The main purpose of this assignment is to find out the targeted customers for Sony Xperia Series Smartphone; how consumer’s individual factors influence Sony products and advertisements, Sony’s message and suggestions for improving the effectiveness of the advertisements.
The Sony Company has been on the cutting edge at technology for more than 50 years. Today, Sony continues to impress the customers with their innovative and unique products. The company’s future success will be determined by how the company deals with the challenges of change. Sony has always led the market in terms of innovation. In the future, Sony will continue improve the quality of their product and keep their innovation to ensure customer satisfaction.
Customer satisfaction can be influence by four major factors:
Premium quality, good service, well-designed product and suitable pricing are important to attract customers. The products of Sony have all these criteria. Furthermore, Sony advertise with strong message through the slogan ‘Make Believe’.
What is the product? Company? Brand?
The product that our group has chosen is Sony Xperia Smartphones. Sony is a worldwide brand which is always captivating the technology world by amazing design quality in their electronic products. Sony’s mobile phones were branded Sony Ericsson until Sony bought the remaining 50% interest in Sony Ericsson in February 2012, and formed Sony Mobile Communications. Sony has always been looking for the customer’s satisfaction in offering the lasted products to the market. The walking year 2012 has been waiting for the launch of variety Smartphones from the well renowned brand Sony, especially from the leading Xperia series. The Xperiaâ„¢ S is the first Sony-brand Xperiaâ„¢ smartphone. In fiscal year 2011, Sony began to shift the focus of its mobile phone business exclusively to smartphones. Smartphone sales for the period accounted for a 60-percentage point higher share of Sony’s total mobile phone sales than in fiscal year 2010, with cumulative shipments of Xperiaâ„¢ smartphones reaching 28 million units. Meanwhile, Sony is now targeting the world market of mobile with their latest Xperia gadgets. As the new generation of the world has a trend of buying a mobile phone with seducing design, it has created good ground for this brand towards all the worldwide market. Sony Xperia series is surely gaining good response from Malaysian market, since Malaysian are always running behind the latest gadget to show their pride.
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Who is the targeted consumer for the products?
The targeted consumer for the Sony Xperia Smartphones was meant for all the people that are interested to own new Smartphones. It’s suits all people don’t relate to any age or citizen. Nowadays, although the Smartphones are seem to be a necessity, the Smartphones’ producer also facing high competition for their offerings, product attributes, promotions and service after sales.
Why you choose this product?
The reasons we choose Sony Xperia Smartphones because Sony is a brand which leading the electronic gadgets and always make us feel excited with their new products. Moreover, one of our group members, Lim Ing Keat has just bought a new Sony Smartphones – Sony Xperia S. He feels that the advantage of the phone is the phone’s aesthetics. It is a sleek, slim, has a seamless design and even stunning phone to look at. From our research, Sony Xperia S is one of the mind stealing device from the famous brand Sony, which is packed well with internal and external power factors. The device is coming with 800 MHz Qualcomm MSM7225 Cortex A-5 processor and 512 MB RAM which promises the ripping performance of the gadget. The Sony Xperia S is supporting GPU with Adrenoâ„¢ 220 which will give superior performances while gaming. Besides that, Sony Xperia S has 4 GB internal memory in which 2.2 GB is user accessible providing the prime performance and multitasking features. Apart from that, Sony Xperia S is coming with latest Googleâ„¢ Androidâ„¢ 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) operating system. Consequently, in which Facebook and Times Cap with Twitter integrated in the software which is provided to get the maximum performance from it along with the powerful chips and processor. Furthermore, an all-new Sony media experience with the new WALKMAN application, the “Album” application and the “Movies” application. It has on-screen QWERTY keyboards which have taller keys with a browser support HTML5 and Adobe Flash. Also, an integrated stereo FM radio with RDS supported. The device is having micro SD card supported and expandable up to 32 GB. The latest technology implementation is surely provides stunning performance on new Sony Xperia Smartphones. As a result, we would like to look for more competitive advantages of it and find out more about what are the attractive parts of this new product by Sony. Hopefully, we can get a lot of information and improve our knowledge about Sony Xperia Smartphones after doing this project.
