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Sony Ericsson: Introduction
Sony Ericsson is a global manufacturer and distributor of mobile multimedia devices which includes feature-rich phones, mobile accessories and PC cards. Products are innovative blend of powerful technology with communications, imaging, music, and entertainment applications. As a net result, Sony Ericsson is serving market with enticing brand that provides end users desirable fun products. Sony Ericsson was established by telecom leader Ericsson and consumer electronics giant Sony Corporation in 2001. It ownership is equally owned by Ericsson and Sony. Its first product came in market in 2002. Its products have universal consumer appeal. They are different in areas of music, imaging and applications. Company has developed products with advanced technologies such as 2G and 3G platforms. Product research & development, design, manufacturing, marketing and customer services are major undertakings by Sony Ericsson. Its global management is headquartered in London while R & D is in U.K, France, Sweden, India, Japan, China and United States. The Firm has around 3,500 around the globe.
Sony Ericsson is accepted as leader in mobile designs and innovations. Its many products won awards like T 610, K750i as best 3G handset for 2004. GSM Association awarded K800 Cyber-shot phone as best 3GSM in February 2007.
Sony Ericsson has built many partnerships for continuous innovative products development. Partnership with Sony BMG is a way for bringing best and innovative content to its customers. In gaming applications, Sony Ericsson took the lead in launching first Java 3D-enabled handsets, and is looking forward to bring 3D gaming to a wider segment of mobile users.
Background of Sony-Ericsson
Ever since the Japanese electronics company Sony and the Swedish telecom giant Ericsson came together to form Sony Ericsson, big things were expected in terms of technologically advanced wireless phones as well as improved sales and market shares. However, the first year passed with a lot of disappointment. Sony Ericsson's already low market shares began to drop rapidly and the company was losing money. On the other hand, the much anticipated Sony Ericsson T68i phone was introduced and was a major hit. It was the first GSM/GPRS (global system for mobile communications/general packet radio service) color screen handset. Its Bluetooth technology was also the first of its kind, allowing wireless connections to headsets and PC synchronization. One of the accessories included a snap-on digital camera, which has become quite popular and a must for all new models. In the past year, Sony Ericsson has seen a revival in the company as they continue to introduce new revolutionary devices such as the P800 and T610 and set new standards. All this success has contributed to an increase in market shares and has pushed them back into the top five in cell phone manufacturers. In order to continue this success, a new IMC plan is needed.
Creativity and flexibility is required in order to succeed in the mobile-phone industry. No other industry changes faster, or experiences more sudden and rapid changes to fortunes. The industry was shaken by the alliance of two consumer electronic giants in October 2001, Sony Corporations and Ericsson AB. Sony Ericsson mobile communications is a fifty-fifty joint venture between Japan's Sony Corp. and Sweden's Ericsson AB. With headquarters located in London, Sony Ericsson became the sixth largest global mobile phone corporation in 2005 following closely behind competitor Nokia. Motivations for the joint venture alliance as well alternatives to a joint venture will be explored, concluding with an examination of the problems and strategies used throughout the alliance to aid Sony Ericsson to become a world renowned mobile supplier.
Complementary asset sharing and knowledge transfers were among several reasons motivating the alliance. Ericsson was heavily criticized in the past for poor manufacturing capabilities as Ericsson previously outsourced its production procedures to Flextronics in order to reduce costs (Electronic Times, 2001). Alongside that, Ericsson was associated with poor designs in terms of aesthetics and was unable to attract a large pool of consumers especially teenagers and young adults. Furthermore, due to the ever changing industrial environment of the mobile-phone industry, Ericsson was forced behind due to its inability to keep up-to-date with the market and as a consequent, slowly loosing its already minimal market share.
Ericsson was buying chips from a single source, a Philips plant in New Mexico. Nokia was also buying chips from same facility. In March 2000, a fire at this facility contaminated the facility. Philips gave assurance to Ericsson and Nokia that production will start again just a week time. But it did not happen. Nokia purchased chips from other sources. So Ericsson faced serious shortages. This reduced Sony Ericsson's competitive ability to introduce new phones and maintaining supply of current phones. Sony Ericsson, after its new identity introduced first phone in 2002 and now has a product portfolio for meeting demands of all consumer target groups. Sony Ericsson introduced the Walkman-branded W series music phones in 2005 (fourteen models to date: W200, W300, W550, W600, W610, W700, W710, W800, W810, W830, W850, W880, W900 and W950)
Branding Key to Sony Ericsson Growth Plan
The difference in mid-end hand sets and top-end models is reducing because of technology advancements in mobile phone handset accessories market. Increasing liberalized regional telecommunications is boosting cellular subscriptions and a labor force with high disposable incomes, the Middle East has become a lucrative market for handset manufacturers such as Sony Ericsson. The company has been successful in this emerging market due to successfully fusing innovative technology to develop products. Sony and Ericsson's combination of core competencies is a competitive edge of Sony Ericsson. digital cameras and MP3 players have now become essential features of handsets, Sony Ericsson handsets like Cyber shot and Walkman handset ranges are a direct attempt to tap the Sony's heritage in both markets respectively. Sony Ericsson supports retailers and resellers by advertising and marketing campaigns.
Sony Ericsson has announced fusion of entertainment and communication for their customers as their new brand strategy. They are adopting a new brand message in collaboration with Sony Group, “make. Believe”. It will use seven colors in its logo as part of its rebranding strategy. They will involve consumers at a greater extent in their branding process. They plan to do this by focusing on their interactive digital and social media efforts to communicate with their target consumers.
Sony Ericsson connects on the web
Winning new mobile customers is becoming easy by digital marketing. Two major brands - one big company. Combining a Swedish company, Ericsson with one from Japan, Sony, it shares a design and communications history with history of marketing expertise and gaming, music and entertainment content on the other. Both have invested millions in this venture. The company had a slow start but it got the momentum in 2004. According to Superbrands, Sony Ericsson is among coolest brands in the UK. But in some previous years, it has been facing losses due global slow down and intense competition. Digital has played a good role in its growth. The digital budget is around 15 %. For some sets, it can go up to 30%. The early technology adopters are usually looking online for making their choices. So web is a great leap of imagination. The sector and market segment are worthwhile for its adaptation.
