Japan Compare and Constrast Essay

This essay has a total of 1921 words and 9 pages.


Morita was born in Nagoya, Japan, in 1921 the son of sake brewers. In 1946, he helped
start Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo KK (the Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation) with
Ibuka. They had $375 and space in an abandoned department store, shelled by bombs in the
war. The company quickly built Japan's first tape recorder, but it was big and bulky --
not a product destined to propel the company into the limelight. Then, in the 1950s, Ibuka
and Morita got a license from Bell Labs to build transistors.

The Japanese were still hard hit by the war, and couldn't really afford expensive
electronics, so Ibuka set his sights on the American market with a brand new idea -- a
small, transistorized radio that could fit in your pocket. As it was, a US company built
such a radio first, but more as a gimmick than an actual product. When Sony, as Morita's
company was soon renamed, came out with their radio, it quickly took over the market

While the Regency sold out everywhere, it didn't stay on the market. Texas Instruments
caused the sensation it wanted and then moved on to other things.

But over in Japan, a tiny company had other ideas. A tape recorder manufacturer called
Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo had also decided to make small radios. In fact, they were going to
devote their whole company to commercial products like that.

Tsushin Kogyo was close to manufacturing its first radios when it heard that an American
company had beaten them to the punch. But they kept up the hard work, eventually producing
a radio they named the TR-52. When Regency quit producing the TR1, in the spring of 1955,
the Japanese company was poised to enter the US market.

While most American companies researched the transistor for its military applications,
Ibuka envisioned using it for communications. While Regency and Texas Instruments in the
US may have built a transistor radio first, it was the Tokyo Company that really invested
the radio as a viable commercial product. Ibuka's company -- now named Sony, a combination
of the Latin word for sound "sonus" and the chic Japanese boys of the time nicknamed
"sonny" -- quickly took over the market.

The only problem was that the company name was unprouncable for Americans. They needed a
new name. Ibuka and his partner Akio Morita thought and thought. First, they found a Latin
word sonus meaning, "sound." That was a good start. At the time, bright young men were
referred to as "sonny boys," and that was a good image too. Combining the two concepts,
they developed a new name: Sony.

Morita's passion was innovation. Sony employees were encouraged to develop new designs and
products, and the company held contests to help motivate creativity in product design.
Morita's strategies helped steer Japanese industries toward creation of new technologies
instead of merely making cheap knock-offs of items developed in the West.

In 1963, Morita moved his entire family to the United States as part of a strategy to take
his company worldwide. He believed that living in America would give him a better
understanding of the marketplace, local regulations, and consumers' wants and needs.

The Walkman, the personal radio or cassette player with headphones, Morita himself came up
with the idea of a very portable, high-quality cassette player that allowed the listener
to do other things while enjoying music.

The Sony Corp. marketed the first transistor television in 1960. In 1966 came a
demonstration of the first color home videotape recorder. The 3.5-inch floppy disk was a
Sony invention in 1989.

Even Sony's failures are successes: Sony's Beta videotape format fell out of favor with
the consumer market, but the Betacam system is an industry standard in television
broadcasting. Sony is a worldwide leader in technological development.

The electronics firm, Sony, has expanded its operations from its establishment in 1946 in
a 'bombed out department store', to become one of the world's largest and most influential
electronics firms. Sony, has furthermore, developed a worldwide reputation, as one of the
worlds most innovative and technologically advanced firms. Its success can be attributed
to several internal factors, which include, the freedom of workers to experiment, the
passionate decisions of management, the established corporate culture, and also
particularly to the marketing approaches that top management has integrated into the firm
since its establishment.

The leaders of Sony, from its founders to the present-day management, have encouraged
their product designers to express and prove their individual visions about the
development of new products to the firm, as with the Sony Walkman. In fact top management
has been 'willing to join the creative fray', which has lead to the development of a
cohesive firm with a corporate culture. This management style prompted the development of
premium quality, unique, and futuristic products, and along with the establishment of a
strong corporate culture, formed the basis of the firm's competitive advantage. These
aspects gave rise to adoption of several marketing approaches during the course of Sony's
life cycle.

During Sony's period of establishment the marketing approach was the key approach, since
the initial management of Sony decided that the only way to succeed was to discover a new
form of technology and develop a product from it, which would satisfy the wants of
customers. This was evidenced by the conception of the tape recorder, and the first
pocket-sized radio, developed for changing lifestyles. This approach has continued and
still practiced today as signified by the recent development of the following products,
the Walkman, the Handycam, the Discman, all of which are regarded by millions of customers
as products that represent a way of life. The marketing approach was influential in the
marketing of the Walkman, such a concept originated from a want of customers for a small,
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