What are the strengths and weaknesses of Sony corporation?

Strengths

Substantial Brand Identity

Sony is a corporate brand whose identity is deeply rooted and very well established in the minds of potential customers. The brand remains healthy despite dropping from 25th to 29 in name recognition according to InterBrands 2009 ranking. Interbrand valued Sony brand at $11 million.

Global Diversification

Sony products and services are available throughout the world in approximately 200 countries and territories. The United States market accounted for 17.9% of the revenues, Europe (13.9%), and others (25.8%), while Japan consisted of the largest segment at 42%. This diversification helps to minimize the impact of adverse conditions that may arise in any one geographic region.

Weaknesses

Downward Trending Revenues

Four major Sony division experienced revenue losses in 2009, specifically Electronics down 17%, Games down 18%, Pictures down 16.4% and Financial Services down 7.4%.In the U.S Revenues were down 15.4 %, while revenues in Japan fell 15.2%.

Poor Proximity of Production to Customers

Sony's production facilities are located far from its customer base. Approximately 60% of the annual production in Japan must be distributed to for other regions. In FY2009, the group produced 50% of the electronics segment's total annual production in Japan.

Substantial Retirement Benefit Commitments

The unfunded status of the pension liabilities (approximately $3.6 billion) increased at a rate of 62% over 2008. Sizeable unfunded post retirement benefits would force the company to make periodic cash contributions, diverting money away from production related uses.