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Samsung: don’t try too hard
April 30, 2009, 10:07 pm
Filed under: 1 | Tags: ,

Maybe it’s a youth thing, or maybe it’s an Aussie thing. But I find there’s just a distaste for people who try too hard – especially when they don’t deliver.

The same goes for brand perception.

So I’ve noticed that electronics giant Samsung seems to be shifting to a younger target demographic. Plenty of R&D, expansion into mp3 players and mobile phones, and plenty of online advertising. As with every shift, it can take a while for actual brand perceptions to catch up. If you push too hard or aren’t yet in the position to fulfil new brand expectations, you can just look desperate.

Hit:

  • the ‘extreme LED art’ which saw sheep being herded into amusing shapes with Samsung LEDs attached to them – a viral video which actually managed to go viral (probably to the relief of the sheep)

Miss:

  • a notice sent through StudentVIP, a popular hub for students to get discounts and textbooks, saying ‘Save $100 on beer money instantly*‘. The catch? You don’t actually save $100 on beer money – it’s a cash back offer for a printer. Dangling free beer in front of us then not delivering is not cool. Epic fail.
  • Their mp3 players are practically unknown – and they have some pretty cool stuff going on there. Bluetooth, touch screens, pretty buttons…so why do they have boring names like P2? And why can I not recall seeing any advertising for them?

In between:

  • They’ve released a slew of new touch-screen phones, many of them with ‘smart capabilities’. The Omnia, for example, is quite attractive and quite affordable on a plan. But it inevitably looks like it’s trying to be the iPhone – and it’s not as pretty, not as technologically advanced and doesn’t have the ‘cool’ backing. The only ads I’ve see are on places like cnet.com.au, and these phones aren’t being innovative enough for geek approval. But if their R&D department keeps this up, there’s the potential for their brand to gain a lot more ground.

I think Samsung is getting there, slowly… I don’t know what their organisational structure is (marketing is always tough for umbrella brands) but they do need to be more in sync across their three product divisions in terms of their communications and product development. Internal brand synergy, if you will.

They could also look into sustainability issues – their website doesn’t pretend that they have (which is far better than having a weak symbolic gesture, imho) but it’s likely to increase in importance as an issue for consumers, especially youth.

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[…] iPhone, iPod…they all roll off the tongue. As I’ve pointed out before, Samsung doesn’t do so well with names. So while this camera will be quite recognisable […]

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