Sony Looks At Record Notebook Sales


5 Aug 2011
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Sony is on its way to exceeding its target of selling five lakh notebooks in the current fiscal, more than double the number the company sold in FY2010-11.

“According to the latest research estimates, we sold nearly 1.5 lakh units in Q2 of the current fiscal which gives us a market share of close to 20 percent in the consumer notebook category,” said Sachin Thapar, Head, IT, Mobile & Gaming, Sony India. “In Q3 we’re looking at record sales on the back of the festive season for which we have upped our marketing budgets and consumer promotions.”

Sony’s success has come as a result of the execution of a well-planned strategy which involved aggressive price-positioning, smart marketing and strong channel engagement. The first move by Sony was to cover all price-points in the consumer notebook segment. During the past three quarters the company introduced 62 SKUs across all price-points from Rs 25,000 to Rs 1.3 lakh.

“Earlier we were not aggressive in the entry-level segment, and there were not many price-points available. Besides, in the premium segment we did not have many variants. But during this year, with so many variants, partners have more options to sell to consumers. It has also got the brand to be perceived as affordable,” explained Thapar.

The company’s ad campaign with actress Kareena Kapoor has delivered a strong connect with women buyers. The company allocated Rs 50 crore for 360-degree marketing, of which Rs 25 crore was spent on Kareena’s TV commercials and print ads. “Ever since we launched the campaign with Kareena we have seen an impressive jump in the purchase of Sony Vaio by women,” informed Thapar. “Our internal estimates show that around 45 percent Vaio buyers are women, including students and working executives. In fact, most of them come to our stores asking for a particular color and model based on the ad campaign. So, from a push brand, we are gradually becoming a pull brand.”

The company also tripled the sales counters for the Vaio range from 1,000 to 3,000. Said Thapar, “While we have increased our reseller base by 50 percent and sales counters by 200 percent, we have ensured that the MOP of our products is regulated. This has ensured pricing parity, and provided profitable growth for our partners.”

In keeping with its increased market coverage, Sony has expanded its post-sales infrastructure from 100 centers to 130. In addition, the company has introduced onsite warranty for many of its premium models. “The plan is to make onsite support available for all models in the coming months. We have introduced a remote diagnostic facility which has helped us improve support parameters.

We have also reduced the pricing of our warranty packs from Rs 5,000 to Rs 2,500 for a 2-year extended warranty,” informed Thapar.

source : crn
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