Introduction to planning
Planning is the most important part of every organization and a successful plan means successful mission towards the goal of business. Planning has nothing to do with size of organization rather a plan will enable the business house to face different challenges and opportunities (Lembke, 2002). Strategic planning assumes as well as incorporates the probability of changing environment which will require different adjustments in the goals that have been identified and will help in framing out the processes for achieving the same.
Sony Ericson mobile communication is amongst the leading providers of mobile multimedia services and seller of products such as phones, accessories, PC cards, etc. Sony Ericson has a presence in most of the developed and developing countries and is now 4th largest maker of handsets (Palmberg and Bohlin, 2006). Over here, an evaluation is undertaken for the possible strategies that can be implemented in Sony by developing a plan for the implementation of the same.
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Strategies that can be implemented in Sony Ericson
Sony Ericson can make changes in its marketing strategies for its successful growth and future; there are quite a lot of difficulties that the company is facing due to increase in market competition especially in mobile phone segment. So in order to handle the current situation, company should take advantage of its internal strengths and make all efforts to minimize the weaknesses (Palmberg and Martikainen, 2006). The major strength of the company is its technological advantage, variety of suppliers, diversity and good control over costs and expenses. On the other hand, the weaknesses can be controlled by removing cultural differences, managing smart phone segment and distribution channels. Thus considering all these factors in mind, organization has to come up with different alternative strategies for substantial growth, limited growth and retrenchment (Xie and Boggs, 2006). The strategies can be framed for attaining sustainable growth, attaining strategic alliance, acquisitions, joint ventures, organic growth, etc. the chart shown below will give a highlight of what all are the alternative strategies that can be implemented by Sony Ericson:
The figure shown includes all the basic strategies that Sony Ericson can implement in its company. The suitability of all these strategic techniques will be discussed below one by one. Starting with limited growth or retrenchment and its different alternatives:
Market penetration: It is basically an activity that is undertaken for increasing market share or the area for existing product, or for promoting a new product by using the strategies such as advertising, lowered prices, volume discounts, bundling, etc. this can be a better strategy for Sony Ericson as because of the same, it will be able to stand strong in the competition that prevails in mobile market as market penetration is a measure of this brand and category popularity (Ahmed, 2014). In Sony, market penetration will occur when the company will penetrate a market wherein the products similar to Sony already exists and by doing this, Sony will be able to get the customers of its competitors or their market share, thus it will prove to be a good strategy for limited growth in Sony (Kragelund, 2014).
Market development: It is yet another growth strategy that will help Sony Ericson to identify and develop new market for its current products. A market development strategy over here will target the non buying consumers in current target segment (Olsen, 2014). Although the marketing manager at Sony Ericson has to first of all think about the questions like whether these developmental strategies will be profitable, is the consumer and channel well enough researched and understood?, etc (Jurevicius, 2013). but the new users can be easily defined under the new geography segment, psychographic and demographic segment.
Product development: This strategy plans to sell new products in the existing market and Sony has quite lot of options for the same as the technology in mobile market is advancing every single day introducing new applications and services. New product development is a complete process of introducing a new product in the market. This strategy will help Sony to continuously stand the competition in the market (Vessa, 2005). Although this strategy works for a limited growth period but if kept on regular basis, Sony can continue to work successfully in market.
Analysis and strategic review
These strategies will be highly suitable for company like Sony Ericson whose market is so diverse and unpredictable. This strategy brought up for dissertation writing will help in simply retaining the existing customers that may itself require innovation in competitive market or mobile industry (Stoyanova, 2008). By implementing these methods, Sony Ericson can expand its relationship with the existing customers by also providing them additional products or services and by doing this, Sony can bind its customers fir long term. Sometimes, these relationships can also be expanded by providing customers with more specialized service alternatives in order to target narrow niche and winning new customers from its competitors (Lapovsky and Moak, 2010). These strategies are suitable in different countries with particular tastes and requirements.
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And now the strategies for substantive growth are as follows with their suitability in Sony Ericson:
Horizontal integration: It is generally related to merging with the direct or the indirect competitor in order to increase the market share. This can be done by Sony by acquiring or merging with certain small sized companies of the country where it is operating. But as Sony is already a joint venture with Ericson so this venture already helps the company in integrating all the plans that work for strengthening its position in the industry (Hill and Jones, 2011). The advantage that this method can serve is that Sony can increase the size of business and can allow more of internal economies of scale leading to lowering the average costs and improved profits. It will also reduce competition by removing the rivals.
