Leading the digital revolution through innovation
A Sony case study

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Page 4: Progression - pioneers of the market

The pace of technological progress has forced fundamental changes on the corporate structure, with Sony Corporation adopting a horizontal, rather than vertical organisational structure for the first time in its fifty year history. This was designed to speed up decision making and market responsiveness. Sony has had to restructure all ten of its individual product companies so that they can adopt common platforms using the PC technology. This is a long-term strategy and the success cannot be measured in short-term market shares. As Nobuyuki Idei, the President of Sony, said in 1995 “The digital revolution will shake out the total business platform so that brand image and production power and even the best technology will not be enough. As the information and digital revolution spreads, Sony will continue to change dramatically.”

Sony 5 Image 5Under these circumstances, marketing becomes pivotal. As Idei noted in 1995, “Marketing is not just a function within Sony, it is a cornerstone of our business philosophy. We are dedicated to a process of constant technological innovation, and marketing plays a vital role in this process.” Sony has always held the view that good marketing involves pioneering the market, which comes down to market creation. Simply producing goods that meet a market’s current needs will lead to the firm falling behind in the long run. Central to Sony’s marketing mix therefore is the innovative product, creating and pioneering a market and a demand from the consumer.

Throughout its history, Sony has been associated with unique products based on advanced technology and concentrating on performance, ease of operation and design. Unlike its main rivals, in an exceptionally competitive market, Sony has not proved to be the biggest spender when it comes to promotion. Sony uses a combination of TV advertising, national press, consumer, trade and specialist magazine coverage. Editorial features and double and single page adverts in newspapers, youth and lifestyle magazines target the consumers in line with the overall Digital Dream Kids strategy, an example of promotional and marketing strategies matching the corporate objectives. Recent advertising campaigns have followed this up with “Do you dream in Sony?” a slogan that has special significance for all Sony stakeholders.

Sony | Leading the digital revolution through innovation
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