Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty Author: Alison Segar

Getting Sony out on the streets
The Sony Walkman poster case


Three problems faced the Sony brand in the early 1990s.

Firstly, Sony could no longer rely on technological innovation alone to keep it ahead of its competitors, as had been the case in the past. USPs now lasted months, not years.

Secondly, from a manufacturer's perspective, the complexion of the brown goods market was changing rapidly, with an influx of specialist manufacturers in each sector, stealing gold standard status from older, more established brands.

Thirdly, as a knock-on effect of this influx, the currency of the market was changing from a consumer angle, 'big' no longer being perceived by the younger consumer to be 'good'.

Among a new generation of connoisseurs and enthusiasts, more esoteric specialist brands were beginning to outmanoeuvre larger competitors, aided and abetted by an information culture of specialist magazines, telling their readers what to go and seek.