Vertical integration: Learning from the vertical approach that has been adopted by Apple and which us the main reason behind the success of that company, Sony Ericson can also integrates this strategy into its organization (Hubbard, 2001). This strategy entails a strict control over the hardware, software and other related services that are related to its mobile phones. By doing this, Sony can deliver superior user experience for which consumers crave (Palumbo and Herbig, 2000). Sony can try something with plans to launch a mobile and exchange efforts to beef up its app store as well as the strategy to build the majority of its hardware within its own house.
Related diversification: Over here, the company enters a new market with new products where the company has to try something new to not only develop the current customer flow but also to target new ones. This related diversification will make more sense than unrelated one because the company here shares different assets, skills, or capabilities (Yin and Merrilees, 2007). In it, company will have a strategic fit with its new venture and in order to make this strategy work, Sony has to capitalize on its strengths and competitive advantage.
Unrelated diversification: This strategy has nothing to do with leveraging the current business strength or weakness rather is even more about not putting your eggs in one basket. Sony can execute this strategy unknowingly by getting involved in multiple but unrelated business but this kind of diversification is of the highest risk amongst all strategies (Mariscal, 2009).
So it can be said that vertical strategy is the one using which Sony Ericson can gain market edge and a better competitive advantage over its competitors and stand string for a longer duration in the market (Shim, Park and Shim, 2008).
The comparison of roles and responsibilities fir strategy implementation in two different organizations is as mentioned below:
The Orange Company
| Top managers
- The CEO has to design plan for company so as to deliver better quality, services and innovation to its customers as well for the growth of the company.
- CEO has also announced the new network policy that covers 15.8 million customers across UK so as to ensure that customers get benefit from the best quality coverage.
- Orange’s global R&D unit lab also delivers pioneering new technologies in order to provide customers with unique level of experience and quality that the company can offer.
- On 31st March 2010, chairman of Vodafone targeted on maintaining growth in dividend per share to less than 7% per annum for the next three years to come.
- The mobile voice pricing that are declining 10% every year, for that Vodafone has £1 billion cost program so as to keep its prices low in future.
- The operation manager has left a room for growth and is looking on to German and Swiss market to take up over 100%.
- 3000+ intelligent voice server that machine can answer the phone and can also recognize the natural language and can even guide customer and meet their expectations.
- CEO of Vodafone has come up with a strong agenda for the company that has more commercially focused on Europe and executing on turnaround to gain its competitiveness.
- Delivering a companywide focus on free cash flow generation to so as to support increased share holder return.
- One customer at a time…they can spend more time with customers.
- Feedback facility to measure staff performance
- Vodafone staffs now have a flexibility to spend more time so as to develop their business.
- Staff can also seize new business leads at the same time when growing existing relationships.
To organize the operational process of the Sony Ericson, resources are the basic elements and help in obtaining the competitive advantage. The sustainability of the competitive advantage of the company depends upon these resources. Human resources is among the same and Sony Ericson employs 7500 employees in over 40 countries and has more than 1 million fixed line customers that makes Sony the fourth largest mobile maker in the world. Finance is another important resource that enables company to generate and manage the organic business requirements, make investments in future and reward its shareholders (Polykalas and Vlachos, 2006). Next in the line is physical resource that are the Ericson’s stores all over UK, France, Netherland, India, China, etc. information resource help in managing all aspects of customers that Sony accounts from policy to ordering, billing to reporting and network performance reporting to the maximization of efficiency and cost control (Lembke, 2002).
The mobile industry has already taken over the world by a large margin and the organizations that are running their business in mobile industry and the one that are categorized as market structure are highly competitive. Sony Ericson and its strategic marketing planning has been the major focus of this research report and every possible business strategy has been recommended over here that could help the company to be a market leader (Xie and Boggs, 2006). It is also recommended that company should get more innovative in making its product plan which will help the in gaining popularity in marketing arena, both domestically and internationally.
- Lembke, J., 2002. Mobile commerce and the creation of a marketplace.
- Mariscal, J., 2009. Market structure and penetration in the Latin American mobile sector.
- Palmberg, C. and Bohlin, E., 2006. Next generation mobile telecommunications networks: challenges to the Nordic ICT industries.
- Palmberg, C. and Martikainen, O., 2006. Diversification in response to ICT convergence – indigenous capabilities versus R&D alliances of the Finnish telecom industry.
- Polykalas, E. S. and Vlachos, G. K., 2006. Broadband penetration and broadband competition: evidence and analysis in the EU market. info.