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Every company makes promises prior to the introduction and launch of a new product. This was indeed the case when Sony was looking forward to the launch of the Playstation 4 (PS4) gaming console. The brand promise for this product is as follows: “Unmatched content, gaming, apps, and exclusives make PlayStation®4 system the Best Place to Play. And with the fastest processor and memory on the market, the PS4™ moves gaming to a new level” (sony.com). The only other product on the market that is remotely considered competition is the Microsoft Xbox. Microsoft had a similar promise in the launch of their gaming console, which is the Xbox One. Their promise was short and sweet, reiterating it regularly. This promise was “Play Anywhere”, meaning you are able to play your Xbox games on your computer or tablet as long as they are Microsoft products, and you can also play your computer games on your Xbox, which in theory also moves gaming to a new level.
PlayStation 4 was in essence seeking to retain their current customers but offer more than they were getting from their old consoles. Many individuals complained that the updates on the PlayStations were taking too long to download, and the games did not have the best graphics. Others complained that the processor was too slow and the memory insufficient. PlayStation set out to exceed the expectations of the consumers in the design and launch of its newest product. The company also set out to separate themselves distinctly from the competition. They wanted to make it well known that they have their sights set on the gamers, and the individuals that take joy in having accomplishments in their gaming experiences.
Although many individuals find it difficult to choose between a PS4 and an Xbox, the PS4 is superior in its brand promise in that the PS4 delivered what it promised to the fullest extent. Furthermore, the company is constantly supplying updates to make the system more user friendly and up to date, whereas Xbox lags in keeping their systems up to date. The updates are not time consuming as they once were. Xbox has also already changed the brand promise they originally introduced in launching the Xbox One. “Rather than signaling a shift in policy, Microsoft Xbox head Phil Spencer said the change in wording is simply to give leeway in case there’s a “unique game [that’s] not right for all devices” (Souppouris, 2016). Sony has remained consistent in offering the best gaming consoles on the market, and the PS4 is a prime example of this. Sony has kept their promises in the past and will continue to do so.
“Not only will PS4 ($399) cost $100 less than Xbox One ($499), it will not impose any restrictions on game sharing or require any amount of Internet connectivity like the Xbox One does” (McDermott, 2013). PS4 has one target market in mind. The company dedicates itself to sell to the “gamers,” and does not attempt to sell anything else. The idea behind this target market is that the gamers will truly appreciate the features as well as the pricing of the PS4. These individuals will remain loyal and know what to expect and appreciate in a console. Xbox is less concerned with the actual individuals buying the game than they are the overall marketing of their products to the various households. The PS4 tagline of “Greatness Awaits” further encompasses the dedication to the gamers because Sony and PS4 understand and appreciate the accomplishments made through playing the games on the PS4.
In remaining consistent with the promise of moving gaming to another level, PS4 is consistently on the lookout for new features such as the Virtual Reality products. As soon as a new or improved feature or option is designed or developed, PlayStation ensures that the consumers are offered or given these features either in new compatible devices, hardware, or updates. PS4 also regularly introduces new games to the market for the consumers to never become bored or stagnant in their playing. This also ideally fits the target market and audience in that these individuals are regularly up to date on the latest technology and games being developed and want these products as soon as they are released.
“Great packaging doesn’t merely sell a product; it sells the brand, because it connects with the consumer” (Lemley, 2013). The PlayStation name is well known, as is the logo. In remaining consistent with the font and design of the PlayStation products, the PS4 is able to retain the loyal customers as well as attain new customers. The PlayStation brand has built a reputation for greatness for many generations and continues to do so in the newest product offerings. The PS4 is packaged and labeled so that it is easily recognized. There is also a strap at the end of one of the sides of the box for ease of the customer. The box can easily be picked up and carried to the checkout or to a neighbor’s house if the consumer wishes to do this. The contents are packaged so that there will be no damage in transit to the item.
A picture of the PS4 is on the front of the box to further encourage the consumer to follow through with the purchase. In seeing the sleek design and the endless possibilities of the PS4, the brand promise is reiterated. The PS4 moves gaming to the next level through its unmatched abilities and attributes. “Unique structures, minimal materials and pared-down brand communication deliver the brand’s core assets” (Lemley 2013). The packaging and labeling of the PS4 not only support the brand promise but also encompass and promote it. PS4 will continue to have a strong and successful product because of the brand promise as well as the unique features of the product and its efficient and effective packaging and labeling.
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