In doing business, the most important thing is trust. In a free market economy, in particular, Akio thought that trust was the cornerstone of business. Trust isn’t something that can be gained easily. It needs to be built, day-by-day and year-by-year. Building long-term trust in the domestic and foreign markets was of the utmost importance. It is difficult to build trust if you only focus on profit. However, if you focus on building trust, you will naturally prosper.
“Don’t devote yourself exclusively to expanding sales. I think that Sony has established a foundation of trust worldwide, based on a policy of not trying to maximize sales this year, but preserving a policy of prioritizing trust to ensure steady profits next year, the year after and into the future.” (Mass Sales, July 1969 edition)
Trust is not something you can see, and if neglected, there will be no immediate impact. However, that impact appears slowly, and by the time it’s noticed, it’s too late. Akio’s resolve to personally develop market networks abroad was done to develop trust. In order to penetrate the US market with the Sony brand, he felt he had to gain the trust of the American consumer, and so he established Sony America, with himself at the helm.
To gain this trust it is important to not only provide a superior product, but to offer a thorough aftercare network as well. However, in a country as vast as the United States, to develop by oneself an entire sales and service network from scratch is no easy matter.
Akio carefully persevered and although there wasn’t much of a result in sales in the first few years, he was digging the foundations of trust among American consumers. Thanks to these efforts, Sony today is a global enterprise that enjoys tremendous trust from its customers.
From:The Sayings of Akio Morita, published by Sony Magazines.