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Brand Management Analysis: Case of Sony

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case study
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  1. Introduction
  2. Sony Corporation UK
    1. Sony Corporation's brand architecture
    2. Sony's brands elements
  3. Analysis of Sony's sub-brands
    1. Competitors' sub brands and Sony sub brand analysis
    2. Examination of brand positioning
    3. Examination of brand equity
  4. Conclusion and recommendations

Founded in 1946 in Tokyo by Masaru Ibuka and Akio Morita, SONY is the world number 2 in the electronic market. In 1979, the company create the walkman, the CD player in 1982 and the Blu-ray technology in 2003.
The company also had developed activities in video-games, computing, mobile phone (thanks to a joint-venture with Ericsson in 2001), music edition and picture production.

Sony' Corporation's global revenue is $ 88.205 billion, in 2010 (?Consolidated financial results for the fiscal year ended 31 March 2010?, Sony Corporation).

Sony Corporation is an international company which had build a strategy around several activities and sub-brands. First an examination of Sony corporation brand architecture and brands elements is essential to better understand the company strategy. Then an analysis will be done regarding Sony Walkman brand architecture and brand elements in addition to two of its competitors; Apple iPod and Creative mp3 players. At last, we will study Walkman positioning and brand equity.

?Brand architecture is a powerful tool that can help companies organize various brands within their business portfolios and focus on strategic goals for individuals' brands? (Petromelli and Morrison, 2002). Sony?s umbrella architecture underline that Sony had a multi-brand level architecture. I chose the umbrella architecture instead of the Keller's brand architecture because the aim was to study Sony's sub-brands and not each of Sony's products. The sub-brands were shown in blue and green.

Walkman Sony's sub-brand refers to portable audio and video players (mp3/mp4 players) and also a line of Sony Ericsson mobile phones. The engineer Nobutoshi Kihara build the product for Akio Morita, Sony's co-chairman who wanted to listen to operas during his frequent plane trips as it's explain by Hormby, T. (2006) in ?the story behind the Sony Walkman?. It was launched for the first time in June 1979.

[...] (2003), ?Strategic Brand Management: building, measuring and managing brand equity?. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall Hormby, T. (2006) "The Story Behind the Sony Walkman" Olins, W. (1989) ?Corporate identity, making business strategy visible through design?, Thames & Hudson, London Academic journals Leuthesser, L., C.S. Kohli and K.R. Harich (1995). ?Brand Equity: The Halo Effect Measure,? European Journal of Marketing, 29 (4), 57-66 Rajagopal; R.S (2004), "Conceptual analysis of brand architecture and relationships within product categories" Journal of Brand Management: 233?247 Data Bases Mintel study, November 2010, ?Portable media players? Xerfi study, July 2010, ?Electronic products? Internet resources Apple UK (2011): http://www.apple.com/uk (consulted in March 2011) Creative UK (2011): http://uk.store.creative.com (consulted in March 2011) Sony Corp. [...]


[...] Sony Walkman brand architecture inspired from Keller's brand-product mix, 2003 |Products | |Brands | |Brands | |Brand|ZEN style |ZEN style 100|ZEN style | | | | |s | | |300 | | | | | |ZEN Mozaic |ZEN Mozaic |ZEN Mozaic | | | | | | |EZ100 |EZ300 | | | | | |ZEN Touch |ZEN Touch 1 |ZEN Touch 2| | | | | |ZEN MX |ZEN MX | | | | | | |ZEN X-Fi |ZEN X-Fi |ZEN X-Fi 2 | | | | | |Accessories |Adapters and |Docks and |Screen |Cases and |Speakers | | | |chargers |cables |protectors |armbands | | Creative mp3 players brand architecture uses the word ?ZEN? for each brand which enables the consumers to recognize the corporate brand Creative. The product names aren't simple to remember but there is a king of logic for the next products. However, even if some brand is composed of different products, the brand MX and the brand X-Fi offer quite similar products. Like Sony Walkman , it may entail confusion, but above all, cannibalization. 3. Brand elements Each sub-brand has its own elements to be clearly identified and distinguished from the competitors. [...]

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