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Fasulo: Look For Quality Vs. Quantity Of Sony TVs

9/08/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

INDIANAPOLIS — Sony travels to CEDIA Expo 2011
here this week to dispel notions that it is less than fully
committed to the future viability of its TV business.

Following a disappointing first-quarter financial report
issued in late July, reports surfaced in Japan quoting
Sony executives saying economic and market conditions
might force the company to reassess its future
direction in video display products, which has long
been the company’s bread-and-butter.

But heading into this week’s CEDIA Expo, Mike Fasulo,
Sony sales operations executive VP, told TWICE,
“The TV business remains a core part of Sony’s electronics
business worldwide. Under a sluggish TV market
situation, especially in the U.S., we are currently working
on plans in our TV business to return to profitability.”

He repeated Sony’s corporate message from the
financial report that one of the strategies Sony is looking
at is to put more priority in gaining profits than
seeking a quantity increase.

“In the U.S., we continue to try to differentiate our
TV lineup with our technological prowess such as 3D
capability and Sony Internet TV powered by Google
TV, so that we can bring value-added products to the
consumer,” he said. “We continue to be determined
and focus on what consumers want, and what we see
is that they are interested in connected devices, services
and apps so we are driving hard our connect TV
and 3D technology where it matters” (personal content
and gaming).

Fasulo said Sony will continue to ride on its strength
— quality.

“Sony has been named the Harris Poll 2011
EquiTrend Consumer Electronics Brand of the Year —
the top-ranked brand in its category on Brand Equity,
which is comprised of quality, consumer’s interest in
purchasing, and their familiarity with the brand,” he
pointed out.

For CEDIA dealers in particular, Fasulo said Sony
will demonstrate how it continues to evolve its SXRD
front-projector technology for the home, and will push
and evolve its Internet TV powered by Google TV, but
the company’s strategy is to develop and market technologies
with the end user in mind, not necessarily retail
distribution channels.

“We are looking at our offerings from the consumer
perspective, how they shop and what their needs are,”
Fasulo said. “Not all channels are equal, not all brands
are equal. Sony is a premium brand and we are known
for our quality products. Our channel strategy is reflected
in our investments with those premium retailers.”

Fasulo continued, “Sony more than any other brand is committed to this channel through its actions in
products. We have a strong premium line of products,
but we need to continue to evolve in order to make it
easier to do business with Sony. In the end, Sony and
this channel have the consumer at heart.

“We have products that fit this channel perfectly,
and we have a huge opportunity in front of us to build
solutions and ecosystems with not just connected devices
but services as well. Working together, we can
bring this concept to life and no other channel can,”
Fasulo added.

He said Sony’s strategy was unfazed by the volatility
in the high-end market that has forced the recent
closures of more dealers and high-end video display
resources (NuVision).

“Sony is an innovation company, using technology to
build products,” he said. “We are not going to compromise
quality. As such, Sony is committed to developing
premium quality products for the specialty channel.
That channel provides the experience that their customers
are seeking.”

He continued: “In the end, Sony and this channel
have the consumer at heart. We have products that
fit this channel perfectly, and we have a huge opportunity
in front of us to build solutions and ecosystems
with not just connected devices but services as well.
Working together, we can bring this concept to life
and no other channel can.”

As for the evolution of 3D display technologies in the
high-end market, Fasulo said, “Our latest SXRD home
front projectors are one step in the right direction.
With multiple HDMI inputs and faster refresh rates,
these new products deliver crisper, brighter images at
a fraction of the price of the last generation.

“That consumer-friendly pricing coupled with new
content sources, be it packaged, streaming or broadcast
media, gaming or personal content will help to
make 3D more of a must have than a nice to have feature,”
he added.

To help change any misperceptions that Sony is
less than fully committed to the video display category,
Fasulo said the company will launch new promotional
campaigns over the second half of the year. These include
a partnership with ESPN and the X Factor to
execute multi-platform advertising and marketing campaigns
leveraging sports and entertainment to promote
its products.

“We continue to stay on the bleeding edge of innovation,
especially when it comes to the custom install
channel,” Fasulo assured dealers. “This year at CEDIA
we’ll be debuting several products as part of our Elevated
Standard line as well as unique innovations that
no other company can currently bring to market.

“Dealers will certainly have a lot to share with their
customers when they see how Sony is taking a step
beyond the status quo.”

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