When you sharing your favourite movie or food with your friends, did they have the same view like you? You cannot 100% sure. Why? The reason is you know your friends have their own thoughts. Of course, wise marketers also know about this, so they select to please a part of customers of the whole market. Through the STP process can help the company to recognise the most valued kinds of customers, and then make suitable products and deliver related information that fit to those target consumers (Hanlon, 2013).
Sony Corporation is a famous multinational company. It has manufactured multiple kinds of electronic products to satisfy different types of consumers. The purpose of Sony is providing high-quality products to targeted consumers. Products including televisions, digital cameras and mobiles, and also relevant services are very popular in the public. However, several factors have threatened Sony’s development, for example, a growing number of competitors and continuous losses. The report pointed out that Sony had sold its PC business in 2014 in order to make up net loss of $1.1 billion and turned to the mobile business (Hornyak). According to the below diagram, the sales revenue of mobile communication ranked the second position (15.4%) in the total sales in 2015. However, the financial results in 2015 showed the profit of mobile business suddenly fell by 39% in comparison with the prior year (Triggs). The recent rumour indicated that Sony possibly gave up the mobile business. Then, whether such action is benefit to future development of the Sony? Let’s go through the STP model to analyse.
In the mobile market, consumers do not have any restrictions in age, gender, education and income, except the person is lack of cognitive ability, for example, babies. Besides, it is a wide range of global market and also without culture influences. From analysis of the VALs, consumers may tend to experiencers or innovators. They are keen on making their life easier and more interesting. Furthermore, their time and energy are frequently limited. Sometimes, consumers definitely are fashion followers. Finally, they may be more willing to purchase good quality of smartphone, and meanwhile be more focus on brand value.
Clearly, the global smartphone market does not have so many restrictions. Additionally, Sony Corporation always pursues the product differentiation as its market strategy. Hence, Sony Corporation had launched several types of smartphones such as Xperia Z5, Xperia M4 and Xperia E4 so that those smartphones could please a wide range of targeted consumers. Moreover, the Spence stated the Sony Corporation would prefer to gain high profit rather than expand the size of market share in recent investors meeting (2014). Consequently, the Sony started to devote itself to develop mobile segment in order to make higher profit.
Undoubtedly, the IPhone is the biggest competitor in the global market. Compared with it, Sony has fewer resources to support the mobile segment. However, Sony combine own strengths (innovative products and services) with consumers’ demands to change brand positioning. It pushed out high-quality of the Xperia smartphones, and meanwhile delivery such information that Sony began to concentrate on customers’ experiences. Millington elaborated that markers of the Sony wished those users could recognise the value of smartphone after using the Xperia to find and share unusual thing (2015). Sony has high brand image in the global world. Certainly, such change was success because it satisfied consumers’ needs and meanwhile gradually raised its brand value and brand awareness. Overall, if Sony decides to end mobile segment only because of the amount of profit is lower, such action is not wise.
Name: Wenfei Dong
Hanlon, A. 2013, The Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning model, retrieved 4th of April, <http://www.smartinsights.com/digital-marketing-strategy/customer-segmentation-targeting/segmentation-targeting-and-positioning/>
Hornyak T. 2014, IDG News Service, Sayonara, VAIO: Sony sells off PC business to focus on mobile, retrieved 5th of April, <http://www.pcworld.com/article/2095180/sony-sheds-vaio-pc-business-turns-tv-unit-into-subsidiary.html>
Millington A. 2015, Sony Mobile pushes new consumer-led brand positioning with ‘Extraordinary’ campaign, retrieved by 8th of April, <https://www.marketingweek.com/2015/04/02/sony-mobile-pushes-new-consumer-led-brand-positioning-with-extraordinary-campaign/>
Spence E. 2014, Sony Sacrifice Marketshare for Smartphone Success, retrieved by 6th of April, <http://www.forbes.com/sites/ewanspence/2014/11/25/sony-smartphone-strategy-focusing-on-profit/#686282d01e24>
The Statistic Portal, Share of Sony’s sales and operating revenue in the 2015 fiscal year, by business segment, retrieved 5th of April, <http://www.statista.com/statistics/279272/proportion-of-sonys-sales-by-business/>
Trrigs R. 2015, Sony Q1 profits surge, despite making a loss on smartphones, retrieved by 7th of April, <http://www.androidauthority.com/sony-q1-2015-profits-630103/>