It is a sustainable part of Sony Ericsson's marketing mix and it will continue its evolution in future. The investment is easier to make, getting feedback from consumers is easy. The people in technology now are much more sophisticated than past. Technology is enabling in work and general living. By giving brand experience online, Sony Ericsson provides consumers tangibility and technology, both with explanation of the product. Now the decision making is more dependent on online sources. Marketing mobile phone is quite different from marketing other products. Networks form direct relationship with customer. Sony Ericson does not do this one-to-one connection. Sony Ericsson's branding should not have impact only on consumers but also on retailers and its distributors. Mobile up gradation is more frequently than cars, so they have limited shelf life. This should be considered in any campaign.
Digital marketing has solution to tackle such problems. In digital marketing, contact with customer is direct. Sony Ericsson is working closely with networks. They are mindful about direct customers as well. SE works with them to ensure that they do not market product too quickly. Sony Ericsson has been working with Dare for launching its handsets in US. Sony Ericsson has always recognized important role played by digital channels.
To reduce these channels, Sony Ericsson uses a micro site for promotion of each mobile set, providing a brand experience, with having link with corporate site (www.sonyericsson.com). Corporate hub offers more details about handsets. Sonyericsson.com. is managed by Toon Diependaele, who is director of digital marketing at Sony Ericsson. Sony Ericsson has emphasis on building a global framework with having room for local implementation. It has to [provide wealth of information in 63 country areas with 30 of its main products at any one time. The user benefits are explained in non-technical way for the understanding of the common man. It is about how phone will help you in making your life easier. It can also be about benefits due to some new feature like use of MMS in T610. Design and creativity go side by side in online marketing. The product tells the idea. For example, S700 has the idea of picture quality. So its performance and functionality is the basis of the idea.
The faith in digital marketing is natural for an organization founded 2001 and who is in business of selling E mobile phone. This is a digital age. And Sony Ericsson recognizes this fact in every way of its functions. Even in its logo which is dynamic. The development in this industry is at a surprising speed. So to meet the demands of changing consumer tastes, the products are dynamic too. For T610 camera phone is very popular phone, but new products in the same category have been introduced recently. Sony Ericson has become pioneer in use two sided online banners for pushing its new handsets.
New generation of camera phones are following dual front strategy. They can be handled horizontally. Quickshare of pictures taken by the camera make these handsets easy to use for picture messaging. Quickshare is one way of sharing of pictures common in all Sony Ericsson mobiles through Bluetooth. Themes are extended from functionality of the handset. The K500i is based on idea that technology should save the time. For a handset with gaming, picture capability and MP3 playback will use broader theme. Users can also give suggestions on website.
Sony Ericsson had an exhibition on its site, featuring picture taken by K700 by celebrities. The exhibition was also shown at an art gallery. Website is considered hub of all the activities. It helps in building positive brand image through its website. Website gives opportunity to Sony Ericsson to expand life span of its products online. This theme is should continue in future as well. Sony Ericsson is doing things differently with its online marketing. It also used iTV channel when the opportunity came on the way. The idea of advertising was very strong, although it presents a problem in production cost and accountability. Networks are usually involved in the process selling. So, coordination between Sony Ericsson and networks needs to be increased to sell. The online marketing campaigns create desire in customers. Different approach is used for different segments of the market. When dealing with smart phones, the approach has to be entirely different from a product that is at entry level. Content such as free ringtones and java games are diving factors for the sale. It is also suggested that Sony Ericsson should be picture massaging. Sony Ericsson ha s realization that imaging trend is going to continue.
About 95% percent of the mobile phones purchased in last years data shows that they were picture enabled. After much taking has been done about gaming, music phones are area where improvement is needed for better services. Music has appeal to all people; they might have different tastes in music. The ringtones are built by ensuring quality.
3G is now more talked about technology and a lot of opportunity in this segment .We need to rely on networks, but nothing has been revealed. No medium will be required for this purpose. The marketing efforts of Sony Ericsson will drive new medium. Purchases of consumer can be helpful in researching customers.. The peer group is involved in the process Handsets with higher value s.
Sony Ericsson to Adopt Sony Branding Identity
Sony Ericsson is reformulating its strategy to move closer to its parent Sony's brand identity. It is now using phrase “make. Believe.” The decision has been taken at strategic marketing level and several strategic marketing campaigns will be launched shortly for realignment of the two. A fusion of communication and entertainment had always been focus of Sony Ericsson since start of the joint venture. This make, believe also brings Sony Ericsson closer to Sony group companies. Entertainment strategy becomes more obvious from this campaign. This ongoing transformation is lying foundation fro new outlook of Sony Ericsson. Realignment is vital part of this strategy. It has combined this strategy with a new culture of openness. This will shift the way of planning and building new prepositions. Social and digital media has brought customer closer to Sony Ericsson.
Sony Ericsson shifts adspend into digital
Sony Ericsson is boosting its digital adspend to £13m as it gives the internet a more central role in its global marketing strategy.
The handset manufacturer plans to increase the proportion it invests in website development and online advertising from 15% to 25% of its £50m marketing budget during 2008.
At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Sony Ericsson head of marketing Dee Dutta outlined a strategy to strengthen the brand's online presence in key international markets in an effort to remain relevant to youth consumers.
Over the coming year, Sony Ericsson will begin diverting spend from TV, press and point-of-sale advertising to digital marketing around its handset brands, including Cyber-shot and Walkman.
The company also intends to give the internet a crucial role in establishing its Xperia sub-brand. In the first phase, it will launch a web portal showcasing its X1 handset, which is being seen as a competitor to Apple's iPhone.
Sony Ericsson currently works with Dare on digital global projects, but Dutta is considering appointing a roster of agencies to handle the increased workload. 'Digital will soon be the de facto method by which we communicate and engage with consumers,' he said. 'A strong online presence is crucial to the future of our brand on a global scale.'
Sony Ericsson is the world's fifth-biggest mobile phone manufacturer behind Nokia, Motorola, Samsung and LG. The company hopes its digital strategy shift will help it gain ground on rivals.
