Brand Scan, a leading consumer insights and research company within the Volcano Group, was appointed by Sony to use its unique research methodology to conduct key video interviews with owners of Home Theatres.
Sony's primary aim was to ascertain, among both the core brand loyal customer groups as well as those owning opposition Home Theatre brands, what the key drivers to purchase were, what respondents liked or disliked about their current systems and what marketing communications would be most appropriate in promoting Home Theatre Systems.
Research was undertaken in selected retail channels such as Makro, Hirsch's and Cats Digital Experts, and also at respondents' homes, these locations being conducive to informal and lively exchange of real points of view. This resulted in vital live consumer feedback and successfully defined a comprehensive picture of the current consumer ‘Mind Space' regarding home entertainment and ‘Shelf Space' Home Theatre purchase drivers.
The research highlighted the critical purchase drivers as being; high quality surround sound, followed by ease-of-use applications. Sony's advertising campaign and Home Theatre catalogue were also tested and well received, underscoring Sony's reputation as the world's leading electronics brand. One of the most powerful communicators for Sony, as seen by the respondents, was their website. Key purchase drivers to switching opposition users were established, confirming that consumers already positively disposed to Sony were highly likely to consider switching purchases to Sony in the future.
The in-home video interviews established a slightly different set of purchase parameters, with respondents again confirming that high levels of Sony brand equity exists, whilst indicating their preferred media for the advertising of Home Theatre systems.
In-home respondents also highlighted the importance of interaction with various Home Theatre brands in-store at the point-of-purchase and the demonstrations by well-trained sales staff were also seen as powerful factors when determining the brand of choice for Home Theatres.
Michael Lamers, Sony Product Manager for Home Electronics, was delighted with the outputs of the study: “Sony believes that video research offers effective ways to help us pin-point crucial consumer information in order to create differentiated new products, services and communications platforms. The Brand Scan research clarified how Home Theatre consumers, both in-home and in-store, could greatly contribute by highlighting on which critical areas within the category we need to focus. Through this study, we can see the positive benefits of focusing on strengthening Sony's Home Theatre market penetration through retaining its existing customers, whilst attracting opposition users to buy Sony."