Sony Talks Strategy
Sony Electronics President/COO Stan Glasgow recently touted what he called the positive participation of his division in Sony’s growth and changes, manifested by NPD’s citation of the brand’s number one position for 2006 in 11 consumer electronics categories in dollar and unit volume.
At the same time, during a recent meeting with various journalists, he spoke of future strategies designed to combat “the challenge of how to maintain the strength of the Sony brand” in a U.S. marketplace where, he said, “TV pricing will continue to erode at around 20 percent per year,” and where “with the evolution of retail, it’s increasingly difficult for medium-size retailers to survive.”
One major strategy for Sony is the expansion of its Bravia brand, along with the cachet of design and performance it connotes, beyond the LCD TV category and into the microdisplay and home audio/home theater systems arenas, said Randy Waynick, senior vice president of home products. Although Sony holds the top position in dollars and units in the 37-inch-and-over LCD category, said Waynick, “there is a lot of pressure on the microdisplay category, but it’s still strong for us.” Sony, he added, will unveil a 37-inch, 10-inch-deep 1,080p microdisplay at a $1,299 target price-point this year.
Another major initiative, said Glasgow, will be a “silver bullet” approach to consumer advertising. The campaigns will be “more hard-hitting than before,” he said, and are slated to begin rolling out in the early part of this year. “Our ads have been fragmented , but we’re changing them to integrate themes over a two- or three-month period. Rather than 50 different campaigns a year, we’ll have three or four major ones to get everyone’s attention.”
Glasgow added that in general, the “Sony TV customer” was “willing to pay a premium to buy our products and we need to justify the premium he’s paying” with better features and better image reproduction. “Our ASPs (average selling prices) have gone up while the industry’s went down,” remarked Waynick, “but it’s our Bravia engine, our signal processing expertise” that made the case to consumers.