Sony adopted a selective distribution strategy for its laptop products by consolidating authorized distributors (Bicheno). Sony laptops can be bought at authorized Sony product retailers, which are collectively dubbed Sony Style stores. The Sony Style stores comprise exclusive stores found in malls, office or business establishments, separate shops in the business and shopping districts. These malls comprise local but popular malls frequented by shoppers looking for alternatives and options.
(Sony) Apart from the exclusive Sony Style stores, Sony laptops can also be bought at department stores, particularly those with an electronics section selling various brands of laptops and other electronic products. 2. How do they match your product’s type which is a shopping product type? Sony laptops are shopping products. A shopping product has five distinguishing characteristics. First is the buying behavior of consumers towards the product is fewer purchases.
Second is the exertion of consumers of greater concern and effort towards comparison across brands for a similar product type. Third is the pricing of the product at a level higher than the pricing of convenience products. Fourth is the selective distribution of the product in a limited number of outlets. Fifth is the preference for advertising and personal selling as promotional strategies. (Mallen 11-13) These cuts across the marketing mix and should reflect consistency to link consumers with the aspects of the marketing mix such as distribution (Baker 186).
The mode and range of distribution need to coincide with the type of the product to support a cohesive marketing strategy. Since Sony laptops are shopping products, the manner of distributing these products should be selective via a limited number of outlets and support comparison. Retailers match the product type of Sony laptops as shopping products through exclusive Sony Style stores located in malls or independent stores in the business and shopping districts by comprising selective distribution outlets from which customers can access Sony laptops.
Customers looking for laptops who go to malls can visit the Sony Style stores to select models, features and specifications, as well as prices of Sony laptops. There is a guarantee that all the Sony laptops bought at Sony Style stores carry the added value of customer service and repairs contained in the warranty. However, distribution through exclusive stores in malls or separate shops limits the ability to address the concern of customers with product comparison.
Customers could compare features and prices with other exclusive stores of other brands if these are present at the mall. In distribution through the department stores, these retailers match the nature of Sony laptops as shopping products to a greater extent by establishing a section for electronics, sometimes even specific sub-sections per product line such as laptops, digital cameras, or mobile phones.
This mode of retailing provides customers with a means of easy comparison in terms of product specifications, price and value added service. This allows companies such as Sony to capitalize on differentiation to distinguish its laptops products for consumers. The assignment of a store personnel for a particular brand of electronic products or a range of product line such as laptops also support personal selling. Arrangements with department stores for in-store advertising displays also ensure promotion.
As such, by considering distribution through an allotted displace space alongside other brands in department stores where different brands of laptops are usually displayed alongside each other, this would add value to consumers by giving them the convenience of comparing products in the same place without having to go around the mall checking exclusive stores of laptops that may not be contiguously located. Doing this would address the comparison concerns of customers while still limiting the distribution outlets and supporting promotional activities. Works Cited Baker, Michael. Marketing.
New York: Routledge, 2001. Bicheno, Scott. “Sony Consolidates Distribution Network to Ensure Highest Levels of Service and Expertise. ” Hexus. channel. 23 October 2008. 15 February 2009 <http://channel. hexus. net/content/item. php? item=16029> Mallen, Bruce. “Selecting Channels of Distribution: A Multi-Stage Process. ” International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management 26. 5 (1996): 5-21 Sony. “Sony Style. ” 15 February 2009 <http://www. sonystyle. com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay? catalogId=10551&storeId=10151&langId=-1&identifier=S_BrandShowcase_Retail_Locations>
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