A PUSH to create a stronger brand identity for Sony audiovisual products in WA will inject some fresh funds into the ailing local marketing industry.The two major Sony audiovisual dealers in Perth have been provided with a larger advertising budget from Sony’s head office in Sydney to encourage them to build strong brand identities for their stores.Sony product marketing group manager Ian Lowe said Sony was keen for the individual audiovisual equipment dealers around Australia to build strong store brands that were immediately associated with audio visual equipment.“One of our key messages is to brand in the local market,” Mr Lowe said.Under the deal, Sony has offered to pick up 60 per cent of the cost to develop a strong brand for the two Perth outlets.“This gives them (the dealers) more control and really we’re saying it’s in their best interests to stand up and make a brand statement in the marketplace,” Mr Lowe said.Whereas in the past Sony has handled the marketing for repairs and new products, the company now is asking the local dealers to take a bigger role in the ‘call to act’ in the market.“(In the past) we’ve done co-operative deals with the dealers. If they want to spend $10,000 we’ve split the funds. All that’s happened is now the funding ratio is 60-40, so now we’re giving them more money,” Mr Lowe said.The market for audiovisual equipment has rapidly expanded during the past decade, driving the need for suppliers like the Sony dealers to effectively position themselves in the marketplace.“The market has changed. Five years ago there were about six players in the market and now there are something like 30 brands,” Mr Lowe said.“In the case of the business marketplace, what are those brands you can rely on with computers. It’s maybe IBM or Toshiba … in the professional audiovisual presentation market no one has ever done that.”Although Sony claims its brand has the highest unprompted recall in the market, the competition is growing every year.“You need a strong channel to stand up and sell the brand and say ‘hey, we’re the best AV guys in town,’” Mr Lowe said.
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