Harvard Business School, Samsung Case Analysis
The SEC was a technology company that relies on R&D and production of high quality electronic products. During 1980s SEC produce goods for better known brands that resold them under their brands. In these period SEC did not invest on marketing activities and as a result could not create a well known brand image in the minds of consumers. The Asian Crisis in 1997 forced the company to make radical changes in the company policies in order to survive. Although aim of creating innovative, high premium products with a well known brand emerged in the early 1990s, after this financial crisis they learned the significance of differentiation.
The company mainly has two main problems: lack of brand personality and the low quality brand image. The Samsung’s one of the most important problems is the lack of a brand image. In my opinion to create a brand identity a major product in each category that is produced with the latest technology and equipped with several features is needed. But the key points should be the design and the color. I choose design and color because these two are the most observable features of any technological product. Current Samsung cell phones do not have a characteristic feature.
They look like either iPod or Nokia. .As it is mentioned in the Samsung’s case, the products of Samsung are not seen as stylish as competitors’ products. Creating a family of products having the same design and color which has no affiliation with any other technological product would be a starting point to create a personality for the Samsung brand. Since Samsung has the necessary knowledge to create high quality products I think it should use this advantage to create upper class products . Compared to its competitors Samsung has a wide variety of products.
So it can group these products and choose a different color and create a unique design for each of the groups. For instance cell phones and mp3 players can be classified as a separate group, TVs and DVD players can be classified as another group. As indicated by many marketers emotions derive the purchase so the unique design and color (as unique as Tiffany Co. ’s blue)would be an off core differentiation method and create a personality. Besides, although the case stresses on the high quality products of Samsung, compared to its competitors Samsung does not have a high quality brand image.
Exhibit 13 proves this view. It says according to the general opinion “the quality inside is unknown or cheap”. So I think the company needs to affiliate the brand with an institution well known by the public with its technological inventions. Being a sponsor in World Olympics Games is a good way to create a global brand image but sport is not directly related to technology and for a company desires to create a high quality up-to-date company image being a sponsor for world Olympics is not the best way.
Instead Samsung might choose one or two U. S. university which have good reputations in technology and cooperate with the engineering departments of these universities. Here the most important thing is to make the public aware of this cooperation. I am sure that many engineers graduated from well know universities work for Samsung and the products are high quality but the public does not know this. Hence creating an affiliation with a well known university would eliminate the existing negative image of Samsung.