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Sony seeks to engage at the 'last inch'

News, 11 January 2017

LAS VEGAS: Sony, the electronics group, is closing the gap for consumer engagement from the "last mile" to the "last inch", reflecting its aim to drive powerful emotional responses with its products.

Kazuo Hirai, the President/CEO of Sony, discussed this subject during a session at CES 2017, an event organised by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

"Some telecommunications companies have described the sweet spot in customer delivery as happening at the 'last one mile'," he said. (For more details, read Warc's free-to-access report: Sony seeks emotional connections at the "last inch".)

"My take on that, for Sony, is a little bit more ambitious, because we want to connect with you at the last one inch. This is really up close – and very personal. This is where you feel a deep attachment [and] connection – and, of course, pride of ownership."

Such an idea requires far more than working to a set of technical specifications. "At Sony," Hirai said, "we are always thinking about not only what can we do, or how we will create it, but asking ourselves, 'Why?'."

The company's philosophy in this area, he continued, is captured by the Japanese word kando, which can broadly be translated to mean "wow factor".

Its deeper connotations, however, involve prompting emotional responses from consumers who experience products from Sony's stable, be it PlayStation VR virtual-reality headsets, BRAVIA TV sets or the latest audio technologies.

"Whenever you see, touch or interact with our products, we want to stimulate an emotional response … And that is what we call kando," Hirai said.

"Emotional involvement, expressed as kando, is at the very essence of all our offerings. And our goal – and my personal commitment – is to inspire your creativity, delight your senses, challenge your boundaries and enrich your lives."

Through provoking such reactions from consumers, Sony hopes its offerings will become an invaluable part of their everyday lives.

"Kando doesn't just happen in some abstract space in the cloud. It happens when we create an object of desire," Hirai suggested.

Data sourced from Warc