The PlayStation marketing mix has helped the brand to create strategic marketing strategies that have proved invaluable in reaching out to potential customers through new technology and providing a new gaming experience to the gamers in the target market.
The PlayStation marketing strategy framework focuses on market research, product planning, products, channel partners, personal selling, distribution strategy, pricing policies and promotion activities like email marketing to increase sales and capture the number one market position in the gaming industry.
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Introduction: Sony PlayStation
# Sony PlayStation
- Origin Country: Japan
- Product: Video Game Console
- Owner: Sony Interactive Entertainment ( A Division of Sony Corporation)
- Launched: 1994
The video game brand PlayStation is one of the most popular, renowned and preferred gaming consoles in the world.
Japan has been acknowledged as one of the top countries to launch a gaming system with new technology in the world. Sony Interactive Entertainment, a leading brand from Sony Corporation was one of the many companies that decided to introduce new Sony products and target gamers in the market.
In the 90s Nintendo was a household name in gaming consoles. Sony Corporation decided to enter the gaming industry with a partnership with Nintendo which later chose to partner with Philips instead leaving Sony hanging in the middle.
This led to the launch of PlayStation which later managed to dethrone Nintendo in the home consoles market although Nintendo still holds a dominating share in the handheld gaming market. The original PlayStation managed sales figures of 100,000+ units on its first day in Japan and was the first console to ship 100+ million units within a decade. Currently, the two main competitors of Sony PlayStation are Microsoft and Nintendo.
Target Market: PlayStation’s Marketing Mix
The Sony PlayStation marketing strategy targets the game consoles market with help of the latest PS5 and other versions. The continued loyalty of male gamers has been a blessing for the company as it has resulted in huge sales and high revenues. The growing number of female gamers as the new target audience has resulted in the expansion of the company’s products outside of Japan, Europe and North America.
Sony PlayStation views gamers as an important market segment for the brand and considers all the important factors like income, gender and age of the gamers.
Sony PlayStation sold record-breaking 7.8 million units of PlayStation 5 shipments and is targeting a 50% market share in the console games market. When the Original PlayStation PS1 was launched the women customers were 18% and with the launch of PS5 the number has increased to 41%
PlayStation Marketing Strategy & Marketing Mix (4Ps)
The Sony PlayStation marketing strategy helps to create a comprehensive marketing mix layout that focuses on the launch of new products, the purchase of PlayStation products by target audiences in Sony Stores, sales volume, pricing strategy, product price and promotional activities like online and email marketing.
The marketing mix and marketing strategy also addresses how gaming and entertainment have helped consumer electronics products to become popular all over the world.
Sony PlayStation brand spends a good chunk of money on its marketing mix strategy because it knows that a good gaming experience through the Sony product will result in brand loyalty.
PlayStation Product Strategy: Marketing Mix of PlayStation
The Sony PlayStation marketing strategy puts the focus on Sony PlayStation products and their innovation down the line so that there is curiosity in the industry about what is next. The core gaming product of the company is the video game console which is quite popular amongst customers.
Sony PlayStation manufactures video games for consoles and some of the popular Sony products include PlayStation 5, PlayStation App, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and Accessories.
Over the years Sony products like the PlayStation have faced stiff competition from Microsoft’s Xbox and Nintendo handheld gaming but customer loyalty towards Sony products has helped the company to create a strong position in the industry.
Products (Product Mix): Marketing Strategy of PlayStation
Sony PlayStation is a video game brand whose product offerings include a smartphone, 5 home consoles, two handheld games consoles, online service, a media centre and several magazines.
Sony manufactures video games for the home gaming console. Sony PlayStation 1 was released in the year 1994 and its successor PlayStation 2 in 2000. The next releases were the PlayStation 3 in 2006, PlayStation 4 in 2013 and the PlayStation 5 in 2020. The Sony product PlayStation 4 is the most popular gaming console to date. The sales figure for PlayStation 4 reached a million units within one day thus making the Sony product PlayStation 4 the fastest selling games console in the world. PlayStation 5 with sales of 10 million units within 249 days unseated PlayStation 4 and became the fastest-selling games console to date.
PlayStation Vita launched in Japan in 2011 was the second handheld console from the company in the gaming world. By 2013 the sales figure of PlayStation Vita had crossed 4 million units. PlayStation TV, a non-portable variant of PlayStation Vita was also a huge success in the gaming world.
PlayStation Plus was launched on the PlayStation Network as a subscription-based service that complements the PSN services
PlayStation Home Shop is a social gaming networking service on the PlayStation Network that allows users to create customized avatars to suit individual preferences.
PlayStation brand accessories included DualShock, Controller, Flightstick, memory card, S-Video cable and PocketStation etc.
Products and services include
- GOD OF WAR RAGNAROK
- PLAYSTATION 4 PRO
- DUAL SENSE WIRELESS CONTROLLER
- PULSE 3D WIRELESS HEADSET
Place Strategy: Marketing Mix of PlayStation
Sony PlayStation’s marketing strategy is to become a global provider of consumer electronics, gaming products, video games and services all over the world. The PlayStation was first revealed in 1991 at the Consumer Electronics Show and since then the company has launched several products and services at such events.