Consumer Psychology Factors
Try to relate consumer’s individual factors to the product and advertisement
Every individual would like to be perceived by others as a savvy user or as a savvy customer. Even though, different individual has different preferences but for most of the people there must be a certain brand that they ought to be closely associated with. Sony Mobile Communications AB (formerly Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB) is a multinational mobile phone manufacturing company which started on 1st October 2001 until today after joint venture between Sony and Ericsson. So it is possible for anyone to look for Sony Ericsson’s hand phone or even smartphone. What we going to do is the new Sony Xperia Smartphones. First of all, we have to determine customers’ satisfaction throughout the smartphones. Customers’ satisfaction will increase with good quality and services. On the other hand, their satisfaction also will be decrease if the price of the smartphones are far more expensive compare to the price that it supposed to be. Smartphones of Sony Ericsson are superior in terms of quality and the service after sales were good and it price of smartphones are reasonable. The new Sony Xperia Smartphone have 3 types which are Xperiaâ„¢ U(pink colour), Xperiaâ„¢ P(silver colour), Xperiaâ„¢ S(black colour). The new Xperia Smartphones are designed to suite the teenagers and according to the technology era. Nowadays, many of the telecommunication companies have designed more and more Smartphone to suite to the era. Smartphone is a mobile phone built on a mobile computing platform, with more advanced computing ability and connectivity than a feature phone and it also include high-resolution touch screens, web browsers that can access and properly display standard web pages. Last but not least, the advertisement that about the Xperia Smartphones promote about all the function of the phone as well as watch, listen, play, etc. all the function that have in the Xperia Smartphone can be get through from Sony Ericsson’s slogan which is ‘Make. Believe.’.
Motivation and Goals
To talk about motivation & goal, Sony will find some superstars to be their ambassadors for promoting the new Xperia Smartphones as it is still consider a new product to Sony Ericsson. So, they are trying to promote to let more people no matter to their existing customers or to their new customers to get know about the new Xperia Smartphones. After knowing the new product, most of their existing customers will continue support Sony by purchasing their new product. On the other hand, new customer purchase also because of their ego towards new products in market and the trendy design of the Xperia Smartphone. This will increase the sell and yet more customers are purchasing the product. The goal of customers consider achieved when they perceived by having a trendy Smartphones and yet they also achieved their self-esteem which mentioned in the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs(Maslow, 1943).
Nowadays, it is common to see everyone having a Smartphone nor hand phone. For previous era, there might be only rich people do have a phone with them and we can say it as a portable phone because of it can carry all the way. In this technology era, telecommunication is very common, handphone is a thing that we cannot lose or miss, because we can use it as a communication tool for us to keep in touch with others in different places. Beside Smartphones are device more advance than a hand phone which include other function that a computer will have normally like email, browse to the internet and etc. The new Sony Xperia Smartphone had this function as well and they are trying to improve these functions. Moreover, this cannot be excluded that the stylish and trendy design of the Xperia Smartphone are more to the teenagers. Truthfully, if anyone who is having a Xperia smartphone on hand, it will reflect to others that the customers who are using the Xperia is a person who follow the trend of technology and the most important people will know that the customers are using this smartphone to carry business because the Xperia is most focus on to the network, with a Xperia, businessman can be easy for their business as well as they can check their email when need, send an email, looking for stocks and etc. Furthermore, the size of the Xperia is fit enough for a consumers’ hand, so it is comfortable for a customer to take it on hand. The Xperia is a suitable phone for a businessman as well as a student, because they can use to check homework or notes from the internet. Customer who are not follow the trend of changing phone, the Xperia phone will last for many years and thus, providing to customers better value of money. The contemporary ways are defined through the intense research and development of the company, which is always observing the needs and the wants of its potential customers to design different smartphone as a solution to fit different customers. Due to these efforts, Sony able to introduce the Xperia in three different model which are Xperiaâ„¢ U, Xperiaâ„¢ P, and Xperiaâ„¢ S. In short, Sony Xperia Smartphone and it slogan, ‘Make. Believe.’ had successful convinced customer for using their product, because of ‘Make. Believe.’, they are trying to ‘Make’ more new smartphone product to fulfil the customers’ needs and wants and yet, let all customers who are using their product ‘Believe’ in them.
Sony brand image is meant to look partially like the symbiotic amalgamation of an “s” and a lowercase “e”. It’s both futuristic and organic, designed to invoke the concepts of flexibility and fluidity. For some market as well as Malaysia, Sony’s brand stands for core value of superior performance, accomplishment and achievements, innovation and it has a masculine and serious personality. In some different country, different marketing and distribution strategy in the content will diluted the brand identity of Sony, each local distributor used his own way for distributing and displaying of the Sony products in addition to apply their own strategy in advertising. Besides, Sony also sponsored for some sports team in order for them to help Sony in promote their brand and new product as well as the New Sony Xperia Smartphone in order to increase their revenue.
