Macro Environment of Sony

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Brands were originally developed as labels of ownership: name, term, design, and symbol. However, today it is what they do for people that matters much more, how they reflect and engage them, how they define their aspiration and enable them to do more. Powerful brands can drive success in competitive and financial markets, and indeed become the organization's most valuable assets. In the field of marketing, brands originated in the nineteenth century with the advent of packaged goods. The first registered brand was the red triangle registered by Bass beer, as the British were the first to introduce a law for trade mark registration. Industrialization moved the production of household items, such as soap, from local communities to centralized factories. When shipping their items, the factories would brand their logotype insignia on the shipping barrels. These factories, generating mass-produced goods, needed to sell their products to a wider range of customers, to a customer base familiar only with local goods, and it turned out that a generic package of soap had difficulty competing with familiar, local products. The fortunes of many of that era's brands, such as Uncle Ben's rice and Kellogg's breakfast cereal, illustrate the problem. The packaged goods manufacturers needed to convince buyers that they could trust in the non-local, factory product. Campbell soup, Coca-Cola, Juicy Fruit gum, Aunt Jemima, and Quaker Oats, were the first American products to be branded to increase the customer's familiarity with the products.

In 1879, the U.S. Congress passed a federal trademark statute that was aimed at protecting established trademarks and thus to prevent the defrauding of consumers. The Congress' actions were struck down by the Supreme Court which cited that trademark protection would unnecessarily interfere with intrastate commerce. In was not until 1917 with the case, Aunt Jemima Mills Co. v. Rigney Co., that American courts solidified trademark protection. Around 1900, James Walter Thompson published a house advert explaining trademark advertising, in an early commercial description of what now is known as 'branding'. Soon, companies adopted slogans, mascots, and jingles that were heard on radio and seen in early television. By the 1940s, Mildred Pierce manufacturers recognized how customers were developing relationships with their brands in the social, psychological, and anthropological senses. From that, manufacturers quickly learned to associate other kinds of brand values, such as youthfulness, fun, and luxury, with their products. Thus began the practice of 'branding', wherein the customer buys the brand rather than the product. This trend arose in the 1980s 'brand equity mania'. In 1988, Phillip Morris bought Kraft for six times its paper worth. It is believed the purchase was made because the Phillip Morris Company actually wanted the Kraft brand rather than the company and its products BRAND:

The American Marketing Association defines a brand as “a name, term, sign, symbol, or a design, or a combination of them, intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or a group of sellers and to differentiate them for those of competitors.” A brand is thus a product or service that adds dimensions that differentiate it in some way from other products or services designed to satisfy the same need. These differences may be functional, rational, or tangible- related to product performance of the brand. They may also be more symbolic, emotional or intangible-related to what brand represents. Branding has been around for centuries as a means to distinguish the goods of one producer from those of another. The earliest signs of branding in Europe were the medieval guilds’ requirements that craftspeople put trademarks to protect themselves and the consumers against inferior quality. In the fine arts, branding began with artists signing their works. Brands today play a...
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