design, the aim of this strategy is to
create competent and high performance human resource for supporting business
growth and operations. Sony’s mangers use the organisational structure to
facilitate Human resource development. Sony’s organisational culture is
promoting high productivity and operational efficiency. Sony’s culture
emphasises on reliability which means that job design and HR programs are
required to continuously develop employees’ skills and knowledge. 

 

The seventh
decision area is supply chain management; the aim of this is to maintain
adequate supply for supporting the current operations and business growth. Sony
fulfils this via automation and support to its suppliers, automations helps Sony
with maximising productivity of the supply chains management activities.
Supporting the suppliers helps them grow and operate adequately alongside
Sony’s growth; this will be beneficial for Sony as the suppliers will be able
to fulfil the growing supply needs.

 

 

The eighth
decision area is inventory management; the operation managers make strategic
decisions on holding and ordering goods to support operations alongside
managing supplier capacity and customer satisfaction. Sony’s approach is
involving centralized inventory management systems which enables the management
personnel to determine and update the data on inventory levels and on the
associated operational requirements.

The inventory
managers must always check and update data regularly to their operations area.

 

The nineth
decision area is scheduling, the aim of this objective is to maintain
operations schedules, which will match the market, and resource demands. Sony’s
operations managers use automated scheduling to make sure they achieve high
productivity. Sony’s management system provides real time data on changes in
operational needs; therefore, the managers use this data and apply changes on
the schedules. This strategy helps productive business processes. This
partially decentralisation operational decision-making is helping Sony to
achieve flexibility in responding to market variations.

 

The last
decision area is maintenance, this is a very important strategic decision as
the organisational reliability and operational stability are the main
objectives. Sony gains reliability together with sustainability, sustainability
is an important factor in improving business within the company. Sony’s
managers are ensuring stability by regular maintenance of evaluation resource
such as the human resource and technology. Sustainability actions add to the
reliability of the firm’s productivity and operation.

 

Conclusion

In
conclusion, Sony has been highly successful in operating business
internationally; they have managed to expand all over the world by partnership
with organisations. They have managed to give their customers a unique
experience and expectation on their products and services; it has a high
quality view in the eyes of the people. Sony has achieved success due to the
strategies that Sony has followed such as the 10-decision area of operations
management. Sony so far has used the top marketing and operations strategies
and is keeping up with its competitors.

 

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