Case Detail

Case Summary

Sony Targets Laptop Consumers in China: Segment Global or Local?

Case Number: 5-311-500, Year Published: 2011, Revision Date: April 05, 2012

HBS Number: KEL614

Request PreviewBuy

Authors: Kent Grayson; Sachin Waikar

Key Concepts

Market Segmentation, Targeting


The manager of the Sony VAIO personal computer in China has been given two segmentation studies. One study is country-specific and product-specific. The other is a global segmentation study, which covers all regions and all of Sony’s many consumer electronics. Which segmentation study should the manager rely on—or is there a way to rely on both? After deciding which study is best, which consumer should the manager target, and with what position?

Learning Objectives

To provide a basis for students (with the help of their lecturer or professor) to answer the following questions: What are the general purposes of a market segmentation study, and what are some of the associated challenges? Is it better for a segmentation study to provide information about the likelihood of category purchase or the likelihood of brand purchase? What are the plusses and minuses of a global versus local segmentation study, and what are the marketing implications of each?

Number of Pages: 16

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Marketing

Teaching Note Available: Yes

Geographic: China

Industry: Consumer Electronics; Personal Computers

Organization Name: Sony

Organization Department: Marketing

Organization Size: Large

Decision Maker Position: Product Manager

Decision Maker Gender: Male

Year of Case: 2011