PlayStation is arguably the biggest game console brand in the world, with a string of successful console launches. Its latest product, the PlayStation 5, has sold over 38.5 million units as of April 2023, far exceeding the target of 18 million units Sony had set in 2022. But how did they manage to overperform so spectacularly? Well, a lot of its success is down to the marketing used by Sony and PlayStation to market their products, so let’s take a closer look at how they market their products.
PlayStation’s phenomenal success can be attributed to its adeptness at attracting a broad audience through enticing promotions. By utilizing various marketing tactics, PlayStation has created a strong brand presence and maintained a loyal customer base. Similarly, casinos also employ similar strategies and rewards, like a no deposit bonus, to attract new players and retain existing ones.
The 7P’s of PlayStation
The Sony and PlayStation marketing strategy comprises 7P’s and is widely considered the big driver of the company’s success. Let’s take a look at what they are.
- Product strategy
- Price strategy
- Place strategy
- Promotion strategy
- Process strategy
- People strategy
- Physical evidence strategy
For our article, we’ll focus on the first five points, as they’re arguably the most important five of the bunch, starting with product strategy.
One of the ways Sony and PlayStation were able to be so effective in their marketing is by creating a product that offers a wide range of capabilities. While everyone knows PlayStation as a games console, it’s also several other things: a Blu-ray and DVD player, a music streaming device, a TV streaming device, and an internet browsing device.
By offering a product with so many capabilities, Sony is able to target their marketing to a broader range of people, increasing their potential sales. They can draw on these markets to attract people who may not want an out-and-out games console but would use their PlayStation for other things.
For example, the ability to browse the web and play online games from a PlayStation attracts an audience of people who want to play their games on a bigger screen. Many online games, such as online casino games, benefit from being played on a bigger screen, and by allowing people to play these games via their PlayStation easily, Sony can tap into this market. Plus, as the web browsing capabilities of the PlayStation are the same as a regular PC, players still get access to the benefits of these sites, such as online casino bonuses, when they play from their PlayStation.
When choosing a pricing strategy, many companies tend to choose either a premium pricing strategy or a competitive pricing strategy. Let’s take a closer look at what those two strategies are.
- Premium Pricing Strategy. A premium pricing strategy is when a company sets a higher price for its products compared to the other brands on the market, to give an appearance of a premium product that’s worth spending more on.
- Competitive Pricing Strategy. A competitive pricing strategy is when a company alters their price to align more with its competitors and provide better value for the customers.
However, PlayStation manages to combine the two and uses a premium pricing strategy while still getting the benefits that come with using a competitive pricing strategy.
The PlayStation is often the most expensive games console of the “Big Three” games companies, the other two being Microsoft and Nintendo. By setting a higher price point, they allow themselves to remain the premium brand of the three. They can boast their high-end customer experience and a more significant technological investment.
While they remain the most expensive brand of the Big Three games consoles, they set their price in alignment with the other companies around them. For example, if Nintendo and Microsoft increase their price for the new console, PlayStation increases their price to stay the premium brand. However, if the other two reduce their price, PlayStation decreases their price to ensure the gap between them and the second-most expensive console isn’t too big.
As a worldwide gaming company, PlayStation operates across six continents and has a location in 47 different countries. They have their trademark registered in over 200 countries around the world, and the Sony warranty is valid in 53 different counties.
This worldwide reach has allowed Sony to access a variety of markets around the world, further increasing their potential sales. Sony and PlayStation have also partnered with a number of trusted retailers that make it even easier for their products to be shipped around the world. Companies like Amazon.com both allow PlayStation to reach a wider audience and also help market their product, as these companies will advertise PlayStation products on their site.
Sony is no stranger to traditional marketing and spends billions of dollars every year to advertise its products. In 2019 alone, they spent $3.31 billion on advertising, and while that figure came down during the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s back on the rise again.
Advertising is quite a vague term these days, as it can encompass a large number of different mediums, but the bulk of Sony’s marketing approach is focused on digital marketing. While they use a lot of TV and print marketing in Asian markets, the Western markets have become a lot more online-focused, with social media playing a big part in that.
Each product it offers has a unique Facebook page, and the PlayStation pages on social media sites all have a significant number of followers, allowing PlayStation to release information about its upcoming products to many people with ease.
As new products are introduced to the PlayStation line, Sony ensures each product has its unique identity while staying firmly under the Sony PlayStation brand. The best example of this can be found in their game consoles, where each has a unique number on the end, differentiating it from past iterations while still being known as a “PlayStation” and indirectly marketing the brand.
This holistic approach to brand management means that every product indirectly markets other products offered by PlayStation while still retaining the uniqueness that makes that product stand out.