Gareth Jones, Sony Ericsson realigns brand in next stage of company transformation
* Evolves visual identity and brand values as next stage of business transformation
* Shifts consumer engagement to digital, viral and social media platforms
* Aligns with Sony Group companies under new ‘make.believe' brand message
London - September 3rd, 2009 - Sony Ericsson today announced the next stage of its on-going business transformation with the realignment of its external visual identity and brand values in order to deliver its vision of becoming the Communication Entertainment brand. The company also confirmed its adoption of the newly announced Sony brand message ‘make.believe' in all consumer communication in order to reinforce its entertainment credentials and collaboration with the Sony Group.
"Fusing communication and entertainment has been at the core of Sony Ericsson's offering since the start of the joint venture.'make.believe' aligns Sony Ericsson with the Sony Group companies and reflects the coming together of communication and entertainment. By re-aligning our brand and adopting ‘make. believe' we further highlight our entertainment offering to consumers," said Cathy Davies, Head of Brand Strategy at Sony Ericsson.
"Our ongoing business transformation is laying the foundations for the new Sony Ericsson. Our re-aligned brand is a vital part of this strategy. Combined with a new culture of openness it marks a shift in the way we plan and build our propositions, as well as how we invite consumers to engage with us via digital and social media platforms", said Lennard Hoornik, Head of Marketing at Sony Ericsson.
Visually, Sony Ericsson will expand the appeal of its globally recognized ‘liquid identity' logo by adding seven new color variations plus a new a ‘liquid energy' flowing from the logo to make it more playful and visually appealing for the digital arena. The company also aims to adopt a more open and questioning attitude by inviting greater consumer participation in the brand through a stronger focus on interactive digital and social media channels.
A series of strategic marketing campaigns this autumn will launch the realigned visual identity and showcase the start of make. believe at Sony Ericsson, including a ‘spark something' viral campaign for the new Satio, Aino and Yari phones and a global activation campaign as the official global handset sponsor for the 2010 FIFA World CupTM to capture the passion of football fans around the world.
Sony Ericsson promulgation of a new strategy
Sony Ericsson has been hard on the global economic slowdown, but the company said that the new strategy, focusing on services and entertainment, that he hoped to bring him back on track.
On Sunday evening, here on the eve of GSMA Mobile World Congress, Mobile Phone Maker, which is a joint venture between Sony Maker of consumer electronics and telecommunications equipment Maker Ericsson, unveiled a new strategy that he said fuses communications and entertainment. ”
The new strategy is that, Sony Ericsson calls “Entertainment Unlimited. Managers have been fine detail at a press conference, but the company is planning a strategy that will integrate mobile phones with PCs and the percentage of TV entertainment content.
In this strategy, the company announced MediaGo, which is a continuation of its PlayNow music service. MediaGo added service that allows users to download movies to their PC and then transfer them to your Sony Ericsson. The company announced W995 Walkman phone that can play the function of the length of films.
This service will also enable the transmission of other media such as music, photos and podcasts. The service also allows users to synchronize their phone music library automatically subscribe to podcasts, and automatically convert files for best quality playback.
The company also introduced stealthily peek at the new high goals, touch-screen phone called Idou. This 12.1-megapixel camera phone, supposedly designed for all types of multimedia functionality. But details about the product are limited until he runs in the second half of next year.
Nevertheless, the leaders said that these two new phones will play a much more active role in the company's “new” strategy for more effective integration of entertainment on mobile devices and other devices throughout the home.
What's interesting about this supposedly new strategy is that it does not sound very new. Sony Ericsson was formed in 2001 as a joint venture between media and telecom equipment Maker. And since 2005, he was selling his Sony Walkman phones that allow people to listen to digital music on the go.
But now the company argues that its “Entertainment Unlimited” strategy takes things to a new level, where users can share and access to media of different products from mobile phones to personal computers to their television screens.
“All that we have done to date has led us to this issue,” said Lennard Hoornik, head of global marketing and vice president at Sony Ericsson. “We've created a music phone category in 2005, selling more than 100 million phones Walkman, and we are ready to open the next chapter in the development of the company.”
It looks like a good idea, but it happens to one, that the share of its competitors. Nokia, the world's largest mobile phone Maker, develops throughout the Ovi services platform called for more than a year that lets users share files from PC to phone and vice versa. And one of the things that are done in the Apple iPhone has been so successful its integration with existing media iTunes Store, where users have access to music, videos and podcasts.
While Sony Ericsson strategy can not be revolutionary, adding more value to their products is likely required to move. The entire mobile phone market took a beating in the second half of the year, as consumers bought fewer mobile phones because of economic problems. And this trend will continue until the market starts to pick up.
Recession hits Sony Ericsson is particularly difficult. In the fourth quarter of 2008 the company lost 187 million euros, or about $ 248 million. That compared with a profit of about 373 million euros in the fourth quarter of 2007.
But it is difficult to say if this “new” strategy will enable us greatly. One bright spot in the mobile phone landscape in the next couple of years, seems to be smartphones. Market research firm IDC recently reported that while the overall mobile phone sales fell by 12.6 percent worldwide in the fourth quarter sales of smart phones actually work 22.5 per cent.
The problem that Sony Ericsson is that it is not very well compete in the smartphone category. Last year at the World Congress of mobile devices, the company has made a lot of Buzz with their first device, Windows Mobile, Xperia X1. As of November, the phone was available in North America.
But the problem is that he does not propose any major carrier in the U.S. and $ 800 prices for the unlocked and unsubsidized phone is too high for consumers, who can get iPhone 3G on AT & T, BlackBerry Storm with Verizon Wireless, or Google Android G1 from T-Mobile USA for the subsidized price of $ 200 with a two-year contract.
Given the fact that the smartphone market, where all the action is expected to be over the next couple of years, it surprising that Sony Ericsson will select the best feature phones to connect their new “Unlimited entertainment” strategy.
Details are still too scarce to know exactly how this will shake out. But Sony Ericsson needs a convincing and accessible smartphones that can take advantage of these entertainment and communication capabilities. And to compete effectively in this market, but now need to expand its distribution outside of Europe and Japan. In particular, it should cool and affordable smartphone for North American consumers.
