Samsung Galaxy is the trademark and brand name for a series of smartphones and tablets manufactured and marketed by Samsung Electronics. The entire product line is diverse, and each product category caters to a particular sociodemographic profile.
Under the brand, there are smartphones designed and marketed specifically for high-end consumers, business users, and power users, while other models target entry-level, younger, and budget-conscious consumers. Some appeal to consumers who prefer bigger display screens. Others appeal to those consumers in search of premium built quality.
The same is true for the Galaxy tablets. Samsung continuously develops tablets to compete with high-end tablets from other manufacturers, such as the iPad Pro from Apple and the Surface from Microsoft. It also continuously markets mid-range and budget-friendly Galaxy tablets. Note that the company has diversified the Samsung Galaxy brand further with the introduction of the Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Buds product lines.
Product Strategy by Diversifying the Samsung Galaxy Brand
Some would say that Samsung has been saturating the market and confusing consumers by introducing different smartphone and tablet devices under the Samsung Galaxy brand. Some criticized the company for employing repetitiveness in feature and design considerations.
For example, there are some similarities between the Galaxy S Series line of premium devices and the mid-entry A Series or the discontinued entry-level Galaxy J Series. These product lines share some similarities in design aspects and hardware capabilities. Furthermore, with a few exceptions, all three have phones built with AMOLED display technology, which is a feature initially reserved for high-end Samsung products.
It is easy to assume that focusing on fewer products is more effective and efficient than manufacturing and marketing several and almost similar products. But product strategy through product diversification is actually central to the marketing strategy of Samsung. Industry data would reveal that the company has been one of the top five manufacturers leading the market in unit shipments since 2012.
Product diversification can be costly and risky. However, when done right, this product strategy provides a safety net against market downturns. Take note that concentrating heavily on a single or fewer product for a limited market segment exposes a company to risks associated with market volatility due to rising and falling demands.
It is also an effective strategy to grow a business. Product diversification works best for companies operating in a market populated by consumers with diverse demographic backgrounds, varying socioeconomic status, and different psychographics.
The market for smartphones and tablets are both volatile and diverse. Consumer preferences are dependent on features and specifications relative to pricing points. Some consumers are willing to spend on an expensive device with high-end features. Others prefer buying a device that fits their budget and usability requirements. There are those who do not mind the price but are very particular about hardware and design specifications.
Through a product strategy that centers on product diversification, Samsung caters to a broader smartphone and tablet market. For example, the Galaxy S Series product line caters primarily to high-end consumers. Still, the company has used the same user experience in the Galaxy A Series line to cater to mid-entry consumers, albeit with some trade-offs such as lower hardware specifications and design choices.
Even Apple recognizes the importance of product diversification in its strategy. Before, the marketing strategy for products such as the iPhone centers on limited product offerings. Today, the company offers several categories under the iPhone product line and several more categories under the iPad product line. Apple has also introduced a phone with a large screen display and a tablet with a smaller screen display—product strategies that have been implemented by Samsung. Take note that Samsung has virtually created the market for large-display smartphones called phablets.
Technological Innovation as Part of the Product Strategy
Through a diversified product portfolio under the Samsung Galaxy brand, the company has developed and implemented a product-oriented marketing strategy that acknowledges the existence of various segments within a particular market. But this strategy does not rest alone with product diversification.
Samsung operates in an industry wherein technological progress or innovation is a key ingredient in a particular market entry strategy, building competitive advantage, or raising the barriers to entry. Throughout the years since the launch of the first Samsung Galaxy device, the company has introduced several innovations that influenced the direction of the market for smartphones and tablets.
The company has been attributed to popularizing AMOLED display technology on smartphones and tablets. This display remains a viable alternative to IPS LCD display technology commonly used by other manufacturers. Both AMOLED and IPS can have the same high pixel density and better color reproduction. Several manufacturers such as Apple and Huawei are now using AMOLED in their mobile devices.
With the introduction of the Galaxy Note, Samsung created the specific market for phablet: an amalgamation of smartphone and tablet and a reference to devices with larger-than-average screen size for smartphones but smaller-than-average screen size for tablets. The Galaxy Note and the Galaxy Tab Note series have also reintroduced stylus pens in mobile computing devices. Stylus input stretches the capabilities and functionalities of smartphones and tablets. Even companies such as Apple, Microsoft, and Huawei have followed suit.
Then there are added features such as a heart rate sensor, oximeter, fingerprint scanner, facial recognition technology, built-in augmented reality capability, and fast charging technology, among others. While smartphones would still work without these features, they provide an added value for consumers. Samsung may not be the forerunner of these features, but it managed to position their use case value by integrating them into its premium devices.
Innovation helps a business organization become an industry leader. The introduction of new technological features benefits the overall marketing strategy of the company. For starters, it could create a new market akin to the Blue Ocean strategy. Introducing novel features further can help in driving and leading marketing trends. An innovation can gain a competitive advantage through a first-to-market opportunity, especially if there is a positive reception, and product differentiation or unique selling proposition.
Promotional Strategy to Supplement the Marketing Strategy for Samsung Galaxy
In a push marketing strategy, a company “pushes” a product or idea through advertising and sales strategies. Samsung does this by investing heavily in advertising, just like The Coca-Cola Company and Nike Inc. This is evident from ads coursed through traditional mediums such as print and broadcast, and digital mediums such as social media.
Samsung also does push marketing using celebrity endorsements and spot placements on major events, including sports and entertainment shows. The company has also maintained accounts in social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to purchase ad spaces, and as part of its specific digital marketing initiatives.
Take note that Apple does not invest heavily in traditional advertising and other marketing communication channels. Instead, the company focuses more on a pull marketing strategy in which consumers are pulled or drawn to Apple products and services. The idea behind a pull marketing strategy is to create a strong brand image and establish a loyal customer following.
Samsung also does some sort of pull marketing strategy. Using social media, the company tries to build and maintain a relationship with consumers through an online presence. The social networking accounts of Samsung also serve as a venue for discussions and announcements. Even advertisements also supplement pull strategy.
The company also partners with distributors and network carriers in other countries to help it distribute Samsung Galaxy products through varied sales promotion strategies and tactics. Under the subsidy and contract arrangements of network carriers, consumers can purchase a Galaxy product at a cheaper or easy-to-afford deal. Samsung also offers discounts to trade partners to motivate them to distribute Galaxy products above the competition.
Maintaining relationships with network carriers and distributors allows Samsung to ensure that its Galaxy products remain visible in the market and accessible among its target consumers. This helps in pulling further possible buyers because of visibility and sustained presence.
The push and pull strategies work simultaneously for the Samsung Galaxy brand. These two are complementary. Whenever Samsung rolls out advertisements, the company pushes its products. Barraging the public with marketing messages will definitely stir interest while maintaining presence and proximity allows it to ensure that its products are visible and accessible.