Sony Focuses on Independent Dealer Channel for 3D Strategy

A collection of Sony's new imaging marketing collateral

Sony's Reader display, which now includes space for the new Reader Daily Edition.

Sony's Mike Fasulo pledges his support to the independent dealer channel.

Sony's new merchandising displays include push buttons, video content and space for add-on products.

One of Sony's new informational kiosks

Marketing, merchandising and sales programs can be tailored to groups or individual specialty retailers

As Sony gears up for the launch of its new line of 3D TVs this summer, specialty dealers will receive extra attention from the company in terms of merchandising and marketing tools, and focused training.
“We’re trying to get closer to groups like the specialty dealers,” said Paul Spitale, Sony’s senior vice president of consumer sales, during a press event and dealer line show Tuesday at the company’s San Diego headquarters. “We think those people have more voice in that area of products.”

About 540 dealers attended the line show, which featured most of the company’s 2010 products and samples of the new merchandising kiosks and marketing collateral. Last year, many specialty and independent dealers complained that they lost sales and marketing support from Sony as the company focused on the big-box stores to drive volume. Dealers also complained of a lackluster product set that was overshadowed by sexier and more advanced TVs from the likes of Samsung and LG.

Sony executives said they are committed to repairing those relationships and delivering stronger products, especially around 3D technology. At the line show, company executives arranged a special meeting with members of the PRO Group – including Dave Workman, executive director, and Mike Temiz, president of 6th Avenue Electronics – to discuss merchandising, marketing and sales strategies.

“The meeting was about how we bring the Sony messaging to dealers and how we (as a group) can deliver the full Sony experience to the consumer,” Spitale said. “(Specialty dealers) will be part of all our discussions.”

Sony is working on delivering merchandising and marketing strategies that will work for a group of similar dealers and for individual dealers with special needs, Spitale said, adding that dealers should work with their sales reps to figure out the best solutions.

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