Sony Ericsson unveils marketing plans
Sony is rolling out the brand message “make.believe” (read as “make-dot-believe”) that will feature in advertising across its businesses Sony Ericsson, Sony Computer Entertainment, Sony BMG, Sony Pictures and brands such as Playstation 3 and Vaio.
Lennard Hoornik, Sony Ericsson corporate VP and global head of marketing, says the new tagline aims to reflect the message that “anything you can imagine, you can make real”.
It has also updated its visual identity, adding seven new colour variants to the logo, as well as a new “liquid energy” visual flowing from the logo. It was designed by Iris.
Cathy Davies, head of brand strategy adds the brand developments will aim to give the handset maker a more playful identity as well communicating with consumers in a “more emotive way”.
It is part of the company's ongoing repositioning strategy to be known as a “communications entertainment” brand.
Sony Ericsson is planning to invest an estimated £7m in the fourth quarter to promote its new hero handsets, the Japanese named phones Satio, Aino and Yari.
The global launch will be spearheaded in the UK, with work created by Saatchi & Saatchi. It will be first time the handset maker will feature the “make.believe” tagline in its advertising.
It plans to launch a major above-the-line campaign, as well as digital and experiential flash mob activity centered around an attempt to bring space hoppers back into popular culture.
Sony-Ericsson Declared Most Eco-Friendly Phone
Technology company Sony-Ericsson was recently given the environmental nod, as its cellular phones were declared as one of the most environmentally-friendly technological gadgets.
In its study "Searching for green electronics," environmental organization Greenpeace called for computer and phone manufacturers to put forward their most eco-friendly products, ranging from cellular phones to notebooks to gaming consoles.
After examining the products' environment-related aspects such as amounts of dangerous chemicals, energy efficiency, recyclability and marketing strategies, Greenpeace heralded Sony-Ericsson's phones, out of 37 other products from other manufacturers, to have obtained top honors for the most environmentally-friendly gadgets.
According to TMCnet, Sony-Ericsson's phones received a 5.3 rating, out of a possible 10. The generally passable score, according to Greenpeace, was acknowledged as the highest, considering study's low response turnout.
The results, however, were considered to be a step forward to technology's adaptability to the demands of a clean environment, and the group recognized that encouragement was a key part of the study that must be further pushed.
"Since undertaking the survey we have already witnessed the arrival of greener products in the market, such as the Apple's new laptop, the MacBook Air, and Nokia's new phone, the Evolve," Greenbang quoted Yannick Vicare of Greenpeace
"Manufacturers still have a long way to go," Vicaire added, "but more and more now are taking the environmental impacts of their products seriously."
Sony Ericsson's mobile music strategy
Music has become one of the main drivers for 3G and large data entertainment services for the mobile phone end-user and will continue to gain in importance. Sony Ericsson is committed to maximizing the value and experience for the end-user and to increasing revenue for operators, and the Walkman family of mobile phones do this through music. Music-related services, content and applications are fundamental parts of our overall content strategy.
We believe that super-distribution of music is the way forward. By this I mean the easy sharing of music between friends - legally downloaded/transferred or by creating your own - all combined with applications that can manage or personalize the music experience on your mobile phone.
Even though the Walkman portfolio is the main focus of Sony Ericsson's music activities, music solutions for our other series of mobile phones are just as relevant. Network limitations, product market reach, end-user choice and model-version exclusivity to certain operators mean that we need to make sure that the music experience is as good as possible across our product portfolio. Wemonitor the DRM standards set by the industry and strive to have products that are media source, and hence DRM, agnostic. All current Sony Ericsson mobile phones support the standard Open Mobile Alliance's (OMA) DRM v 1.0.
When actively using "branded" music (i.e. official copyright or other rights protected), DRM is the key for everyone who intends to play a role in this market. For the development of applications where branded music is only handled passively, e.g. media players, this is up to the developer, as long as it doesn't have a negative impact on the DRM protection of the music flowing through or being used by the application.
The coming convergence of fixed and mobile broadband network services combined with the convergence of "traditional" audio-visual consumer electronics products with mobile phones will have a massive effect on the mobilemusic market. We foresee a tremendous growth.
Sony Ericsson pins hopes on 'entertainment' strategy
At the core of its new strategy is something Sony Ericsson calls 'Entertainment Unlimited'. Executives were thin on details at the press conference in Barcelona, but the company is planning a strategy that will bring together mobile phones with PCs and the TV to share entertainment content.
As part of this strategy, the company announced MediaGo, which is an extension of its PlayNow Music service. MediaGo adds a service that lets users download movies onto their PC and then transfer them over to a Sony Ericsson device. The company announced the W995 Walkman phone, which will be able play the feature-length movies.
The service will also allow the transfer of other media, such as music, photos and podcasts. The service will also allow users to sync their phone's music library automatically, subscribe to podcasts and auto-convert files for the best-quality playback.
The company also gave a sneak peek at a new high-end, touch-screen phone, called the Idou. This 12.1-megapixel camera phone is supposedly designed for all kinds of multimedia functionality. Details about the product are scarce, but it is due to launch in the second half of next year.
That said, executives alluded to the fact that these two new phones will play a much larger role in the company's 'new' strategy to better integrate entertainment on mobile devices and other devices throughout the home.
Yet this supposedly new strategy for the company doesn't sound entirely new. Sony Ericsson was formed in 2001 as a joint venture between a media company and telecommunications equipment maker. And since 2005, it has been selling its Sony Walkman phones, which allow people to listen to digital music on the go.
The company claims its Entertainment Unlimited strategy takes things to a new level, where consumers can share and access media across multiple products from mobile phones to PCs to their TV screens.
"Everything that we have done to date has brought us to this point," said Lennard Hoornik, head of global marketing and a vice president at Sony Ericsson. "We created the music-phone category in 2005 selling over 100 million Walkman phones, and we are now ready to unveil the next chapter in the evolution of the company."
