Tag Archives: Apple

Walkman

It May Be A Great Product, But What Do The Sales Figures Say?

Walkman
muadib.ar / Foter / CC BY-SA

Whether you’re selling candy, clothes, automobiles, tech gadgets, or any other products you can think of, everything you do behind the scenes and in your marketing strategy mean nothing unless the sales figures reflect the day-to-day operations and processes. The product may be great, it may look cool, and you may think it sells, but if there are no buyers and sales figures are down, changes have to be made to create a desire and want for the product you’re trying to sell. When it comes to products, there is so much to selling and marketing than what you, or your friends think, and what may seem popular in one clique, could be completely irrelevant to a broader customer base and bigger target markets.

At the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Sony unveiled their new Walkman (I know, we’ve suddenly taken a trip to the past). It will be on sale for a mere $1200 this Spring. While Generation X can have their flashbacks down memory lane, the issue comes down to what we should expect in terms of sales figures. Taking on Apple where they’ve dominated since the beginning of the millennium is a very bold strategy. Most MP3 players have failed against the iPod, why should the Walkman expect to steal market share away from Apple?

At $1200, are consumers really going to buy that over the traditional iPod? As a consumer and student of business, these questions have to be raised. We’ll find out soon enough, but let’s move our attention to automobiles that are selling, and in particular Cadillac.

Over the past 6 months all you’ve heard from Cadillac is how they’re going to take on BMW, Audi, and Mercedes Benz. ‘The reign of the German Big Three is coming to a close because they’re not making cars like Cadillac’, is essentially what the leaders of the American luxury brand has bragged. Well, the annual sales figures have been released, and it’s time to see who has ended up with egg on their face.

According to goodcarbadcar.net here are the statistics.

Audi: Sales up 15.2% in 2014 from the previous year.
BMW: Sales up 9.8% in 2014 from the previous year.
Mercedes Benz: Sales up 6.5% in 2014 from the previous year

And then there’s Cadillac.

Sales figures down 6.5% in 2015 from the previous year.

Cadillac is improving from what they’ve produced over the past few years, the problem however is the very strong perception that Cadillacs are still owned by older folks, and even worse they’re still a branch of GM. Once again, the product can look great and may be a better option, but the sales figures don’t show that.

Another example is coming from a different side of the business spectrum, the branding, marketing, and advertising branch of business. Entrepreneur Magazine shared an article discussing 10 of the worst new logos for big companies in 2014. While a few are clearly bad, others were an improvement and further developed the brand and direction the company is moving in. Whether these logos were bad or not, what do the sales figures have to say?

Personal opinion is what blinds us all from seeing the truth, and in this instance I’m talking about business, and this can be from the owner or the consumer. Sales figures show no bias, they have no favorites, they reflect the changes that really matter, positive or negative. Sony’s Walkman could be a huge bust or a success, but at $1200 let’s see how long that price lasts when consumers can buy an iPod for much less. Cadillac is being aggressive, attacking the German auto brands and trying to compete against the most popular car companies in the world. In 2014 they failed to live up to the hype. Lastly, personal opinion that fails to see what the sales figures really say, loses all credibility.

In business there are two things you must be aware of, listen to, and learn from. Sales figures and the consumer. These two aspects tell the truth. The customer is always right, and sales figures are never wrong.

Marketing: Where One Industry Got In Right

 

Flickr addiction
Giovanni ‘jjjohn’ Orlando / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

As a consumer, nothing attracts my attention more than a well-done commercial or ad. However many businesses, especially on television, choose the cute or lack of information approach replacing facts with flash, but in the wrong way. Some companies have brilliantly mastered advertising; informing, persuading, and adding humor together that makes sense, and markets to a defined audience. Two major industries, technology and automotive, spend time and money marketing to potential consumers, yet only one industry fully understands how to use the power of advertisement.

There are a variety of laptops, smartphones, tablets, and video game consoles on the market today, and it will continue to expand in the future. Technology is a necessity, without it many business couldn’t run day-to-day operations, staying in contact with friends and family would be more difficult, and students working on a term paper for college would be confined to the library reading books instead of doing research on their laptops. The product is already a guaranteed sell, but which company excels over the other and how? This is where marketing and advertising comes in. One popular technology company went over and above, defined who their audience was, explained the differences between them and the competition, and each commercial brought humor that was backed up by facts. Apple.

The Mac versus PC ad campaign that Apple ran is the perfect example and should be a blueprint for all companies, any size and in any sector. The short commercials said a mouthful in a very condensed timeframe, both visually and contextually. The actor portraying Mac is young, dresses in more comfortable clothes, and is clearly in his 20’s, while the older, more professional, and traditional guy portrays the PC. In each ad, something Mac has that Microsoft PC’s don’t is brought up, such as apps, capabilities exclusive to Mac’s, and the fact that Apple’s don’t get viruses like PC’s.

Apples will always appeal to the younger generations for many reasons other than the fact that PC’s are known to be used by companies and businesses. The ads contributed to the already popular belief that PC’s were for the highly intelligent, hard working business professional, which is why the actor playing Mac is the typical twenty to thirty year old adult. However, Apple didn’t overstep their bounds by offending PC users, but inserted facts about their product that the competition doesn’t offer. As both a Mac and PC user, I understand the differences between the two, and how Apple offers more appealing applications than Windows operated desktops and laptops.

A few years later, Microsoft released a few of their own ads showing what their tablet can do that the iPad couldn’t. USB ports and an attachable keyboard were exclusive to Microsoft tablets, once again displaying a company who knew who their target audience was. Most iPad users are less likely to do business on their tablet, while the keyboard and USB port would come in handy for a business traveler, which fits the criteria for Microsoft users.

 

The technology industry has figured it out. To successfully attract potential buyers; informing, persuading, showing what your product has that the competition doesn’t, and why I, as a consumer should buy your product, should be the basis of your advertisement. For Apple and Microsoft they only have one competitor, and that’s themselves, which is why they need to specifically state the differences in their laptops and tablets. Companies in bigger business sectors fail to see the opportunity and blueprint that those two technology giants laid down for other industries when it comes to marketing and advertising. Separate yourselves from the pack, be creative, do what your competition isn’t, and most importantly, know who you’re marketing to.