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Sharp History

1985 : Making Products that Match Individual Lifestyles

"New-Lifestyle People" Strategy

In 1985, the company modified its highly successful "new lifestyle" product development approach into a strategy targeting people born after 1954, or the "new-lifestyle people." In contrast to the "emotive values" of the baby boomers, who looked at color and external design when choosing products, "new-lifestyle people" wanted products that matched their individual personalities. Products were developed specially for this group of consumers.

Creative Lifestyle Focus Center

Sharp established the Creative Lifestyle Focus Center to produce software that would match the needs and values of its increasingly diverse consumer base. The facility set out to discover customers' true preferences, particularly those of "new-lifestyle people," by analyzing their lifestyles. Products were then tailored to those desires. This Creative Lifestyle Focus Center was an industry first. The idea of concentrating not on hardware, as in the past, but on " lifestyle software" to create demand-generating products received a great deal of attention.

Completion of Fukuyama Plant in Hiroshima

The first stage of construction on a new Sharp plant in the city of Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture, was completed in 1985, and production of VLSI chips and other sophisticated semiconductor devices was soon brought on line.

Establishing a Manufacturing Base in the UK

Also in 1985, Sharp Manufacturing Company of U.K. (SUKM) was established as the manufacturing division of SUK, Sharp's British sales subsidiary. This plant in Wrexham, North Wales, began manufacturing VCRs and has since grown to be one of the largest Japanese operations in the UK.

Creative Management

Sharp instituted a "creative management" program to focus the company's goals and those of the workers on a common target. Tasks were carried out according to the following cycle: Plan (task goals are identified by the individual), Do (the individual carries out the necessary steps to achieve those goals), Check (the results are evaluated with a superior), Action (any necessary adjustments are instituted). This program was designed to maximize the motivation and creativity of employees and create a distinctive Sharp business atmosphere. It was also used as a basis for performance evaluations.

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