COMMENT:Sharp Is Back With A Great Range Of Products, All They Have To Do Now Is Invest In Marketing
The decision by Sharp to consolidate their consumer business with Tempo is timely and a smart move by the Japanese Company who is going to have to make sure that their domestic, US and European business are returned to good health after COVID-19.
In Australia Sharp is a well-known and trusted brand and as the CEO of NARTA alluded to yesterday, retailers are looking for suppliers who can deliver brand consistency across multiple categories due to the fact that are very few brands that can do this.
LG and Samsung can do this and in the past Panasonic could, with products ranging from smartphones to TV’s to air conditioning to refrigerators, air purifiers and microwaves.
Sharp has all these categories and more, at CES and IFA we were shown a unique range of coloured refrigerators like what Smeg offer right through to networked sound systems and premium audio products.
This is a Company who has been making consumer goods for decades. In Australia they lost their way because of poor management and inflexible pricing. Their TV’s when taken out of the Australian market were among the best TV’s sold in Australia.
This single biggest problem for Sharp is marketing and the lack of investment by the parent Company. In Australia Sharp can be spectacularly successful but several million must be spent on brand and category marketing.
Today consumers are gravitating to brands they trust, Apple, Samsung, LG, Dyson, Breville, Delonghi, Bosch and Panasonic. These are brands that regularly spend on marketing both externally and in store.
And in today’s market one cannot expect a retailer to be the seller and the marketing machine because then it’s all about price and Sharp is not a discount brand.
Sharp needs to tell people about their unique patented technology such as plasma cluster, they need to launch in Australia there in draw microwave with three ovens.
Today’s millennial market needs to be given a reason to buy the Sharp brand and that means being on TV, radio and across social media.
Sharp need to come to the party, kickstart the momentum and then let Tempo deliver the retailers and expanded categories.
Sharp products will sell in Australia because they are cutting edge back 30 years ago when I ran Ogilvy PR sharp was a client, they were #1 in microwave and appliances and they had excellent share of the TV market and their exit from the TV market was tragic.
Great TV’s are key to consumers trusting as brand which is why LG, Samsung and Sony do well in Australia.
Consumers come home switch on a TV. and it works, the pictures are great, and they get a good viewing experience, they turn it off and then night after night for around 4 years they go through the same process.
The TV is suddenly a trusted brand and as LG and Samsung have found out, this leads to them trusting the brand when it comes to appliances and gear from other categories.
Brand trust is one of the most valuable intangible assets in business.
But in the commercial environment trust can be elusive and brands must work to build and maintain it which is why Sharp must go back to investing in their brand.
Sharp is a reliable, responsible and a Japanese Company that deliver on their promises.
Their products work day in day out as they are designed to do, unlike several brands that trade off yesterday’s brand names that have no connection with their heritage, instead they are used by Chinese Companies to earn the brand clout that Sharp still has.
the Sharp products sold in Australia are designed and made by Sharp a Company that is owned by the largest technology Company y in the world Foxconn and I am tipping that this is the start of a new era for Sharp in Australia.
What is now in place is a great product range, a distributor who has an excellent reputation in the Channel and can consistantly deliver all Sharp has to do is spend 18 months kickstarting the brand.