Thursday, September 06, 2007

Sony Vaio : All Eyes on You

Brand : Sony Vaio
Company : Sony
Agency : JWT

Brand Analysis Count : 270

Sony Vaio is making lot of noises in the media with its latest repositioning campaign. Vaio is Sony's subbrand in the Laptop segment . Viao was created in 1996 and is a major player in the Notebook/Laptop market across the world. The brand came to India only in 2004. The delay is owning to the restriction in using Wi-Fi 802.11g by the government till 2004.

Vaio is the acronym of Video Audio Integrated Option which denotes the brand's positioning as a product that performs on both video and audio front. Like any other product from Sony, Vaio is also positioned ( and priced ) as a premium brand. Vaio launched its first series of Notebooks with a price ranging from Rs 80,000 - Rs 1,25,000 making it one of the costliest laptops available in India.
Sony has a market share of around 5.4 % of the Indian Laptop market which is estimated to touch a volume of 1.6 million units this year. It is this phenomenal growth of around 40 % that forms the basis of the latest launch of Sony Vaio CR range.
The Indian laptop market is dominated by HP ( 40 %) followed by Lenovo ( 17 %) and Toshiba. There is lot of activity in the notebook segment because of the lowering of the price barrier. Earlier the price of a typical laptop was costing upwards of Rs 45000. Now the entry level laptop price is anywhere between Rs 22,000 - 26,000. This has fueled the growth of this segment. The lowering of prices has attracted a whole set of new customers into this segment. Students , executives and businessmen began looking at laptops as a productivity enhancement tool. Companies began giving laptops to executives to keep them working when mobile. These happened without seriously hurting the sale of Desktops.
The interest of marketers in this segment is evident when we look at the promotions of leading brands in this segment . Most of them has signed up celebrities to endorse their brands. Acer has Hrithik Roshan, Compaq has Shah Rukh, Lenovo has Saif Ali Khan to promote the brand.

Sony Vaio has always tried to promote itself as an aspirational brand and resisted the temptation to get into the volume game. But here in this scenario , Vaio succumbed to the temptation. With technology no longer a major differentiator, Vaio understood that unless the brand repositions itself , it may be ousted by the feature rich rivals.
Viao CR was Sony's take on the new segment. Vaio targets the hip hop Indian youth aged 18-26 with the variant CR. The brand is now positioned as a fashion accessory rather than a learning/working tool. The new variant comes with attractive color options :
Blazing Red
Indigo Blue
Pure White
Beauty Pink and
Aroma Black. The new variant has some attractive features like Luminous Trim that reflects light which gives the laptop a shining look. Lustrous coating, custom Keyboard, and a personalized illumination LCD. The brand is now repositioned to reflect a playful spirit and a zest for life.
The brand now aims to catch the imagination of the youth market who looks beyond the speed and memory into design and aesthetics. At Rs 55000, Vaio tries to integrate aesthetics, brand image and technology to get into the minds of the young customer.

The brand is now running a high profile TV campaign now.

Watch the TVC here : VAIO

Viao now has the tagline " All Eyes on You" clearly spelling out its positioning based on the design or aesthetics. That is a clear shift from the rest of the brands in this segment who concentrates more on technical specs. So Vaio campaign breaks the clutter effectively.
Having said that the new campaign is definitely nice to watch but the positioning is nothing new. "All eyes on you " is used by many brands in various categories. There is no big idea in it. But the execution makes this old formula look pretty. To be more specific, I watch the ad to hear the music. Even the visualization is not something great compared to the blockbuster Bravio campaigns. Some sites say that the song " Look at me know " is sung by Anushka of the VIVA girls - V-channel fame ( to be verified) . Anyway the song make the ad sticky.

Aesthetics and design and obviously the more attractive price tag has helped Vaio a headstart in the new repositioning. But these factors are not sustainable over time. Soon the competitor will follow with vibrant colors and options. But Sony has the legendary brand equity that may help Vaio to take on the challenge. The war for Young Minds is definitely hotting up.
As of now Vaio can confidently say " Look at me now "