Precisely how much financial trouble Sony is in at the moment is up for debate, but one fact is clear — it is struggling as a company right now. But why? According to one Marketing expert, it's diluting the brand with too many appliances across across a too wide spectrum of products.
"Sony is an example of what happens when a company falls blindly in love with its brand," writes Tim Calkins, at Building Strong Brands. Calkins is a marketing professor at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.
"Sony uses its brand on all sorts of products: televisions, cameras, computers, music players, digital book readers and toys," he continues. "In a remarkable move, several years back Sony decided to use the brand on a movie studio and on a music label. Sony’s high-end products carry the Sony brand. The low-end products carry the Sony brand, too."
"These moves all weaken the Sony brand — not strengthen it. That's because every time it comes out with a new product and slaps the Sony logo on it, it waters the brand down. Sony has lost its meaning."
According to Calkins, PlayStation has been one of Sony's few branding successes, and other Sony brands should seek to emulate that success.
"One of the few successes at Sony has been PlayStation, a business that built a distinct brand," he said. "PlayStation is a unique and special brand. Sony isn’t."