How should Lopez interpret and compare the different studies?
Lopez needs to design his marketing strategy based on four market research efforts – large scale study of the Chinese laptop consumer, detailed interviews with laptop users, results of the CLUES report and Project Compass. My recommendation is for Lopez to utilize each of these tools in varying quantities during different stages of his Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning (STP) strategy. The Shanghai report identified that China has developed huge income, education gaps and are seeking objects of higher status, technology and knowledge as differentiating points. Such status seeking trends imply that unlike in many other geographical areas around the world, price reduction
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However, exhibit 8 tells us that only a small proportion of the family user category (38%) plans to buy a laptop in the coming 12 months. Additionally, the Sony brand name does not rank high in their minds and they believe that they get a better deal by purchasing knock off products. This suggests that investing the marketing budget on the family user segment might not yield more return. Chinese perceive Vaio as a premium product, as trendy and stylish. This ties in very well with the overall Vaio brand position and the marketing strategy should not dilute this multimedia based product and unique brand name that appeals to status conscious customers. By catering to the ‘fashion oriented’ and ‘entertainment lover’ segments, Vaio China could establish themselves as the market leader (currently ranked 7) due to the ‘image and perception’ quotient. Additionally, consumers in these two segments have a high probability of purchasing a laptop in the near future (exhibit 8), and they are more willing than other segments to pay a premium price to distinguish themselves from other segments / less affluent customers. Targeted promotions aimed at these segments are most likely to result in sale of laptops. Furthermore, the entertainment lover and the fashion oriented user is most receptive to the multimedia software and add-ons that come along with the original product. This differentiates the