If there’s one brand in the whole world that can give Apple a run for its money, it’s Samsung. After all, achieving the top spot among the best-selling smartphone brands in the world is no mean feat! Surely, there’s something that Samsung’s doing right to make so many people buy into their ecosystem – something that every brand could learn from.
There’s no doubt that Samsung’s marketing strategy is top notch. Otherwise it’s impossible for them to attract the kind of loyal customer base they do. In fact, year on year, they manage to pull away people from Apple’s tight ecosystem and draw them into the world of Android. And to think they weren’t as popular as Apple not too long ago!
That said, despite them being a tech company, their marketing strategy is something all brands could learn from. Samsung wouldn’t have been able to achieve the pinnacle of success they have today if it wasn’t for their marketing strategy, which is one of the most effective ones the world has ever seen. Let’s take a look what we can learn from this tech behemoth’s marketing game.
The Marketing Game of Samsung – A Success Story
Samsung didn’t achieve the popularity they enjoy now overnight. The company faced a big blow when its Galaxy Note 7 phones kept bursting up in peoples’ pockets, bags and homes. No, a lot of hard work and time went into the making. The company was willing to change with the rising demands of the consumer, and their adaptability greatly lent to their triumph in this field. This adaptability also reflects in their marketing strategy.
Now I know you are curious to know what you can learn and implement from Samsung’s marketing strategy to make your brand a big hit. So let’s get started on that! Keep reading…
1 – The price is right
If you want your product to sell in large numbers, you don’t have a choice but to price it right. You may argue here that Apple’s iPhones still get away with an exorbitant price tag, so price shouldn’t be that big of a concern. But the truth is that Apple isn’t the best-selling smartphone brand. It only became a trillion dollar company due to the services (iTunes, Apple-TV) it offers, which are quite reasonably priced.
Consumers these days are smart and are not willing to cough up the big bucks that easily. While Samsung too charges a hefty price for its premium products, it throws in freebies too that draw in consumers by serving as a better value in their mind. For example, when the S10 lineup was launched, Samsung offered its own wireless buds at a handsome discount for people who bought the phone. That, naturally, attracted a lot of buyers as Apple’s wireless buds start over $100 and never come at heavily discounted prices.
Another smart strategy that Samsung employs to stay on top of the game is to lower their prices as soon as a new phone hits the market (whether a rival one or homegrown). They advertise the discounts extensively, grabbing eyeballs and the big bucks from consumers before they can even think of a rival!
2 – Empowering humanity – Ads that strike a chord
We live in a highly visual world. If you want to attract the consumer’s attention, you have to create a compelling visual, which Samsung is adept at. The company knows that creating ads that merely portray the benefits of its products won’t do. The audience needs a lot more to be convinced and that’s where Samsung’s marketing genius comes into the fray.
If you take a look at any one of their recent ads – whether of their smartphones or home appliances – you will notice a strong element of empowerment. The company wants you to know that their products are not restricted to being status symbols; they have been designed to add value to your lives.
Consequently, the ads that come from Samsung show everyday people carrying out everyday tasks that are made easier with the help of the brand’s products. This helps in striking an emotional chord with the audience, which in turn, influences their purchase decision to a large extent. So if you want your brand to appeal to your target customer base, make sure you appeal not just to their senses but also their emotions, just like Samsung does.
3 – Using competitors to your advantage
Most brands do not dare directly aim at their competitors. It’s a risky thing to do and a marketing campaign that sets a direct comparison with a rival has the potential to backfire. However, if done effectively, this strategy can help amp up your brand’s presence in a jiffy and even establish your superiority over your rivals!
Samsung hasn’t shied away using their competitors to their advantage though. They boldly include rivals such as Apple in their ad campaigns to present their products as a better choice. Take a cue from their ‘Ingenius’ ads, available on YouTube.
Though it’s quite a direct attack on Apple’s iPhone, it’s done in a very clever way so that it does not stir up a storm. The ads are positively hilarious with some catchy background music and points that even Apple can’t refute if it were to watch these ads! This definitely helped Samsung attract a large crowd with its bold, confident and witty ad campaign.
4 – Bold and assertive digital print promotions
Trust Samsung to go no holds barred when it comes to marketing their products. The company makes it a point to go grand instead of resorting to the minimalism its rival, Apple, is always so fond of. Although Apple’s plan is no less successful, I think Samsung’s over the top approach seems to work better with the masses.
In all of their print ad campaigns, you will see the use of bold fonts and imagery along with assertive statements that show Samsung is the leader and not just another voice in the crowd. This sort of authority inspires trust in the minds of consumers. Besides, the bold fonts and imagery capture the audience’s attention. This marketing strategy might seem quite simple and basic but sometimes the simplest of tricks work best. So if there’s a lesson to hear from Samsung, it’s that do not ignore the simple tricks of marketing. Even they can help you acquire success.
On a side note, one of Samsung’s most potent marketing strategies in the near past has been the Oscar Selfie captured by Ellen DeGeneres and Bradley Cooper at the 2014 Oscars. Sponsored by Samsung, the selfie (captured by the Note 3) took the world by storm and helped Samsung break the record of the most re-tweets.
5 – Social listening – a powerful tool
Ever wondered how Samsung’s marketing game is always on point? It’s thanks to social listening! Social listening tools (also referred to as social monitoring tools) are used by Samsung to search social media for certain keywords that help the company understand what the people looking for so it can improve upon its marketing strategies.
Social listening tools have helped Samsung monitor the sentiments its audience displays on different social media platforms. The tools have also been instrumental in gathering actionable insights as well as such as names of influencers and major topics. How has social listening led to Samsung’s success though? With the help of social listening, Samsung was able to discover what’s trending among people so it could churn out content that people are actually looking for.
For example, when Huawei launched one of their phones, they used the camera and slow-mo feature as the highlight. Samsung picked up on it quickly and sent out promo material of its own phones highlighting the very same feature. Moral of the story? Give the audience exactly what they’re looking for and you’re bound to be a success!
6 – A mix of the right imagery
As mentioned before, we are highly visual creatures. One of the primary means of marketing is images, and in this regard, it’s worth borrowing a leaf from Samsung’s marketing rulebook!
Although the brand initially resorted to posting just inspirational imagery before, it soon realized that wasn’t going to attract a lot of traction. So in a bid to improve its sales and social outreach, Samsung surveyed social media sites to find out the kind of visual content people were sharing. The image analysis they conducted showed them how people were using their gadgets in their daily lives. People, in general, liked to share pictures of their TV with sports on or famous shows such as Game of Thrones.
Learning from it, Samsung started sharing pictures of their products that were 50% inspirational and 50% realistic, everyday scenarios. And that worked wonders for them! Samsung started witnessing higher audience engagement in all their posts! Analyzing their consumers helped Samsung fine tune its marketing strategy to include imagery that their audience can relate to.
Never say never
Every brand in their marketing journey has to go through a fair share of ups and downs. It all seems hunky dory when things are looking up. It’s only when things are down that the real marketing forte of brands are tested. Samsung have come a long way and have managed to recover from deadly disasters such as the Note 7 blow-up to only come out stronger.
All in all, Samsung’s strategy is a pure stroke of genius. Restoring consumer’s faith and managing to come out on top is an achievement very few brands can boast of. So if you want to have a successful marketing campaign, it might be worth taking inspiration from this tech behemoth.
Aditya apart from being an expert branding & design consultant is also the owner of Digital Polo, the one stop solution for all design related endeavors. Digital Polo is a unique design company that provides unlimited design work for a paltry fixed fee.