The idea happens is one that its competitors seem to share. Nokia, the world's largest mobile-phone maker, has been developing an entire service platform called Ovi for more than a year that allows users to share files from the PC to the phone and vice versa. And one of the things that has made Apple's iPhone so successful has been its integration with the existing iTunes media store, where users get access to music, videos and podcasts.
While Sony Ericsson's strategy may not be revolutionary, adding more value to its products is probably a necessary move. The entire mobile-phone market took a beating in the second half of the year, as consumers bought fewer mobile phones due to economic concerns. And that trend is expected to continue until the market starts to pick up.
The recession hit Sony Ericsson particularly hard. For the fourth quarter of 2008, the company lost €187m. This is compared with a profit of about €373m in fourth quarter of 2007.
But it is difficult to say how much this 'new' strategy will help the company. The one bright spot in the mobile-phone landscape for the next couple of years appears to be smartphones. Market-research firm IDC recently reported that while overall mobile-phone sales declined by 12.6 percent worldwide in the fourth quarter, sales of smartphones were up 22.5 percent.
The problem Sony Ericsson faces is that it is not competing very well in the smartphone category. Last year at Mobile World Congress, the company made a lot of buzz with its first Windows Mobile device, the Xperia X1. As of November, the phone has been available in North America.
But the phone is not offered by any major carrier in the US, and the $800 price tag for an unlocked and unsubsidised phone is too high for consumers who can get an iPhone 3G from AT&T, a BlackBerry Storm from Verizon Wireless, or a Google Android G1 from T-Mobile USA for the subsidized price of $200 with a two-year contract.
Given that the smartphone market is where all the action is expected to be over in the next couple of years, it is surprising that Sony Ericsson would choose high-end feature phones to anchor its new 'Unlimited Entertainment' strategy.
The details are still too scarce to know exactly how this will pan out. But Sony Ericsson needs a compelling and affordable smartphone that can take advantage of these entertainment and communication features. And to effectively compete in this market, it is going to need to expand its distribution beyond Europe and Japan. Namely, it needs to bring an affordable and desirable smartphone to North American consumers.
Sony Ericsson's new strategy
After having struggled for sales over the last few quarters with their position being reduced against their competition in the middle of the range segment, Sony Ericsson has started to react by developing a new mobile strategy which adds extra character to their production, in the same way as the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1, their first phone operating Windows Mobile, and the three new phones announced this week: Satio (ex Idou), Aino and Yari, with each of them having a specific use while all being multimedia oriented.
On the French mobile phone market, which at the moment is resisting better then the rest of the world, Sony Ericsson were able to gain a few percentage points in the first quarter thanks to their resellers stock reduction efforts, building brand loyalty as 65% of owners state that they would be ready to once again buy a Sony Ericsson phone for a future purchase (the average was 51%).
A public loyal to the brand
The maker has also taken the opportunity to put forwards the multimedia aspects of their products, with Sony Ericsson mobile phone owners using the camera, music and games functions more often then the average.
These are important arguments which can weigh heavily when carriers are deciding which phones to promote so that their mobile services can bring additional revenue.
While the sales volume on the French market went backwards by 5% in 2009 (and 10% in the world), Sony Ericsson is still confident that their phones offer quality for users that are looking for connectivity and multimedia options.
A strategy on three levelsTo get there, nothing is better then calling on the Japanese giant and their numerous general public product offerings like computers, console games and new generation televisions.
With this new approach to the market, Pierre Perron, Sony Ericsson's General Director in France has presented three new strategies that the company will be employing:
* 1.Merging the experiences and entertainment
* 2.Interaction of mobiles with general public electronic equipment
* 3.Make the PlayNow Arena content portal available with applications and content
Sony Ericsson Unveils New Mobile Phone Strategy
Sony Ericsson unveiled a new strategy for its struggling mobile phone business in an attempt to share content on its handsets with other devices in the home.
Called "Entertainment Unlimited," the initiative seeks to integrate mobile phones with such devices as TVs, home computers and home stereo equipment, allowing users to share content freely between them. To accomplish this, the company is uniting its until-now separate PC, TV and mobile phone divisions.
At the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona, the company introduced a concept phone that demonstrates these capabilities, called the Idou.
It also plans to expand its Play Now mobile content subscription service, which now includes movies as well as music, to a broader service called MediaGo. That service is available in only eight countries today, but Sony Ericsson says it hopes to double that.
Executives called the strategy "the next chapter in the evolution of the company," clearly making big bets on the mobile entertainment market. Sony Ericsson reported a loss of $248 million in the fourth quarter of last year.
Sony Ericsson's CEO Talks Strategy
Hideki "Dick" Komiyama, a 64-year-old Sony (SNE) veteran, took the helm of Sony Ericsson on Nov. 6, 2007. The change in leadership came after the company had assumed its position as a strong No. 4 among the world's mobile-phone makers. Unit volumes and revenues have doubled in the past three years, increasing the global market share for Sony Ericsson—a joint venture of Sony and Ericsson (ERIC)—by three points, to 9.5%.
On Feb. 10 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Sony Ericsson rolled out its first-ever handsets built around the Microsoft (MSFT) Windows Mobile operating system, a coup for both companies (BusinessWeek.com, 2/10/08).
But Sony Ericsson faces an ever-changing market, including increasing competition over software and services. Google (GOOG) is moving into the mobile sector, rival Nokia (NOK) is moving into services, and the Apple (AAPL) iPhone has changed the face of the industry. Komiyama spoke to BusinessWeek's Jennifer L. Schenker at the Mobile World Congress about the company's strategy.
What the consumer wants next has to be [mobile] Internet. The U.S. market is a PC environment, so this is a product strategy that is designed to have appeal there. We are casting this as a flagship product on the U.S. market, where the Sony Ericsson brand is not as well established.
What's your strategy for emerging markets?
We are making investments in this area. We are doing well in Western and Central Europe and in Latin America, but we are not strong in emerging markets like India and China. We have opened up a design center in India and introduced two new models for the India market.
This is a market that is dynamic and competitive; there are a lot of disruptions and new entrants from different areas. It is important [to] have a very clear vision about where Sony Ericsson is in the ballpark and where and how we play. We want to tie together the best of entertainment on phones, and we want to become one of the top three manufacturers of handsets worldwide.