Sony has to depend upon the suppliers for the raw materials and other valuable parts that are needed in the production and development of both software and hardware. It uses Nvidia for the graphic cards, IBM for creating processors and Terra Soft Solutions for manufacturing Operating Systems.
PlayStation brand has been a market leader in gaming and has launched several games over the years. The products are a favourite of the customers and this is why the target audience flocks to the large retail chains and Sony Stores where they can purchase the desired items easily.
Place and Distribution Strategy: PlayStation’s Marketing Strategy
The PlayStation marketing strategy puts the focus on channel partners to transport their goods from the manufacturing units to the end customers. Sony PlayStation is a renowned name in gaming and it was important for the company to create a distribution network where the channel partners were super-efficient.
Sony PlayStation can be purchased through the following retail channels-
Sony Stores have been created at strategic locations so that customers can purchase desired products easily. These Sony Stores act as a home shop of the company and have been successful in creating a direct link with the consumer
Large retail chains like Walmart sell Sony PlayStation products at their stores to customers.
The Sony PlayStation marketing strategy puts the focus on online sales by utilizing the online market to maximum advantage. Consumers can purchase products from the company website as well as other online shopping platforms like eBay, Amazon and Flipkart at their convenience.
Price: PlayStation’s Marketing Mix
Price plays one of the most important roles in a marketing strategy because if it is not up to the mark then customers will not purchase the products and the whole procedure of manufacturing and reaching the end consumers via retail channels will be a failure.
The manufacturing costs of Sony PlayStation are quite high. Bloomberg in its report stated that the initial cost of PlayStation 5 was nearly $450 and after that, there are so many other expenses as well like the amount paid to vendors, retail channels, packaging, warehousing and shipment etc.
The Sony PlayStation marketing strategy puts the focus on maintaining the quality of the product and ensuring that competitors like Nintendo and Microsoft do not get the upper hand in the industry.
Sony earns money in the form of licensing fees which the company collects when the developers sell their games. The brand also gets a 30% cut on all transactions that occur via online stores.
Pricing Strategy: PlayStation Marketing Mix
The marketing strategy regarding the product price is as follows-
Good Value Pricing
Sony believes in offering the best possible value proposition in terms of the number and price of games to keep its loyal customer base happy. The brand has adopted a Good Value Pricing Strategy for its products so that the perceived value of the products remains high.
Market Penetration Pricing
The brand has adopted a Market Penetration Pricing Strategy for new markets and kept the product price accordingly
Competition Based Pricing
Sony faces stiff competition in the industry and has adopted a Competition Based Pricing Strategy to deal with its rival brands.
Sony has adopted a Differential Price policy where the customers can pay for the products based on their spending capabilities.
Promotion: PlayStation Marketing Strategies
Promotion is the backbone of a marketing strategy as it helps to connect with the end customer and create a positive link that will lead to greater sales and better profits. Sony PlayStation has adopted an aggressive promotion policy to create brand awareness, boost brand image and increase brand visibility amongst customers.
The aggressive promotion strategy of Sony PlayStation includes-
The promotion strategy of PlayStation puts a lot of focus on television advertisements as this traditional medium has a very high reach.
Several magazines like PlayStation: The Official Magazine work in tandem with Sony for creating demo discs. These are highly popular in the gaming community and act as promotion gimmicks.
The company has collaborated with Travis Scott to create a positive buzz in the industry
The promotion policy of the PlayStation includes sponsorship deals. It was the kit sponsor of Ligue 1 clubs AJ Auxerre and Olympique Lyonnais from 1999 – 2007 and 2009 – 2010 respectively.
Sony has used social media for online advertising and customer engagement. Posts about games and product information etc. are shared on the social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook as well as the company’s e-commerce website
Exhibitions and Trade Fairs
Many exhibitions and trade Fairs show the upcoming PlayStation products to target customers. Electronic Entertainment Expo is one of the many exhibitions where other companies as well as gamers gather to look at the launch of a specific product. The Sony PlayStation marketing strategy puts a lot of focus on such events as the Electronic Entertainment Expo to display and advertise their products.
The various slogans “Play Has No Limits”, “See The Future”, “Move into Action”, It Only Does Everything” and “The Ultimate Just Got Power” are very apt as it projects the brand as a fundamental gaming system with a core gaming product.
Digital Campaigns – Notable Digital Marketing Campaigns
It Only Does Everything
The ad campaign “It Only Does Everything” have garnered huge visibility for Sony.
The ad campaign “Double Life” created by art director Ed Morris helped the PlayStation to become the game of the masses.
The new tagline “No Limits” replaces the older one “For The Players” and within a short duration has become a big selling point for the company
key Takeaways from the PlayStation Marketing Mix (4Ps)
The key takeaways from the PlayStation marketing mix and marketing strategy are-
- Focus on user’s convenience
- Enhance the gaming experiences
- Grab the attention of the consumers
- Keep the pricing customer-friendly
- Ensure outstanding marketing skills
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