Communication Strategies Put in Place by the Samsung Case Summary: The case in question helps to illustrate the way in which Samsung has utilized sponsorship of a means of promoting the many different platforms, services, and goods that it seeks to engage with the consumer market. Whereas Samsung’s strongest and most viable competitor, Apple, has engaged an entirely different approach within the realm of communications, the following discussion will seek to be concentric upon the ways in which Samsung’s approach has allowed it to experience an unprecedented level of growth over the past few years (Neighbors, 2012).
Moreover, by engaging a more full and complete understanding of Samsung’s efforts, and understanding the case in question, it is the hope of this student the reader will be able to more accurately understand Samsung’s unique approach as an explanation for the growth and success that it has engendered in the recent past (Paul, 2011). Starting with a discussion of the 1988 Olympics, the article in question, “Sports Sponsorship: Samsung Launches US Olympic Genome Project” focuses on the way in which Samsung has channeled the likes of Adidas, Coca Cola and other well known multinationals in seeking to promote its product by means of sponsoring certain events, concerts, and activities (Ming, 2012).
This was not a native approach that Smsung sought to utilize as a “first mover” within the market. Instead, it is something that the likes of Sony and many other well known multinational firms have been doing for quite some time. Ultimately, as a function of seeking to compete with what was and still is a monolithic threat, Apple, Samsung had to alter its strategy as a means of accomplishing the greatest effect with the minimal amount of time or money invested (Rothby, 2009).
Analysis/Discussion: From an analysis of the approach that Samsung has sought to engage, it can immediately be noted that the firm did not develop a new approach towards integrating its product or communicating with the consumer. Instead, the field of market communications was analyzed and it was subsequently determined that Apple and other leaders within the market that could be considered as competitors were approaching the consumer in a variety of different ways (Mason, 2013).
Rather than seeking to engage the consumers in the exact same way and risk being drowned out by an obviously effective level of marketing communications by firms such as Apple, Samsung instead opted for an entirely different approach; one that has shown a time tested level of effectiveness for other firms that rapidly sought to engage in developing and developed markets around the globe (Welkins, 2012). In the case of Apple competing with Samsung, it can immediately be noted that Apple derives a very high level of profitability as the result of the mystique that surrounds the Apple brand.
By building on this mystique and fostering a level of brand identity and image, Apple has been able to minimize the advertisement that is required to be performed in order for the consumer to be cognizant of its offerings and seek to integrate with the products it has to offer (Samuels, 2012). In many ways, researchers have likened this ability as a “dream” for the marketing communications sector of any firm; due in part to the fact that Apple does not need to engage in expensive advertising ventures that might otherwise detract from the impressive numbers that they are able to post each and every year (Zhu, 2014).
The focus that Apple has taken does not lend it towards rapid market integration and visibility; however, recognizing that this was a fundamental flaw of Apple’s communication strategy, Samsung sought to step in and provide a very visible communication strategy that could engage with the maximum number of potential consumers.
This was evidenced by the way in which the firm has begun sponsoring music tours in different genres, sponsoring sporting events throughout the globe, and generally saturating the market with their name, emblem, and awareness of their products (Vilkin, 2012). The only true downside that exists to this communication strategy has to do with the fact that it is extraordinarily expensive to maintain. As each of these sponsorships requires tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase or maintain, the firms marketing section has to spend a massive amount of time performing careful return on investment calculations to ensure that each and every portion of this investment has a very high likelihood of return.
As time has proven, Samsung has effectively utilized this level of engagement as a means of carving out a larger and larger percentage of the market over the past several years (Brichard, 2011). Recently, Samsung posted higher quarterly earnings than did Apple for the first time since the two have come to be seen as close rivals.
This helps to partially explain the rapid rise to success that Samsung has been able to engender; however, it should not be understood as a recommendation for all firms that seek to promote themselves within a given market by engaging with a new communications strategy. The underlying reason for this has to do with the overall economics involved in this particular case. For instance, since its inception, Samsung had built a diversified company that was able to compete in terms of electronic offerings alongside ship building and/or architecture.
As such, the resources that were at its disposal prior to settling on such a communications strategy to reign in the competition were formidable to say the least. However, if a less well known firm with lower levels of profits or financial assets/reserves were to seek to perform a similar strategy, the overall amount of time that might be required prior to a return on investment being realized may very well exceed the resources of such a company. As such, even though Samsungs approach has been heralded by many as brilliant and perfectly suited to the market, it is, after all, a unique by-product of Samsung’s original success; not the first evidence of it.
Conclusion: From the information that has thus far been referenced, it is clear and apparent that the approach engaged by Samsung has a litany of strengths that have helped to propel the company even further towards parity with Apple Inc. However, this fact notwithstanding, it should be understood that Samsung is not unique in the approach that it has taken and its overall communication strategy is very open to being copied or mimicked by another possible entrant or existing entity within the market.
For this reason, the firms earnings and recent success cannot be understood as a clear indication that the firm is adequately suited to engaging in business under the current model of communication that has been described. Due to the fact that the firm could not copy or imitate Apple’s communication strategy, they have chosen to approach their communications strategy through a sound and time proven technique; however, rather than being reliant upon this alone, the firm must necessarily understand that other entrants to the market who are envious of Samsungs level of success will be quick to copy their approach and the coverage and share that the firm enjoys within the market could rapidly contract.
Ultimately, this is a fear that exists no matter what communications strategy that is employed; however, as long as it continues to prove profitable and allows Samsung to continue to engage new customers, it is the recommendation of this particular student that Samsung should seek to continue on this path as long as these metrics are fulfilled.
References Brichard, L. (2011). AT&T, Samsung and Keith Urban Report on Get Closer 2011 World Tour Sponsorship. Entertainment Close-up, Mason, F. (2013). 'Samsung renews X Factor sponsorship'. Europe Intelligence Wire. Ming, P. (2012). Sports Sponsorship News: SAMSUNG Launches U. S. Olympic Genome Project, an Innovative Social Media Platform that Connects Fans with Team USA Athletes; U.S. Olympic Committee and Samsung join forces. M2 Presswire. Neighbors, J. (2012). South Africa - Samsung inks 3-year sponsorship deal with Team MTN-Qhubeka.
Telecompaper Africa/Asia, Paul, S (2011). SPONSORSHIP: Samsung set to ramp up activity to exploit Games. Marketing Week, Rothby, N. (2009). SPONSORSHIP: Samsung asks Imagination to leverage Olympics deal. Marketing Week, Samuels, P. (2012). Africa - Samsung extends Africa football sponsorship. Telecompaper Africa/Asia, Vilkin, T. (2012) Kenya - Samsung inks sponsorship deal with Kenya Rugby Union. Telecompaper Africa/Asia, Welkins, G. (2012). Met police corporate sponsorship: how about Samsung Yard? . Europe Intelligence Wire. Zhu, L. (2014). Samsung's Problem With LeBron, Ellen and Beckham. TheStreet.