Sony has got a strong brand image which is known globally by most people in the world. The company produced the Walkman where people could play audio cassettes while on the move which was a strong product when it released. The company has been able to monopolise their brand loyalty by having repeat customers which would purchase different products such as a TV with a home audio system etc.
Sony is an innovative company such as the Walkman, the Blu-Ray discs, the original PlayStation and most recently with 4K resolution televisions. The company has a strong corporate culture of investing in research and development for a long term approach. As technology is always changing, it is important for a company to remain innovative so that their products can compete with others in the market. The fact that Sony operate in various markets also allow it to diversify its risk, for example the video game segment for Sony has been profitable for a long period of time and has been keeping the company from having larger losses.
Sony has seen its TV division lose a lot momentum in the past 2 decades. The TV division used to be a key area for Sony where they made high quality, long lasting products, but their market was eroded by LG, Samsung and others. This was mainly due to the fact that the prices for the competition was lower than that of Sony and the products also had more features.
The decline in its sales has led to Sony reporting losses for the past 5 years. The senior management have made major structural changes in order to save money from various departments and this involved staff layoffs as well as closure of offices in different countries. Sony has made its first annual profit in May 2013 for over 5 years due to the changes they made. The CEO had changed to Kazuo Hirai, who was the head of the gaming division, and he is changing the strategy of the company to allow features to work on multiple devices.
Sony has been making strides in the mobile and tablet market with its Xperia range of devices where some products are waterproof and shockproof. These gadgets would help Sony to generate sales and profits in the long term if they are able to gain customers who will purchase next iterations of future phones and tablets.
The company can become the leader in the video game industry in the future as they have had a great response from gamers for the PS4 console. When compared to Sony’s competition which is mainly the Xbox One console, the PS4 is at a lower price point to the console unveiled by Microsoft and has the potential to have backwards compatibility with Gaikai technology. Sony has developed the console with indie developers in mind and this would be a great way for the PS4 to have exclusive content which will not be on the other consoles.
Sony’s photography division would be a great way for the company to generate revenues. The NEX range of cameras is a compact camera system which is cheaper than the high range of cameras but produces excellent images. Sony would promote their cameras more via different forms of marketing, such as using photo social media sites like Tumblr where images would be taken from the cameras made by Sony.
The Xbox One console is a threat for Sony. The main reason this is because Sony generates most of its profits from its gaming division, and if Microsoft were to become the market leader in gaming, this would impact Sony tremendously. The other company which could affect Sony would be Nintendo and their home console, the Wii U which has exclusive games such as Zelda and Mario.
Sony’s stock price has decreased greatly over the past decade and this is mainly due to the problems they have been facing. The way in which investors sell their investments can affect the way in which Sony generates external financing. If investors are cautious of the long term viability of Sony, they can be seen as a risky investment for lending institutions.