Retail Merchandiser - March/April 2017 - 22
reality. "We are a leader in VR content and are aggressively
looking at ways to monetize that business," she explains. "I
think as we look to the future, VR has just started to take
off and brands are we are looking at ways to use it. There is
tremendous opportunity in location-based entertainment,
toys, games and interactive and mobile gaming.
"In addition, it's about figuring out how we work with
our partners to integrate technology. It's fast moving so we
are constantly at the forefront of looking at different ways
to integrate it into our business. Since we have so many
technology dependent businesses throughout Sony, our
advantage is to be able to tap into those resources when we
need to or when there is an opportunity. That has been a
part of our strategy for quite some time."
Although Sony is a big company, it has a very unique
culture because it is small in terms of communication and
openness for new ideas, according to Stevens.
"We are also very nimble so that we are able to adapt,
which is beneficial for our partners and the overall business," she says. "It's important to be flexible as an organization. For example, we are an international business, so if
the strategy has to change by market we need to be able to
look at that and pivot appropriately. I think that's probably
been the biggest change in our business over the last five to
Stevens also prides herself and her team on having good
relationships both within the company, including filmmakers and content creators and with licensees, agents
and retailers globally. Communication is critical in these
relationships, Stevens adds.
"Having processes in place is crucial, and limits the
amount of issues that can arise," she says. "Understanding
our overall strategy for the franchise or a movie is also very
helpful to our partners. Defining our strategy is something
we do upfront in the early stages of engaging with our
partners. It keeps everyone on the same page and makes
the process seamless moving forward."
The Sony team includes (from left) SVP Creative
Roger Estrada, EVP Worldwide Consumer
Products Jamie Stevens and SVP, Global
Licensing Stacey Kerr.
Another important aspect of Sony's culture is that it is an
entrepreneurial environment. "We are a creative company," Stevens says. "It's very attractive for people to want to
come and work here - that's one of the reasons why I came
here. It's very unusual in a big company to be able to be
entrepreneurial and feel like you're making an impact on
the overall business. It doesn't matter what level you are. If
there is a good idea, it can come from anywhere and that is
something that is very accepted within our culture."
In addition, Stevens prides herself on hiring the "best of
the best," and weeds out those who want to work at Sony
just because of its name. "That starts when they come in to
meet with me as well as some of the key members of the
team," she explains. "We do a lot of talking to candidates
about their ideas and how they feel they could make a
difference coming to work at Sony."
Once hired, employees are kept motivated by the company's ever-growing and diverse slate of content. "Sony is a
fantastic place to work," Stevens says. "That makes people
want to come to work everyday and do the best they can."
Ultimately, Stevens concludes, succeeding in this business involves strong relationships, hard work, creativity and
perseverance. "It also involves enjoying what you do, having
fun and working with a great team will ultimately lead to
great ideas, products and success." O