I know I’m going on about Apple at the moment, but they do seem to be in my life a lot for all sorts of reasons.
I read today on Brand Channel that Sony are trying to become a ‘lifestyle’ brand alongside Apple. In the article Sony’s Executive VP Kazuo Hirai said that if they can offer movie downloads, game downloads and other entertainment, this would be a point of difference that is not available anywhere else.
Sony are officially a Kevin Roberts Lovemark. One of those brands that we love over and above all reason. But this is evidence to me that they have totally lost the plot and are not just following the (Apple) market leaders, but they are a mile or two behind. Sony, when they launched the Walkman, created and defined a sector from scratch with the world’s smallest cassette player.
Apple’s iPod then came and took the whole sector from them, when they redefined the portable media player sector.
Sony have 33 million PlayStation users across the world, all of them plugged in to a wired or wifi’d world. It would seem a far stronger bet to build on this as a point of differentiation than trying to do it through their Bravia TV, Cyber shot cameras and e-readers, which are all a bit ‘me-too’ at best.
If they created a rental or fractional ownership system for games, entertainment, movies and music via the PS3, they would be onto a far more differentiatable (if there is such a word) product and one that has 33 million headstarts.
Otherwise for me, its Apple all the way.
I can imagine Apple launching a wifi TV – they already have a device that slings your picture from your mac to your TV, a wifi camera (that will be the iPhone 3gs then) and you can already read books on the iPod Touch/iPhone.
Sony have become a follower. They used to be radical. Lovemarks do radical things. Sony need to do something radical again, or they are in danger of us falling out of love with them little by little.