Launching high-end technology products
A Samsung case study

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Page 5: Brand building

Samsung 5 Image 3Samsung is a relative newcomer to the highly competitive world of mobile communications, developing a cellular telecom system as late as the 1990s. Having established itself in the CDMA markets (including USA and Korea), Samsung has now decided to use the GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) network to enter the international markets. As part of the trend towards convergence in the electronics world – bringing computers, entertainment and communications closer together – Samsung has implemented a brand building exercise, stretching the brand name to take in new products. Drawing on the expertise and economies of scale from being one of the world’s leading manufacturers of memory chips and display screens, Samsung will be able to compete with those firms already in the market.

New product development

Samsung developed a new product, a slimline phone with an innovative design, which has been deliberately positioned in the mid to high end of the market. Due to its unique selling point - voice activated, hands free dialling - Samsung’s phones are specifically targeted at ABC1 businessmen and women, aged between 25 and 44. This is known as market segmentation or differentiated marketing.

The marketing strategy for the mobile phone market is different yet again. The promotional strategy, designed to increase brand recognition, has involved extensive sponsorship of some of the most prestigious sporting events broadcast across the globe. Sydney 2000 Olympics and the World Gymnastics Championships have been selected as platforms from which the Samsung brand name is sported. An extensive mobile phone advertising campaign on terrestrial TV and in the specialist press was reinforced by an outdoor campaign in the autumn of 1999 involving adverts on the sides of taxis, on buses and on the underground.

Having launched five mobile handsets on the market between 1998 and 1999, Samsung is already working on its strategy for the new data communications market where consumers will be able to access the Internet and e-mail via mobile phones. In this time, Samsung acquired a sizeable portion of the market and demonstrated remarkable innovation in technology and design, as with the wrist phone and the MP3 phone.

As mobile phones are usually bought through specialist retailers or through phone service providers, the channels of distribution also differ from DVD and TFT monitors. Samsung has made it a priority to establish a solid distribution base by forming strategic trade partnerships with the core retailers and mobile phone retailers. This base established, the strategy involves extending these networks and searching for every opportunity to make the products available to the consumer. Point of sale materials and brochures have been produced for impressive in-store displays and professional training sessions guarantee that retail staff have a thorough knowledge of the products.

Samsung | Launching high-end technology products