Sony has a hard-earned reputation for high-quality products and so far, an exemplary record of innovation (MW March 17). But what it has failed to do is develop a real, deep brand personality. It may be reliable, but it’s a pretty soulless brand.
Around the time it launched the Walkman I thought Sony, more than any of the other big entertainment electronics groups, had a real chance to add some strong emotional appeal to its brand. It has clearly achieved this with PlayStation – developing connections at exactly the right emotional level – but this appeal seems to be limited to this strong sub-brand.
To have a chance of reversing its fortunes in this fast-changing landscape, Sony will have to pay far more attention to developing the emotional side of its brand, something that Apple has understood from the start and which it has excelled at.
Fantastic function without emotion does not create brands that consumers fall in love with.