The starting point of successful propositions

22nd September 2017 |   Maurice van Tholen

Starting Successful Propositions


As Product Marketing Director of Sony Mobile my daily work entails the creation of propositions for consumers and business customers in Europe based on propositions that are created mainly in Tokyo headquarters. I decided to research how the propositions can be improved and my focus is on the starting point of proposition creation. The aim of this research is to draw conclusions that can be of positive value to Sony Mobile in its proposition planning process and ultimately to its profitability.

The smartphone industry and the wider smart products industry are dominated in volume and profit share by the A brand companies such as Apple and Samsung, and these companies are then coming under increased competition from the price competitive, super-cost-efficient and mainly Chinese brands (Halben 2014). Sony is an A brand and is definitely not the most cost-efficient player, so it needs to excel in bringing valued propositions to its customers.

Even though mother company Sony Corporation is reasonably profitable, in recent years its smartphone subsidiary Sony Mobile has been struggling with its profitability (61,4 billion yen loss in fiscal year 2015) (Kharpal 2016), which in my analysis is partly due to disappointing consumer demand for its propositions. Key smartphone media (Grush 2015) are also picking up on the lack of key features and differentiation (elements of the proposition).

Maurice van Tholen heads up product marketing in Europe for Sony’s mobile division, covering smartphones, tablets, accessories and IoT products.