You are a well-known brand. You are synonymous with music. You started the portable music revolution. But, since 2004 your market share has eroded. The music has changed. You are the Sony Walkman.
Music and technology have always been a big part of my life. I remember getting my first Sony Walkman as a Christmas present in the 80’s and it immediately changed my world. Nearly everywhere I went I had it plugged into my ears streaming the likes of Guns and Roses and Run DMC. My mom had one. My brother had one. All of my friends had one. In the 90’s cassettes were replaced by CDs and my Walkman was retired for a Sony Discman…though we still called it a Walkman. In fact there became a point that any portable music device was referred to as a “walkman” – whether it was a Sony or not.
Sony was facing a lot of competition by this point, though they were holding their own. The Walkman brand was solid. Then in October of 2001, Apple announced the iPod. The iPod wasn’t an immediate success. It didn’t catch on till 2004, however since then it has dominated digital music player sales in the U.S. The Walkman…forgotten.
But, the Walkman brand still lives and Sony is looking toward innovation and disruption to breathe new life into the brand. At CES 2013, they launched a waterproof, sports friendly all-in-one digital music player. The Sony Walkman NWZ-W270. But they still have one problem. How do you get this into the hearts of consumers? A search for “waterproof mp3 players” on Amazon provides 425 results! How do you break through that clutter? What if it was sold in a water bottle? Wait, what if that water bottle is full of water!? and sold in a vending machine?
Oh yes they did!