SWOT Analysis of Sony (Sony SWOT)
This is a detailed SWOT analysis of Sony. It aims to evaluate some of the strengths and the weaknesses of Sony. It also aims to explore if there are any opportunities and threats that the company should focus on. Sony Corporation is a Japanese multinational conglomerate, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Its journey started in 1946.
Strengths of Sony
Sony is a world-renowned multinational conglomerate with a diversified business portfolio which includes products such as consumer electronics, video games, semiconductors, films, music, TV shows, telecommunication equipment and computer hardware. It also provides services such as insurance, finance, banking, credit finance, network services, and advertising (Sony Corporation, 2021). This wide range of products and services has enabled it to earn substantial profits and long-term sustainability.
Sony expanded to the United States of America and Europe in the 1960s and 1970s and it was a major global player even before most of its competitors. It is considered a highly innovative electronic brand around the world. Trinitron colour television, Blu-Ray discs, VCRs, Compact disc and Crystal LED TVs are some of Sony’s innovations.
Sony has been able to gain a large loyal customer base throughout the years and its loyalty program for gamers using PlayStation has ensured that its customers would not consider changing to using products from its competitors. Likewise, it provides quality after sales services which helps customers gain more confidence in purchasing its products.
In 2019, Sony was rated 39th in the list of the World’s Best Regarded Companies (Murphy, 2019). Since the beginning, it has been focusing on fulfilling the needs of consumers, which has helped it achieve its global brand recognition.
Weaknesses of Sony
Weakness is the next topic of discussion in the SWOT analysis of Sony. Sony’s products are relatively high in price, which has led some of its customers switching to other cheaper brands. This has led to the company losing some of its loyal customers. Likewise, it does not carry out many promotion campaigns like its competitors and should consider introducing innovative ideas to advertise its products.
Sony depends heavily on electronics and in the financial year 2020, its profits dropped due to the rapid decline in the demand for the electronic products. In fact, the focus on electronics is so high that the vast majority of its work forces work within the electronics business segment (Alsop, 2020).
In 2014 Sony was hacked, leading to its trade secrets being exposed to competitors. This has resulted in it having to deal with negative publicity. It agreed to pay up to $8 million over employees’ personal data lost due to the hacking concerning the release of The Interview, a North Korea-themed comedy (BBC, 2015).
Opportunities for Sony
Sony should focus on emerging economies in order to capture new customers and increase its profitability. Population in emerging countries is usually high; hence the opportunity to reach to the people who have not been reached out yet.
Sony has an opportunity to expand its medical imaging sector. It should consider investing more in this in order to gain more sales and profits in the future.
Sony should consider entering the production of home appliances like some of its competitors. It should also consider improving software technologies and expand this sector without depending heavily on its electronics.
Threats to Sony
Due to the oversaturation of markets and better products from the competitors, Sony had to exit a number of markets. For instance, Sony Mobile stopped releasing new devices in Malaysia long time ago and withdrew from Indonesia as well. In fact, the company reduced its focus on a number of countries around the world (Wong, 2019). The main competitors who are putting a lot of pressure on it are Apple, Samsung, Panasonic, Philips, LG, Hewlett Packard, Lenovo, and Dell.
There are many low-cost budget brands which sell quality products. These brands have been able to capture some of Sony’s market share and they continue to march further. Likewise, counterfeit products in the market also pose a risk to Sony, as consumers assume to think they are the real products. This also contributes to Sony losing its brand image.
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Last update: 16 February 2021
Alsop, T. (2020) Sony statistics and facts, available at https://www.statista.com/topics/1917/sony/ (accessed 15 February 2020)
BBC (2015) Sony pays up to $8m over employees’ hacked data, available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-34589710? (accessed 15 February 2021)
Murphy, A. (2019) The world’s best regarded companies, available at: https://www.forbes.com/lists/best-regarded-companies/#bc9f8e9124dd (accessed 15 February 2020)
Sony Corporation (2021) About Sony, available at https://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/ (accessed 15 February 2020)
Wong, A. (2019) Sony Mobile exits from several markets including Southeast Asia, available at: https://www.malaymail.com/news/tech-gadgets/2019/05/26/sony-mobile-exits-from-several-markets-including-south-east-asia/1756445 (accessed 15 February 2021)
Author: Fahim Shah
Fahim Shah has been working in the UK as a visiting lecturer in Business and Tourism for the last 10 years. After completing a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Marketing, he went on to gain an MBA from the University of Bradford, the UK. He is a Fellow of Advance HE (FHEA) and a full member of the Association of Business Executives (ABE).