Sony Thai banks on customer service, not promotions

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BANGKOK -- Sony Thai is to halt price cutting and giveaway promotions and will rely less on advertising in a new marketing strategy that is based on customer service.

Managing Director Kazunori Somaya says the company is keen to copy U.S. retailing giant Circuit City's example in "relationship marketing," which aims at creating loyal repeat customers.

Sony Thai -- which uses Dentsu, Young & Rubicam and Spa Advertising in Thailand - will not spend large amounts of money on advertising, says Somaya, but will rely on competitors' ads to stimulate the whole market. In 1994, the company spent $3m on advertising. It claims sales increased from $244m in 1994 to $360m in 1995.

The company will however spend $4m on staging "Sony Avenue," a four-day event next month at Bangkok's national convention center that will bring together company executives, dealers and an expected 70,000 to 100,000 customers.

Copyright July 1996 Crain Communications Inc.

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