Sony Ericsson online marketing strategy
Sony ericsson has introduced a wonderful online marketing strategies. They have included 4 ways to market its products catch it as below.
3) Product review
4) Service providers
They have included customer pages for attracting new consumers under that they are giving information about each phone. with lots of options like full image, feauters and comparison with others. They also included My phone section for somebody who already purchased it. under that they are giving tips and tutorials, links to support area so that they would satisfy customers after sales.
They have appointed lots of distributors and somebody likes amazon.com want to buy sony products it has to buy from distributors. They are giving lots of advertising option to amazon.com.
Under the sites like CNET they are sending phones for review so that marketing team of sony will divert the traffic from CNET to creating a micro site of sony and also by display advertising.
AT&T as service provider of sony ericsson and sony will guide them by two strategies likes of giving prodcuts that could fit to their customers and their needs and to provide marketing information.
Sony Ericsson leads brands demanding global online campaigns
Sony Ericsson is boosting online ad spend from 15 per cent to 25 per cent of its total marketing budget in a bid to give the internet a more central role in its global marketing strategy.
The European mobile phone manufacturer, which sells over 100 million handsets every year, is currently launching its new ‘XPERIA' range of smartphones across the region to add to its successful Cyber-shot and Walkman handset lines. In the future, such marketing initiatives will depend more heavily on online campaigns, as the brand diverts spend away from TV, press and point-of-sale advertising. Sony Ericsson's head of marketing, Dee Dutta, recently outlined a strategy to strengthen the brand's online presence in key international markets in an effort to remain relevant to youth consumers.
The world's fifth-largest mobile phone manufacturer is just one of a raft of major companies relying on a global digital strategy shift to help them gain ground on rivals.
Suki Thompson, founder of digital marketing consultancy Oystercatchers, said, “Now that consumers use the internet more effectively, global digital marketing makes real sense. As technology has become more accessible, digital communications have become more cost effective and are taking up more significant budgets.”
Other companies moving towards global digital marketing strategies include the confectionary and beverages giant, Cadbury Schweppes, which recently announced its intention to integrate email, online, mobile and interactive TV marketing to improve targeting and communicate with consumers on a more personal level.
Dell Computers has recently consolidated its global digital ad account, worth more than £100 million, into WPP agency Project Da Vinci. The agency will work on website development and online ad projects across Europe, the US and Asia.
Likewise, the financial services giant Citibank has seen presentations from four agencies - Isobar, Publicis Modem, Proximity and Razorfish - as it begins a review of its global digital agency relationships. Citibank is attempting to bring to order a digital roster that is numbers more than 100 agencies across the world.
Thompson added, “Digital marketing used to be a small part of company strategies but now it's a proper part of the budget. Specialists in digital advertising are pushing the horizons, which has given global agency groups the confidence to invest heavily in digital expertise.”
Iris To Manage Sony Ericsson's Global Activation Strategy
Sony Ericsson has announced today that it has appointed integrated marketing agency iris to handle its global activation strategy, following a competitive pitch. As its global activation agency, iris will be responsible for implementing integrated campaigns across all of Sony Ericsson's sports marketing properties, retail business and sales promotion work.
The appointment is part of Sony Ericsson's move to increase integration across all of its marketing activity as well as drive efficiency and greater consumer engagement. With this is mind, iris will also provide strategic and creative leadership for Sony Ericsson's $88m global title sponsorship of the Sony Ericsson Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Tour.
iris, an independent global network, has in recent months launched a Latin America operation to service the Sony Ericsson brand, with further expansion planned in key markets across the globe.
Sony Ericsson reported positive figures for the first quarter of 2010.
It is no secret that Sony Ericsson have had problems making a positive income for the last couple of years. The company started on a restructuring program back in 2008 which will be completed by the second half of 2010. The goal of the transformation programme was to reduce annual operating expenses by Euro 800 million. And since 2008, 3,150 people has left the company reaching 8,450 by the end of March 2010.
The number of units shipped was reduced from 14.5 millionduring Q1 2009to 10.5 million in Q1 2010. Average selling price per unit rose from 120 to 134 Euro. Income before taxes in Q1 2009 was -370 million and ended on 18 million for Q1 2010.
It seems like Sony Ericsson are focusing more on high-end devices as the average selling price rose since last year. The two recently launched high-end devices Vivaz and X10 have just reached the market so the sales figures for those models are most likely not countable until Q2.
Sony Ericsson - announcement of the new products. Analyses of the company's strategy on the market
Lawyer agency (outsourcing company of Sony Ericsson) began a correspondence with our site. It demanded to remove messages from our users in one of the forums. Nature of the e-mails showed that the company didn't think that people (usual readers) had right to share their opinions, publish information (including photos) which they have. So, tomorrow we'll publish our position regarding this question and the correpondence with this agency which represents Sony Ericsson. Now I could make the following comment - we haven't met such unprofessional and destructive approach to the situation within our Internet activity. The person who even couldn't introduce himself made the demands of the company acted on behalf of Sony Ericsson. Only the fifth e-mail was processed according to elementary demands (receiver, sender, number, address of the company, phone number). Before this e-mail ultimatums were processed in an informal way as SPAM messages. I recommend you to read this article which will contain several funny facts. The main topic will be an unprofessional way of the company to defend rights of the customer which can become a way of creating problems to the latter one.
Then, I would like to prevent different questions of our readers about indexes of products and those information which they could read earlier on our forum and other sites. For example, there are rumours about T650. I'll try to explain the reasons of these rumours. Each manufacturer has inside cycle of products development and gives code names to the new products. One year or even half a year before announcement nobody knows its full index. Series number is usually known. We can presume the index of the future product but can't be sure. Sony Ericsson uses women names to mark products. But it is impossible to show position of the product in its series, just describing this product with such name. That is why, your humble servant, made bold to give an index to the future product (T650, in our case), while the manufacturer changed its plans and positioning of the devices. We didn't change the index not to entangle the readers. We understood that it's better not to call new products and we decided not to do it in future. We would speak about products according to our internal classification, explaining the indexes we use.
