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Samsung Electronics Co. Global Marketing Operations Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
921 1058 Words (4 Pages) John A. Quelch, Anna Harrington Harvard Business School : 504051
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Samsung Electronics Co. has appointed a new marketing head to revive its financial status and brand image in the global market. Sony has been a market leader in innovative and consumer oriented products, so it is necessary to learn from the marketing strategies of Sony in order to gain competitive advantage. Samsung has used a mix of several strategies for a successful turnaround strategy. It has pre dominantly depended upon the diversification of the product range, and innovation to build a strong brand image and make itself as one of the top technology companies of the world.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution:

  1. What are the ingredients of SEC’s corporate turnaround strategy? What are the implications for marketing?

  2. How strong is the Samsung brand? Can Samsung pass Sony and become a top ten global brand?

  3. As Chief Marketing Officer, what are Kim’s role and responsibilities? How has he built his influence?

Samsung Electronics Co Global Marketing Operations Case Analysis

1. What are the ingredients of SEC’s corporate turnaround strategy? What are the implications for marketing?

The status retrieval of a company from a point of ineffective performance to successful progress state is known as turnaround of a particular company. This phenomenon can be faced due to the inability of company’s revenue to cover the costs of operations. Turnaround needs to be properly planned in order to obtain desired results or else the company might face severe consequences. In the case of Samsung Electronics Co, management decided to focus on a basic strategy to uplift the market position of the firm in order to retain the name of the company in the market. First of all, the company was consolidated, and the main focus was diverted towards manufacturing and R & D. To make the turnaround strategy viable and successful, the management decided to move unlike its competitors, which were focusing on software innovation. Samsung emphasized on its hardware development to gain a competitive edge over its competitors.

Each of Samsung’s competitors had a unique set of products, and mostly a limited one. Some companies like Nokia, were offering only a single kind of product, which was not able to cater the huge market of technology. The wide scope of technology and innovation forced Samsung to focus on other products too. So the company increased its product range i.e. from mobile phones to LCD televisions. The most important ingredient of turnaround strategy was creative and innovative technology. Firstly, the products were produced after extensive research and testing, it was based with the simple motive of innovation. Secondly, the products were marketed in a way that they presented a view of innovative and different technology. Samsung products used the ingredients of their turnaround strategy in their marketing strategy, as well. They promoted the idea of telling consumers what they have been doing in order to retain the market position. Customers were made to expect the best digital experience from Samsung Electronics Co.

2. How strong is the Samsung brand? Can Samsung pass Sony and become a top ten global brand?

Brand is an important distinguishing factor of a company among a number of its competitors. In every industry, competitors produce similar products and services and sometimes offer more unique and inexpensive products comparatively. Brand development is a process in which the products of a particular company outshine similar products of other companies in the market. Samsung has emerged as a powerful brand in the electronics market and is known to produce a wide range of innovative products. It has marketed its brand name through an efficient marketing strategy team which controlled the overall planning of marketing strategy. Regional and product strategy teams assisted the company to plan strategic market plans, and a medium for research and development for the products to be added in the portfolio of Samsung.

Electronics market is full of big brands competing with each other in a fierce manner. South Korea is considered to be a vital market for electronics manufacturers, which was dominated by Samsung and its product range covered 50 percent of all of the South Korean market. The main focus of the company has always been to expand, not only domestically but internationally, as well. So, the management decided to expand by classifying international markets into three broad categories; markets with low brand awareness of Samsung Electronics, markets with better brand awareness but less brand loyalty, and markets with brand loyal customers of Samsung. The company has shown an increasing trend in its revenue and net profit from the year 1998 to 2002, with the highest increase seen in the year 2001-02. Furthermore, Samsung has also been giving tough competition to the market leader in chipset technology, Intel. This company can not only compete with Sony in the next ten years, but also has the potential to surpass it, and be in the top ten brands of the world.

3. As Chief Marketing Officer, what are Kim’s role and responsibilities? How has he built his influence?

Kim was selected as the marketing head of Samsung Electronics in 2000. Since then he has been pro actively re gaining the once lost position of the company in electronics market. The marketing director is specifically assigned to implement a successful turnaround strategy and make Samsung one of the top ten global leaders of the world. Kim was expected to build a sustainable brand name for the company, and market the products in the international market for global recognition. Kim had to work with a futuristic frame of mind in order to face the difficult challenge of the company’s revival. He planned to diversify the product range as to compete with the market leader, Sony. Sony depended on its product differentiation and the wide variety of electronics such as mobile phones to LCD televisions.

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