• About Tom Dougherty

    Tom Dougherty CEO, Stealing Share

    Tom Dougherty is the President and CEO of Stealing Share, Inc., and has helped national and global brands such as Lexus, IKEA and Tide steal market share over his 25-year career.

    An often-quoted source on business and brands, he has been featured recently by the New York Times and CNN, discussing topics ranging from television to Apple to airlines.

    Tom also regularly speaks at conferences as a keynote and break-out speaker. To find out more on inviting him to your speaking engagement and view a video of him speaking, click here.

    You can also reach him via email attomd@stealingshare.com.

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You can’t charge a premium price if you don’t have a premium brand

Good news for all you Sony tablet oglers out there who just couldn’t bring yourself to make the purchase because its pricing was just too high: Sony just announced that it is dropping its price on its Android-based tablet base unit from $499 down to $399.

The misconception by many manufacturers releasing tablets priced at $499 is that consumers are willing to spend that $499 on a tablet since they purchase iPads so readily. This however is not true. Consumers are, in fact, willing to pay $499 for a tablet from Apple. Another tablet and an Apple tablet are not the same. With the latter, you have the ability to charge a premium because it matches a premium brand.

This pricing issue is not a first for Sony. The pricing teams still believe in the equity and clout its brand once carried, even though consumers don’t. From the P3S to the recently released Vita to its tablet to the upcoming release of its personal 3D viewer, Sony believes its brand justifies the premium pricing. It is not until sales figures begin rolling in and the over-forecasting of consumer interest becomes apparent that Sony’s prices find a more realistic level.

Big news from Sony at the 2011 E3 was a new “affordable” 3D television priced at $499. Now, a few months on the market, and it is regularly priced at retail stores for $399 and as low as $299 leading up to the holiday.

The point here is that only premium brands can justify premium prices. The power of a meaningful brand is that consumers will pay more for it and even inconvenience themselves for it. The fact that you are overpriced only becomes that much more apparent when the power of the brand doesn’t match it.

All hope for Sony is not lost. It just needs to get back in touch with the highest emotional intensities that exist in the market. Until then, expect more disappointing sales figures – and dropping prices.

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