Linea 3 is an example of product which allows to follow how the product name could change. This smartphone is the successor of P900 but it is difficult to presume which index it will have when it will be launched. May be it will be P1000 or P980. So, if now we name it P1000 and describe its specifications, we'll arouse an unnecessary discussion. The other example is OH9. It is a revolutionary and deserves attention. The problem is that an expected date of launching is the beginning of 2005 or even later. So, it is possible to speak only about products that will appear in two-three months not to entangle facts. Now let's turn to new product line of Sony Ericsson.
On the 9-th of March Sony Ericsson will introduce three new models (K700, S700 and Z500) and several new accessories. For those who'd like to receive an official information we'll put it in the separate block. Links to specifications of the new phones, analyses of the market situation and short description of the model line you could find below it.
Sony Ericsson Details Marketing Plans
Japanese-Swedish phone maker Sony Ericsson unveiled on October 7 a series of details on how it planned on cooperating with various communications agencies around the world for the promotion of its new brand values. The new announcement followed shortly after the company unveiled plans to realign its brand towards adopting a more open and questioning attitude through offering consumers the possibility to participate in the brand.
In addition, Sony Ericsson also announced not to long ago that it would adopt Sony Corporation's make.believe brand message. The company plans on continuing the work with its global lead agencies for the marketing communications, digital, retail and PR activities, and it also announced that it intended to create more opportunities for its new products and services by focusing on interactive digital and social media channels.
“Following the recent announcement of our evolved brand, the first realignment in three years, and our confirmation of our company-wide mission to become the Communication Entertainment brand, we believe it will become even more important in the future for our lead agencies such as Saatchi & Saatchi to work in an integrated way. This will ensure that we will continue to provide consumers with entertaining communications and ways to openly communicate with us,” Lennard Hoornik, head of marketing, Sony Ericsson, stated.
The global lead agencies that Sony Ericsson works with include Saatchi & Saatchi, Burson-Marsteller, Dare, iris Worldwide, Mediaedge:cia and McCann Eriksson, the handset vendor added. Cathy Davies, head of Brand & Strategy in Global Marketing, Sony Ericsson, commented: “We are constantly looking at partnering with the best possible agencies, and we believe the global agencies we are collaborating with today are the strongest and most talented in their respective fields.”
According to Sony Ericsson, there will be a series of marketing campaigns that will come to surface this fall, focused on the new visual identity of the company, as well as on new brand values and on the make.believe brand message recently adopted by the joint venture. The Sony Ericsson Aino, Satio and Yari mobile phones will come to the market in the fourth quarter of the ongoing year, and the company's most significant global marketing campaign will be focused on its entertainment products, the phone maker added.
Brand Health Check: Sony Ericsson
Since launching in 2001, the company has carved out a niche for its range of Walkman- and Cybershot-branded handsets, making it the world's fifth-biggest mobile manufacturer behind Nokia, Motorola, Samsung and LG.
However, Sony Ericsson's attempt to move into the top three by 2011 has hit a snag. Last week, its global head of marketing, Dee Dutta, announced that he is to leave the company, after a tenure of six years, throwing the direction of the brand into uncertainty.
Dutta was responsible for revamping Sony Ericsson's identity in January 2007, putting its green 'liquid' logo at the centre of its marketing strategy. He also shifted its advertising account out of Saatchi & Saatchi and into McCann Erickson after less than a year.
News of Dutta's departure came just days after Sony Ericsson warned that profits for the first quarter of 2008 will be lower than expected due to slowing sales of mid-to-high end handsets across Europe, traditionally its most profitable market.
Sony Ericsson estimates that it will have shipped a total of 22m phones during the first three months of this year, generating between Euros 150m - Euros 200m in net income before tax, less than in the same period in 2007.
The company plans to bolster its profits and expand its global reach through the addition of 15 handsets to its range this year; it has already debuted the X1, a touch-screen device designed to rival the iPhone.
Despite downgrading its growth forecasts, Sony Ericsson claims to have put in a strong performance in 2007, increasing its share of the global handset market to more than 9%, with 1.1bn phones sold last year.
Dutta's exit, however, could leave the organisation rudderless at a crucial moment, making it even harder for the brand to stand out as it prepares to embark on a brand overhaul.
We asked Ian Pearman, managing director of Abbot Mead Vickers BBDO, who has worked on Motorola's advertising account, and Dominic Chambers, former head of brand and marketing communications at Vodafone, how Sony Ericsson can still achieve its aim of top-three status in the market .
Ian Pearman managing director, Abbot Mead Vickers BBDO
Like a dog with two owners, a joint-venture brand is always at risk of being starved, and this one looks hungry. The tech advantages provided by Ericsson are invisible to consumers and that part of the brand now represents drag, while the potential thrust of the Sony half seems to be constantly dissipated.
Marketing music-functionality to a generation used to carrying around 10,000 tracks was always going to be challenging, but Sony Ericsson failed to build its defensive walls high enough before Apple entered the game.
The Walkman sub-brand will provide a little insulation from the cold, but reminding people they 'love/logo music' is altruistic to the category as a whole, and has done little for the core brand.
The lack of a symbolic design-handset is also an issue in a high-touch category where a 'halo product' is vital.
Opportunities to align the brand with emerging web applications, particularly social networks, have also been missed. Real tech advantage is rare, so it is odd that the brand has not made more of this.
* Be more Sony.
* Stop investing good marketing money trying to give the logo a meaning that is ultimately generic.
* Find a 'halo design' product and concentrate on throwing the brand's weight behind it.
* Make more of current tech advantages that lie dormant.
* Work to be the best mobile platform for the next generation of web applications.
Dominic Chambers former head of brand and marketing, Vodafone
The mobile phone market is going through significant changes at present, driven by the decline in voice and text tariffs, which has led to a drop in monthly contract fees. This means there is less money available to subsidise the acquisition of fancy handsets.
In addition, networks have begun offering customers the option of upgrading their contract with a cheaper package, rather than a different handset.
