Sharp Launch TV With No Plug In Aerial, Its A Pity About Their Marketing

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COMMENT: Shortly Sharp will launch a brand new Freestyle Aquos that is not bound by the location of the traditional aerial plug. Instead Sharp is introducing a new wireless tuner that sends the broadcast signals to a TV anywhere in the house.The only problem is that Sharp will not get the credit or the sales they deserve for the simple reason that they are poor marketers.

Sharp is the Japanese Company who makes their own panels, as well as panels for several other leading brands such as Apple who recently invested billions with the Company to make their display panels for their products. Last year they cracked how to deliver a fourth colour yellow to the traditional RGB spectrum resulting in owners of a Sharp TV getting a richer picture experience.

Instead of investing in UK or US creative teams to market their brand Sharp penny pinches believing that the “Japanese” way is the right way to market their brand. They don’t like to spend money upfront luring customers to their brand and when they do spend money on marketing their message is lost in poorly executed advertising that is more about the product and Sharp than the benefits.

When did you last see a Sharp marketing campaign based on humour or a campaign that really got you curious that you simply had to take a peek in store at what they were offering?

This is a brand that could really give LG, Samsung Panasonic and Sony a run for their money. They are innovators and inventors, they actually make their own TVs, yet they languish among the “me too” TV brands.

The approach taken by Sharp is the same approach taken by NEC, Hitachi, Pioneer and Fujitsu and every one of these brands has either got out of the consumer TV market or are struggling.

The problem is that innovation and inventions are useless unless you have the capacity to market the difference with consumers. In Sharp’s case they have the pedigree but lack marketing nous.

While they will gamble on a new manufacturing plant in the hope that they can lure OEM deals they are not gambling on the potential success of their brand.

30 years ago Sharp had an advertising agency in Australia who delivered exceptional advertising and marketing, the brand was recognisable and people bought their products, in particular microwaves.

Since that era the Company has unfortunately become a mere trading Company whose approach to market is based on showing retailers products and if they get enough orders and enough retailers to stock the brand they then invest some money in marketing.

And when they do nine times out of ten it is Japanese developed creative that is almost irrelevant in Australia and many other markets around the world.

 

Sharp make great products but they are let down by self-inflicted wounding, instead of the brand being in the top four it wallows from a lack of marketing love and attention by people who know the difference between creative that works Vs creative that appears to be designed to appease retailers that they are actually spending some money marketing their products.

You only have to look at the slick marketing of Sony to realise why Sharp is struggling. Sony don’t make their own panels, nor do they have anywhere near the innovation that Sharp has in a TV yet they outsell Sharp six to one, for the simple reason that they are better marketers than Sharp.

Sharp says its new Freestyle Aquos line of TVs is not bound by the location of the aerial plug which makes great sense.

 “For people wanting to move around all the furniture and freely design their homes, the TV has been a bottleneck,” said Keiko Okada, the executive in charge of design and branding strategy at Sharp.

Sharp’s new TVs represent the latest attempt among television makers to differentiate their product line-up, in a search for an alternative to cutthroat price competition that has been destroying TV sales in Australia.

When Sharp’s competitors have innovation break throughs they scream it from the rooftops.

Samsung Electronics mass-produced light emitting diode-backlit TV sets ahead of rivals. There sales went through the roof.

When 3-D TVs debuted in early 2010, the Company again got sales because they invested in marketing their 3D offering. 

In October last year, Sony released new Internet-enabled TVs that were really not up to scratch yet they got sales because of their marketing.

Sharp’s new Freestyle Aquos TVs, will be launched  in four sizes – 20, 32, 40 and 60 inches and can be placed around the house anywhere there is access to a power plug, Sharp executives said on Friday.

The new TVs are up to 50% lighter than Sharp existing models of the same size, making them ideal for wall mounting.

Each Freestyle Aquos model comes with a wireless TV tuner a little larger than a paperback novel. By connecting this tuner to the TV aerial, the TVs display can receive signals from a TV anywhere in the house.

 “It’s surely important to keep looking for a new approach, but this may not be the answer,” Mr. Kurahashi added.

He made no mention of Sharp’s marketing plans.

If Sharp took a punt and used Australia as a test market, they could easily test the concept of a high profile marketing campaign developed by professional marketers and if they did, I am convinced that they will be surprised by the results.

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