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Consumer Behavior: What do you think about Sony's tradition of region-specific or nation-specific marketing?

Unlike many U.S based multinationals, Tokyo-based Sony traditionally has marketed itself on a regional rather than a global basis. For example, Sony has almost 50 different country specific websites from which consumers can order products. However, there are signs that strategy may be changing, at least to some degree. Sony launched www.Sonystyle.com, a website that is the company's primary online outlet for selling movies, music, and electronic products. Sony also plans to provide product service and support on the site, and eventually software upgrades as well. The current main website www.sony.com is mainly a source for corporate and investor information. Also, in 1997 Sony embarked on a worldwide ad campaign designed to make itself and its products more relevant in the eyes of younger consumers. Ironically, much of Sony's future growth may come from its own backyard. The primary buyers of electronic and digital products are ages 15 to 40. It is estimated that by 2010, two-thirds of the people in the world in that age bracket will live in Asia. Tokyo is already a powerful influence on Asian culture. Asia's most popular youth magazines are published in Tokyo, and most of the music Asian young people listen to comes from Tokyo. So part of Sony's challenge is to continue to grow on a global scale while paying close attention to the burgeoning market at home.

Immediately following World War II and for some years thereafter, the label "Made in Japan" connoted cheap, shoddy, imitation products. Today, for many people, that same label stands for excellence and innovation. Certainly Sony can take much of the credit for that transformation. Now the question is whether Sony's products an marketing efforts can keep pace or set the pace in the upcoming age of digital convergence.

1) What do you think about Sony's tradition of region-specific or nation-specific marketing? Would Sony be better served by working to create a more uniform global image?

2)What kind of factors do you think Sony considers when deciding how to market its products in various countries?

Sources Fortune May, 2000, Walk Street Journal, May 18 2000, Dealerscope, January 2000, p16

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1) What do you think about Sony's tradition of region-specific or nation-specific marketing? Would Sony be better served by working to create a more uniform global image?

There can be three different kind of global marketing strategies:
1. A global strategy: Treat the wold as a single market. It is applied where forces for global integration are strong and force for national responsiveness is weak. This is true of consumer electronics market.
2. A multinational strategy
It treats the world as a portfolio of national opportunities. It is applied where forces for global integration are weak and force for national responsiveness is strong. This is true of branded packaged goods business for example strategy pursued by Unilever.
3. A Global ...

Solution Summary

This solution identifies three global marketing strategies and critical factors to determine strategy for Sony. This solution also discusses three different groups of risk factors, along with specific risks, for marketing in various countries. This tutorial is approximately 400 words.

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