Message structure and presentation
Sony Corporation (Sony) announced “make.believe” (make dot believe), a new Group-wide brand message that unites Sony’s communication initiatives across electronics, games, movies, music, mobile phones and network services on 2 Sep 2009 in Berlin, Germany. (http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/News/Press/200909/09-100E/)
The introduction of “make.believe” symbolizes Sony’s spirit of creativity and innovation and marks the first time the Company has introduced a unified brand message encompassing both entertainment and electronics. “Believe” represents Sony’s ideas and ideals – the ability to think, imagine and dream – while “make” signifies the Company’s unique ability to turn these ideas into reality. The “dot” is where inspiration meets creativity and creativity meets reality, and symbolizes Sony’s role in bringing imagination to reality. “make.believe” will manifest itself through the introduction of breakthrough products, game-changing technologies, compelling new content and new network services that deliver unparalleled user experiences.
Sony retains and keeps this strong message structure successfully until nowadays. Although the whole structure of the message is relatively short and simple but yet this slogan is capable of delivering a strong and powerful message to the target market/consumers. Many consumers are attracted by the message appeals created by Sony because it can to tap into the consumers mind subconsciously. When a consumer see a SONY trademark alphabets, they will associate or link the word itself with the slogan ‘make.believe” automatically.
Besides, the presentation of the message was straight forward because it was designed in a way that it is simple but unique that act as a cache for any consumer to take note with Sony’s diverse range of businesses extends from electronics hardware including professional and consumer products to entertainment such as movies, music, and games, as well as network services such as PlayStation Network. By aligning all its external communication efforts and delivering a consistent and unified message to consumers, Sony will seek to enhance the strength and reach of its brand across countries and cultures, and continue to change how people experience the world through its full spectrum of products and services.
Discuss on the appeal that used
Message appeal is defined as a dominating theme of an ad that motivates consumers to remember the ad and purchase the product in the ad. Message appeal is an important determinant for a successful advertisement. A successful message appeal should be related to a consumer’s self-interest, goals, needs and wants. Solomon have identified various types of message appeals, such as emotional, rational, sex, humorous, fear.(Solomon, 2013). Among these, rational message appeals have been used by Sony to advertise its Sony Xperia Smartphone.
Emotional message appeals are directed towards an individual’s feelings and induce negative or positive emotions. Emotional appeals are used to build a friendly relationship with promoted brands. On the other hand, rational message appeals encourage a consumer to contemplate arguments presented in ads and make logical decisions about purchasing the advertised product.
In general, promotion of high involvement products (e.g. computer, smartphone, tablet) is more likely to include rational appeals whereas emotional appeals are more pervasively used to convey the advertising messages of low involvement products (e.g. food and beverages). Sony Xperia Smartphone is a high involvement product. High involvement products are considered to entail high risk due to their high financial values. Thus, for high involvement products, consumers require logical information to gain knowledge in order to prevent a financial loss in purchasing such products. Most of the consumers will do intensive information search by visiting to the physical shop personally, online, interviewing with the current user of that particular smartphone to get the information as much as they can before they really do purchase their Sony Xperia smartphone.
Comments of the effectiveness
Brand management is one of Sony Mobile’s main strengths. Consumers are willing to pay more for brands that they judge to be superior in quality, style and reliability. A strong brand allows its owner to expand market share, command higher prices and generate more revenue than its competitors. Sony Mobile is forecasting that it will ship 33.3 million Xperia smartphones in the year to March 2013, a 48% increase over the prior fiscal year where it sold 22.5 million smartphones. This would imply 8.3 million phones per quarter, a number that should be achievable given the 7 million run rate from calendar Q1 2012 (http://www.xperiablog.net/2012/05/10/sony-mobile-forecasting-48-increase-in-smartphone-shipments-this-year/).
Sony Mobile results
Figure 1: Units of Xperia Shipped from Q2 2010 to Q1 2012
Source: Xperia Blog
From figure 1, we can see that the units of Xperia shipped showed a sharp increase after Q2 2011 because unit shipments last year(2011) were affected by component shortages as a result of the Earthquake and the Floods in Japan, so the comparatives are weak. As a note of caution though, Sony Mobile said that “severe competition in smartphone markets is anticipated to continue in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013.” It highlights that things won’t be easy, but hopefully under complete Sony management we will start to see a stronger Xperia presence going forward.
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The message appeal was so successful to deliver the message to the end consumer to buy Sony Xperia Smartphones worldwide and the ads had made smartphone to become a necessity of life. With a Sony Xperia Smartphone, people can listen to music, watch YouTube or other video through hand phone with an internet connection, and capture a crystal clear photo or HD video anytime, anywhere and anyplace.
