“The Galaxy brand vision for the next decade plans to take an experience-driven and community-focused approach”
The Samsung we’ve seen in 2019 is different from the company we’ve been seeing till 2018, especially when it comes to smartphone strategy. This year, the Korean giant has been extremely aggressive, introducing the Galaxy M series and launching one phone after another in the A series. Even its flagship S series of phones seem to have been priced well and come with a bunch of innovations. Speaking of innovation, the brand looks serious about bringing new technologies to the mid-range, if phones like the Galaxy M40 (review), Galaxy A70 (review) and Galaxy A80 (first impressions) are any indications. The Galaxy A80 in fact, looks quite special, boasting a triple-camera module that pops up and twists to face the front. The overall effort is part of a plan that covers the next decade, and is designed to take the Galaxy brand to the next level, viz. from Galaxy 1.0 to Galaxy 2.0. Speaking to Indian media at Samsung Digital City in Suwon, South Korea, Sonia Chang from the company’s Global Brand Marketing Group shed some light on the strategy.
As per Chang, while the Galaxy brand has focussed on individual products so far, the company’s plan is to take a portfolio-based approach going forward. While the basics such as camera, software, battery life etc would be covered, the company feels the younger generation is looking for innovation, and also covets a broader range of accessories and ecosystem products.
Next, instead of taking the mass approach which it has been doing so far, Samsung wants to target specific communities. The four communities which it has identified for this purpose are photography enthusiasts, gamers, health and fitness buffs, and entrepreneurs or productivity-focussed individuals. The Galaxy brand campaigns therefore, will be designed to target these users in different ways, with specific products intended towards them.
For campaigns, Samsung wants to move from launch marketing to an experience-driven approach, since it feels that instead of buying a smartphone soon after launch, many prospective buyers prefer to wait a bit and get feedback on devices before spending their cash. Again, this will impact how and when the company promotes new launches, and effectively, convert the company “from an electronics giant to an experience innovator.“
And lastly, Samsung wants to take a purpose-driven approach that will help it target prospective customers better. In the mass segment, addressed by the Galaxy A series, Samsung’s core target audience will be people in the 12-23 age group… individuals who the company calls the ‘Live generation. These folks, as per the company, give utmost importance to the video experience and therefore, the emphasis will be on aspects like camera quality and display. In the premium category, Samsung will use its S series of smartphones to address people in the age group of 18-34, a bunch labelled the ‘Next generation’. These are individuals who covet the lifestyle experience, and are looking for a stylish and loaded daily driver. Lastly, the Note range (also in the premium league), will aim to cater to what the company calls the ‘New Work Tribe’. These are people in the 24-34 age group who desire a productivity-based experience (the Note range is targeted towards productivity anyway).
With that, it’s now clear that Samsung’s move of launching a barrage of new phones in the first six months of this year is much more than just a knee-jerk reaction to competition from rivals like Xiaomi. Samsung seems to have a clear strategy in place for its smartphones not just for the next year or two, but the next 10 years. It remains to be seen if this strategy will bear fruit, especially in the long term. For now though, the approach seems to be working. And if devices like the upcoming Galaxy A80 (due to launch in India this month) are any indication, we should have quite a few other exciting and innovative smartphones to look forward to.
Disclosure: this writer was in South Korea on Samsung India’s invitation