Communication mix components: IBM ThinkPad versus Sony VAIO
I. The marketing communications mix includes the concepts of public relations, direct marketing, personal selling, advertising, and sales promotion, with one of the major components being promotion.
II. If we study the promotion mix for the Sony VAIO Notebook laptop, we can see that Sony uses a mix of advertising and sales promotion as its primary platforms for communication. This was exemplified in 2002 with the collaboration between Sony and the online retailer Amazon.com, which is now a common thing for many companies. The partnership meant that Amazon were able to provide the best value on the 15 inch Sony VAIO Dual Core 1.66 GHz FE550G Notebook (xpBargains.com, 2002).
III. Next to this sale promotion strategy, Sony additionally provides special offers and weekly deals from its own online store. Special weekly offers make give the consumer a sense of urgency in buying the product before the deal finishes, which increases the sales of their products and services through their dedicated online sales website (xpBargains.com, 2002).
IV. There are similarities and differences between the strategies of Sony and its competitor IBM. IBM are likely to raise consumer awareness of the ThinkPad through the communication mix of public relations, advertising and sales promotion. Any event is good for promotion, and the ThinkPad 11th anniversary is being used for a sale, and is an example of their sales promotion scheme where customers will be offered up to 15% off the original price of the IBM ThinkPad (Mark Kyrnin, 2003).
V. Public relations are also carried out extensively by IBM in addition to their other methods of communication. For example, IBM was the official partner of the Turin Winter Olympic Games, and at certain locations during the event IBM ThinkPads were utilized (Red Herring, 2006). This went alongside standard advertising practices during the event, such as posters and during television filming. These public relations are used to make the customers aware of IBM and its products, and to build healthy relationships with consumers to increase the positivity of IBM's image and brand. IBM supplies large scale products for larger corporations, at least as much as they provide the private consumer, and this makes public relations very important for IBM, helping them to keep both the private consumer, and the corporations interested.
VI. Communication mix components: Sony PSP versus Nintendo DS
VII. If we look at the communications stance of Sony and their major handheld media product the PSP, it can be seen that Sony emulates the successful nature of the Apple adverts that promote the iPod. The advertisement for the PSP uses interesting perspectives, showing off the large widescreen and the significant capabilities of the device, being not only a gaming device but also capable of playing movies, storing photos and playing music, alongside wireless internet access (Spong, 2006).
VIII. Nintendo's rival to the PSP is the Nintendo DS, and the company uses a communications mix of advertising and public relations to promote the device and the company brand. An example of public relations is the company's promotional partnership with Pepsi Inc (Wikipedia, 2006). The company have also evolved their products to appeal to the casual gamer, which is reflected in their advertising, which shows casual gamers enjoying the capabilities of the DS in a casual atmosphere.
IX. Sony does not use public relations as much, because they have other ways to be profitable without needed to spend the extra money, such as the strong branding they have in the gadgets market, and the firm appeal they have to the hardcore gaming market, which is something that Sony's competitors are mainly lacking.
X. Kotler states that public relations is a tool used to win over long term brand loyalty, and creative ways to promote public relations is something that is very important for the choice of the average consumer.
xpBargains.com. 2002, 'Best Sony VAIO Notebook Deals', [Online] Accessed June 4 https://www.xpbargains.com/best_deal.php/sony_notebook_deals.htm
Kyrnin, Mark. 2003, 'Promotions: IBM ThinkPad 11th Anniversary Sale', [Online] accessed June 6 compreviews.about.com/b/a/037225.htm
Spong. 2006, 'Sony Ramps up PSP Advertising', [Online] accessed June 6 https://news.spong.com/article/9822?cb=814
Wikipedia. 2006, 'Nintendo DS', [Online] Accessed June 6 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo_DS
Kotler, Philip. 2000, Marketing Management, Prentice Hall Inc, New Jersey