Do you think the marketer chose the right appeals (advertisement) for the products in regards to the targeted consumers?
Marketer has done a superb job by choosing the right appeals in regards to the targeted consumers because the appeals were so successful. The implementation of the message appeal was so successful to deliver the message among the end consumers. The appeals that promote the Sony Xperia Smartphone was a success story where people most of the time regard it as trendy given the current hip and along with it transcends the success imagery for those consumers.
By looking on the advertisement, we have the interest to know the products in more details. We will search the details in Internet and will use it to compare with Sony rivalry like Samsung, HTC and Motorola which all of these brands do offer the same operating platform with Sony Xperia Smartphone by looking on their specifications and features. As we can see, the advertisement is capable to draw people attentions and creates the motivation to purchase it.
Base on your analysis of the advertisement; provide suggestions that can improve the effectiveness of the advertisement in overall.
According to the advertisement that we choose, we have found that there are some improvements that can be done to make it even more effective. Advertisers that display effective marketing ads will experience a huge spike in sales whereas those that have ineffective messages won’t. First at all, Sony should emotionalize the benefits to have a Sony Xperia Smartphone. The greater your ability to communicate the emotional benefits your prospect has to gain, the greater the success of your advertising. Sony should to identify and articulate the emotional reasons why your prospects would want to buy your products or services.
According to Solomon(2013), many marketing messages are like debates or trials: A source presents an argument and tries to convince the receiver to shift his or her opinion. Sony Xperia Smartphone merely present the positive attributes(made of imagination) about the product and the reasons to buy it(made to rock, made to capture and made to match). Sony Mobile should consider to use two-sided message in which the message presents both positive and negative information. Two-sided ads are proven to be quite effective but marketers seldom use it. By doing this, the source credibility will be increased because reporting bias can be reduced by raising a negative issue first and then dismiss it under the right circumstances.
Besides, Sony Mobile can employ comparative advertising strategy in which compares its own smartphone with more recognizable brands (for example Samsung, HTC and etc.) and weigh them in terms of one or more specific attributes(Solomon, 2013). For example, Sony Mobile has an comparative advantage in building camera sensor, Exmor R. Exmor R a CMOS sensor featuring Sony’s independently developed back-illuminated structure, with the aim of creating a camera capable of taking exceptional photographs even by candlelight (http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/technology/technology/theme/exmor_r_01.html). Exmor R sensor also been used in Apple iPhone 4S. Sony Mobile can compare the Sony Xperia S’s camera quality and features with Samsung Galaxy SIII. But this type of ads must do with more care to prevent unnecessary law suit case because it is too sensitivity.
In conclusion, a good ads will create business opportunity by communicating the messages of the product to the consumers and Sony should devise their marketing ads in a more comprehensive way to create the competitive advantages over others like Samsung, HTC, Motorola and etc.
Advertising is a form of communication used to encourage or persuade an audience (viewers, readers or listeners) to continue or take some new action. Advertising messages are usually paid for by sponsors and viewed via various traditional media; including mass media such as newspaper, magazines, television commercial, radio advertisement, outdoor advertising, direct mail or new media such as blogs and websites and text messages. Commercial advertisers often seek to generate increased consumption of their products or services through “branding”, which involves the repetition of an image or product name in an effort to associate certain qualities with the brand in the minds of consumers.
Through the advertisement customers who interest they will start the buying process, such as: need recognition and problem awareness, information search, evaluation of alternative, purchase, and post-purchase evaluation. During the buying process, there was three main categories will influence the decision making. Firstly, internal factor like culture, groups, and situation. Second, external factor likes perceptual filter, attitudes, knowledge, personality, lifestyle, roles, and also involvement. The last factor is marketing likes product, promotion, price, distribution, and service.
A good advertisement not only can promote the products or services but in the same time can increase the image of the company. Company must be able to play psychology on consumers’ behaviour. Besides that, there will be able increasing the company profitability, sales and quantity demand. Thus, the smart company will be able to fully using the influence in their marketing strategies to make sure their target products or services can survive in market and also compete with other competitors.
Solomon, M.R. (2013). Consumer Behavior: Buying, Having and Being (10th Ed.), New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
http://www.sonymobile.com/global-en/xperia/. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_Mobile_Communications. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_Xperia_S. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
http://www.soyacincau.com/tag/sony-xperia-s-malaysia/. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/technology/technology/theme/exmor_r_01.html. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
http://www.xperiablog.net/2012/05/10/sony-mobile-forecasting-48-increase-in-smartphone-shipments-this-year/. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/News/Press/200909/09-100E/. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
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