After many years of growth, the key brands are finding that they need to work much harder in what is now a saturated market. Sony Ericsson has not managed to leverage the true strength of the Sony brand - its strong values of innovation, quality and design. Its recent advertising has been product-based and fairly forgettable, and not easily recognisable as Sony Ericsson.
It is difficult to discern what the brand stands for, which makes it resonate less with consumers against a resurgent Nokia and a powerful Apple, which has shown up the whole sector with the launch of the iPhone.
* Focus the brand communications, Sony Ericsson needs to be very clear about what it stands for, engage consumers at every opportunity and be known for something
* With the Walkman heritage, Sony Ericsson has more credibility in music than any other handset brand; ditch the tennis sponsorship get serious about music.
* Be clear about the roles of the different communication channels, i.e. let the mobile retailers and networks do the product advertising and promotion, Sony Ericsson should focus on brand and music.
* Combine the power of Walkman and Cyber shot in one handset; people love music and taking pictures. (Jones)
Sony Ericsson in Middle East
Al Assi describes the Middle East as one of Sony Ericsson's key global markets in terms of sales growth potential, citing the dynamic nature of the regional retail sector and a consumer demographic flush with purchasing power.
"The Middle East and Africa combined is one of the fastest growing regions in the world in terms of mobile subscription rates," Al Assi explains.
"Subsequently, the region has grown in commercial importance internationally. In an effort to tap this, we have expanded our marketing activities and are working more closely with channel partners in an effort to achieve a result."
Al Assi cites the company's key growth markets as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Algeria and Nigeria - the bulk of which are serviced by Sony Ericsson's regional headquarters in Dubai.
"The demand for mobile products is booming in most countries in the Middle East, especially as competition arises between operators as a result of increased cellular market liberalisation. We have achieved significant success in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Morocco, Algeria, Nigeria and South Africa."
Sony Ericsson recently established offices in Saudi Arabia and Algeria in a bid to better service both markets.
"Our market share in the Middle East and Africa is growing rapidly - faster than our average rate of growth worldwide. Our core strengths lie in the features and technological specifications of our phones and the effective distribution and marketing strategies we employ as a corporation."
Al Assi explains that Sony Ericsson employs multiple distributors in most countries across the region, each of which work with the company on a non-exclusive basis.
Sony Ericsson general manager Middle East and Africa, Husni Al Assi, pictured holding one of the company's new Cyber shot camera phones.|~|In the booming worldwide market for mobile phone handsets and accessories, the technology gap separating mid-end handsets from top-end models is narrowing as manufacturers seek to bring high-tech features to a wider consumer base. With an increasingly liberalized regional telecommunications sector that is boosting cellular subscriptions and a transient labor force with high disposable incomes, the Middle East presents a lucrative market for handset vendors such as Sony Ericsson. The company has successfully fused innovative technology and core brand competencies to develop cellular products that are achieving significant business across the region, but particularly in the countries of the GCC. Sony Ericsson was established as a joint venture by handset manufacturer Ericsson and consumer electronics giant Sony in October 2001. Sony Ericsson general manager, MEA, Husni Al Assi claims the combination of each company's core competencies provides the joint venture with clear advantages over its competitors in the handset market. With digital cameras and MP3 players fast becoming ubiquitous handset features, Sony Ericsson's recent launch of its Cybershot and Walkman handset ranges can be seen as a direct attempt to tap the brand heritage forged by Sony in both markets respectively. “Both companies' strengths are complementary; Ericsson is a leader in telecom infrastructure while Sony is a leader in the consumer electronics sector,” claims Al Assi. Al Assi describes the Middle East as one of Sony Ericsson's key global markets in terms of sales growth potential, citing the dynamic nature of the regional retail sector and a consumer demographic flush with purchasing power. “The Middle East and Africa combined is one of the fastest growing regions in the world in terms of mobile subscription rates,” Al Assi explains. “Subsequently, the region has grown in commercial importance internationally. In an effort to tap this, we have expanded our marketing activities and are working more closely with channel partners in an effort to achieve a result.” Al Assi cites the company's key growth markets as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Algeria and Nigeria - the bulk of which are serviced by Sony Ericsson's regional headquarters in Dubai. “The demand for mobile products is booming in most countries in the Middle East, especially as competition arises between operators as a result of increased cellular market liberalization. We have achieved significant success in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Morocco, Algeria, Nigeria and South Africa.” Sony Ericsson recently established offices in Saudi Arabia and Algeria in a bid to better service both markets. “Our market share in the Middle East and Africa is growing rapidly - faster than our average rate of growth worldwide. Our core strengths lie in the features and technological specifications of our phones and the effective distribution and marketing strategies we employ as a corporation.” Al Assi explains that Sony Ericsson employs multiple distributors in most countries across the region, each of which works with the company on a non-exclusive basis. “These distributors deal with the retailers and resellers in each market. We support them with advertising and marketing and they manage our local activities. Many of the distributors also boast a retail presence themselves,” he says. “The mobile phone retail business is developing rapidly across the Middle East, particularly in countries such as Saudi Arabia. We are increasingly attracting interest from mainstream electronics stores looking to carry our Cyber shot or Walkman handset ranges, thanks to the brand recognition in the consumer sector.” Al Assi explains that the Cyber shot range of handsets boast features that have yet to be incorporated in Sony's digital camera range. A key highlight in this respect is the ‘best pic' feature, which works by taking a salvo of images whenever a user takes a photo, giving them an option of nine shots from which they can select the best one. As a user presses the trigger the camera takes four photos before the click, all in 3.2-megapixel quality. ||**||Broad product range|~|Bluetooth-Headset.gif|~|Sony Ericsson is expanding its range of mobile accessories, including its Bluetooth headsets. |~|Al Assi also cites the booming demand for low-cost handsets in the Middle East and Africa as key to the company's growth strategy in both territories. “We are keen to expand our presence in the entry level sector by providing quality products with high feature specifications at affordable prices,” he says. In terms of premium handsets, Al Assi says demand for the company's smart phones is also booming, with many consumers in the Middle East demanding premium products that can be used as business tools. “It's a very important segment as 3G services become more widely available and the benefits become obvious to every day consumers as well as business people,” Al Assi says. “It is also becoming