9/9/2009 1:23:00 PM
Sony moves in on Sony Ericsson with joint branding
A major image overhaul for Sony Ericsson has prompted speculation that Sony plans to take over or sell the ailing joint venture.
The new look will see Sony Ericsson moving closer to its parent under the umbrella of Sony’s new brand message ‘make.believe’, which will be carried on all Sony Group products.
The overhaul includes a revamp of Sony Ericsson’s website and its ‘liquid logo’ alongside a massive marketing campaign.
The manufacturer said the move signals a refocusing of its efforts at the high end of the market.
However, industry experts believe the move reflects Sony’s plans to take control of the manufacturer in the face of spiralling market share, said to have fallen ‘significantly’ in the past few months.
One senior manufacturer source said: ‘The move appears to be a final roll of the dice – a last attempt to see if they can make it work before it is sold.’
Others say Sony is implementing long-term plans. One senior industry source said: ‘Buying Sony Ericsson has always been Sony’s end game. I suspect that day is getting closer. It is the best time to buy Sony Ericsson right now.’
The joint venture is proving costly for Ericsson. In January, it blamed Sony Ericsson for a 31% drop in fourth quarter profit.
The manufacturer has undergone a major restructuring in 2009 to cut costs. In January, it revealed a £6.9m loss in 2008.
Sony Ericsson’s UK marketing director, David Hilton, said closer ties with Sony would help the joint venture increase its market share at the high end of the market ‘more quickly’.