How Sony (sans Ericsson) Can Craft its Way to Success
Months ago, I was at a cellphone store to buy an accessory for the new Xperia mini. There was a well-to-do family, and the 12 year old boy was getting his first phone. The sales executive was pitching for many a phones, mostly those by Samsung and Nokia. When shown the Xperia Mini Pro, the boy had something to say — “who uses a Sony Ericsson now?! 0:) ”
There is no argument about that. The 2011 Q4 report revealed that the company suffered net losses of €247 million during the year. While SE have been bringing out some of the best handsets over the years, it hasn’t been able to effectively appeal to consumers as of late.
Last year had SE releasing 11 android phones, plus a few quickly-forgotten feature phones. Most of the products were developed keeping a particular section of the market in mind. Apart from Xperia Arc, Xperia Play, and Xperia Arc S, I cannot recall a standalone print ad/billboard for any of the other phones. It is understandable that the overhead charges are to be controlled, but what good does that do when the prices have to be lowered down months later?
I had wanted to tell that boy that I was one of such people who were using SonyEricsson phones, and was content with it. Also that using a SE sets you apart, because simply, Sony users are a class apart.
It takes more than the five senses to recognize quality; but sadly the masses have only those in place . Makes me wonder if *all* the customers who bought a SonyEricsson had done extensive market research before buying!
Now that Sony is taking complete control of the phone business, it is the best –and maybe only– opportunity for it to recover and get back the lost grace, goodwill –and market share.
¤ Sony has to respect the fact that in a few ways, it is apart from the crowd; and use that as a market differentiator. Let happy users tell what could be those.
¤ Keeping aside the flagship phone, if a phone is released that would appeal to only a certain market niche, it has to be made sure that it is promoted to them. Else it should have rather been abandoned early on. [Case in point Xperia Active – I doubt if adventurers know enough about it, if at all]
¤ The finesse that every Sony phone comes built-in, needs to be given the due attention in promotions. The camera quality. The built. The audio reproduction. The colours. The android.
¤ The prices for similar phones from Samsung and others could be lower, but Sony needs to get across the point about quality, and do so without trying to bluff the customer.
¤ As much as clearance of stock is required, it is also to be remembered that by selling phones like w8 in 2011, (by when it had become substandard), while pitching “Brand New”; might be leading the company to earn a bad name instead.
¤ Innovations. Doing anything necessary to consciously make the Sony brand apart from the crowd. While keeping it charming to all.
As Sony starts afresh with the Xperia S, it has a big challenge of making the consumers believe that like the joint venture, the shortcomings it had are now non-existent. And that the goodness of Sony Ericsson have been retained.
P.S. Before the Xperia mini, the phone I had was w580i by Sony Ericsson. For three years. And it was way better than any of the non-smartphone touchscreens. The photos I used to take with it can be found at A Just Another Uninteresting Blog.