The Rs 1,000-crore Sony India Pvt Ltd has for the first time decided to market ‘Aiwa’ mini-hifi, micro and portable audios and headphone stereo without radios through its existing 80 ‘Sony’ exclusive outlets across the nation beginning December 2004. The objective behind the move is to leverage the Aiwa brand by promoting it through Sony exclusive outlets, woo music lovers across the country and spur volumes of Aiwa products. With the move, consumers will now be able to avail of Aiwa mini-hifi, micro and portable audios priced between Rs 690 and Rs 25,000 at Sony exclusive outlets.
The company has recently restructured its advertising campaign for Aiwa portable audios which highlights the youth and music-loving concept, said Sony India Pvt Ltd product head (Aiwa) Amitabh Bhatnagar.
Sony launched Aiwa audio systems in October 2003 and since then the products have been available in cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Lucknow. Currently, Sony markets eight models of Aiwa hi-fi audio systems in India by sourcing it from China and Malaysia. And, now the company plans to launch four new Aiwa models in the micro audio systems and two new models in the portable audio systems.
According to Mr Bhatnagar: “This Diwali has been good for the Aiwa head stereo with radio segment where the brand achieved the No. 3 position— Aiwa garnered a marketshare of 20% in the segment. Soon after Sony India announced plans to expand its distribution network for nationally promoting Aiwa audio systems which included increasing the number of dealers from 140 to 220 and its distributors from 30 to 45, the company is in the process of analysing the quality of dealers, distributors and trade partners.”
On the rationale behind the move, Mr Bhatnagar said this is because Sony does not intend to focus on short-term gains and spur volumes for promoting Aiwa products. Instead, it aims to focus on product quality and brand perception and focus on smaller towns in the near future to widen the presence of Aiwa products. Aiwa launched portable audios in India in May 2004.
“With the new initiatives, Sony India hopes to sell 2,000 units of Aiwa audio systems per month and grow Aiwa’s marketshare from 4% to 7%. In addition, Sony India hopes the Aiwa brand to contribute an additional 10% to the company’s overall sales turnover. As for the near future, we are not looking at launching Aiwa CTVs in India, but if we are able to spur significant volumes of Aiwa products in India, then we might look at the possibilities,” he said.