The Sony Group, a leading multinational and a world leader in electronics is one of the most prominent examples of social engagement. The company has a philosophy of adopting holistic approach to its business goals. It considers the social and environmental aspects of any business idea in addition to the economic aspects. The company as we see it today has faced several challenges during this entire journey of success. The company expanded by entering into newer countries and introducing newer products for its customers. But identifying the local market and connecting to the consumers was not easy. The company utilized various social engagement strategies to establish itself. Community engagement or social engagement is the culture at Sony and it has paid well to the company.
Utilizing Social Media
When the company made a move to India with its smartphone category, it faced tough competition from existing players in the market like Samsung and Blackberry. Creating brand awareness in Indian minds and differentiating itself from the existing brands was a challenge. Sony adopted the social engagement strategy for the purpose. Since the smartphone was targeted at the youth, the company utilized the platform of social networking website Facebook. The company launched a Facebook application where they asked the users for their reviews about the smartphone. This helped the company to analyze future demand in a better way and make technical and marketing decisions accordingly. The company got its offering visible among the target customers in an interesting manner and it further helped in enhancing the sales.
Localizing the Business Model
Another success story of Sony Corporation in the field of social engagement relates to its market entry into China. This was a major challenge because of the cross-cultural hostility in China. The political unrest led Chinese people to boycott Japanese products and refrain from investing in Japanese Enterprises. The company resorted to social engagement in a different form to connect to the Chinese community. It developed a local business model and hired local manpower including the technicians to develop products that particularly suited the needs of Chinese market. The company also engaged itself in various social activities to benefit the community. This helped the company gain recognition for its brands and promoting among the target customers. Today, Sony is a well-known brand in China and has a strong customer base there.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at Sony
Another form of social engagement visible in Sony Corporation relates to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The company categorizes its CSR activities into 7 broad sections: management, environment, product responsibility, responsible sourcing, training and development, community engagement, and innovation. The company has a well-designed system for CSR reporting which discloses the various CSR activities adopted by the company during the period.
Why we need Social Engagement today
Society forms an integral part of today’s business objectives. The financial activities of the firm should be pursued in conjunction with the social activities. Whether it’s a national firm or a big multinational, social engagement to a great extent acts as word-of-mouth publicity for the firm. The social activities carried out by a firm spread faster than any other activities and receive not only the attention but credibility of target market. This is perhaps the only way firms would be able to survive in the future.
- D’Costa, A. (2012). Globalization and Economic Nationalism in Asia. UK: Oxford University Press.