Sony Mobile is continuing its aggressive drive into the mobile market, backing the launch of the Sony Xperia P and Xperia U smartphones this week with a ‘significant’ marketing budget.
Catherine Cherry, UK & Ireland marketing director, said the well-received Xperia S marketing campaign, which launched in March and cost an estimated £17m, created a halo effect for the manufacturer and would add momentum to its new devices. She said: ‘There is a significant amount of investment behind the launch of the Xperia P and the Xperia U, covering all media.’
Speaking to Mobile in her first interview since she was appointed marketing director in March, Cherry (pictured) insisted the new smartphones would not face the supply problems that hit the Sony Xperia S when it launched.
She said: ‘We were very happy with the launch of the Xperia S. There was huge demand for the product so we have judged carefully to ensure plenty of supply for the Xperia P and U. Every consumer who wants one will be able to have one. We have strategies with all the key customers to ensure they have all the supply they need.’
Cherry said raising consumer awareness of the Sony Mobile brand would continue to be a key priority. She said the company had benefited from renaming its business after Sony bought Ericsson’s stake in their joint venture last year. She pointed to Sony Mobile’s Facebook fanbase as evidence, which has soared by 50% since January this year to 250,000.
Promoting Sony’s ‘connected home’ converged solutions is another major priority for the business. Cherry highlighted the SmartTags bundled with Xperia smartphones, enabling users to connect to other devices in the home, as an example of the company’s converged strategy. She said: ‘Customers want to look beyond the core smartphone experience and we are working on that with all our partners in the Sony family to bring that to our customers.’
Looking ahead, Cherry said there were no immediate plans to develop a range of smartphones on the Windows Phone platform. She told Mobile: ‘We are open-minded and we have never said we won’t. We are really focused on Android at the moment. However, we do maintain a dialogue with Microsoft on this.’
Editor: Carol Millett