Samsung Electronics is a leading technology company and a subsidiary of the larger Samsung Group. While the larger Samsung group was started in 1938, Samsung Electronics came into existence in the late 1960s (“Samsung electronics sustainability report 2017,” 2017), when they formed several electronic divisions such as Samsung Electronics, and Samsung Electro-Mechanics among others. Over the years, the company has been growing to become the largest Electronics Company. The company’s rapid and impressive growth is primarily attached to their ability to innovate, capture, and deliver value. Importantly noted, while Samsung has several distinguished affiliates, for this paper, we will focus on Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest technology company, and fourth by market value. The report will also focus on Samsung’s strategy within the Smartphone sector.
Creating Value for Customers
Samsung Electronics was founded in 1969 when they started to provide black and white televisions followed by the development of semiconductors in the 1970s. The company noticed a high potential market in semiconductors and consequently took up the opportunity to develop DRAM (“Samsung electronics sustainability report 2017,” 2017). As the continued in their success with the DRAM, they made a major move to the development of non-memory chips and supplied to various companies including Apple. Along the way, the company acquired vast knowledge on the development and manufacture of high-end consumer electronics including mobile phones. Since their inception, Samsung Electronics has created a diverse range of mixed products to meet the evolving needs of their consumers. More specifically, Samsung creates value for their consumers through their team of researchers and engineers, which are committed to Research and Development of high-end products.
Role of the Customer in the Customer’s Strategic Plan
Samsung Electronics does not have an official mission statement. However, the company expresses their mission through their philosophy. Thus, the company promises to be a responsible leading global company. Samsung is committed to observing the laws and regulations with a global code of conduct with all their employees. The company believes that ethical management is a tool to build continued trust among its stakeholders and a way to respond to rapid changes in the world business environment. Along with that, the company is focused on being among the most ethical companies in the globe as they continue training their workforce while maintaining a fair and transparent corporate management. Notably, the company’s mission statement is supported by five business principles that show their commitment to corporate social responsibility as a leading global company. Consistently, because the company does not have a defined mission statement, we recommend that they should consider having a clear statement to inform consumers about the company’s mission.
A SWOT Analysis for Samsung Electronics Company reveals the following.
Samsung is among the most successful electronic manufacturers in the world, with products ranging from LCD panels, mobile phones, smartphones, laptops, and cameras, among others. One of their greatest strength lies in their brand name. Except in the United States, Samsung is a household name in the majority of the countries not only in smartphones sector but also other electronics. The second strength is based on the company being the number one marketer in mobile phones with a share of about 21.4 percent as at the second quarter of 2015, with Apple following in second place at 13.9 percent (“Smartphone vendor,” n.d). The third strength is that the company has an impressive R&D capability, which has largely contributed to their success in the technology sector. As compared to Apple a product, which is the strongest competitor, Samsung products are moderately priced making it easy for middle-class citizens to acquire their gadgets in the developing world.
Despite being a market leader, Samsung has not matched Apple Inc’s marketing capabilities in the smartphones especially in the United States, where Apple dominates the market. Samsung is also heavily dependent on consumer electronic sales (Michell, 2010), in markets with limited growth such as the U.S. and Europe. Along with that, their devices use Android, the open-source operating system. Unfortunately, a majority of the consumers view it as inferior to Apple’s IOS.
In regions such as India and Africa, the market for smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices is rapidly growing (Taylor, 2016). So far, Samsung has been able to penetrate a greater share of these markets, and as the demand for these devices increases, the company is better placed to pursue the opportunities. The growing middle class in developing countries is also likely to increase the demand for consumer electronics.
Apple has dominated the smartphone and tablet market in the United States, and Samsung has been unable to overcome their reputation. Apple’s reputation is growing at a high rate and could enter more consumer products such as home appliances and compete with Samsung in those markets. Chinese manufacturers such as Huawei could also pose a serious threat as their market share keeps on growing.
SWOT Analysis Table
|StrengthSamsung company brand nameAbility to market their products Impressive R&D capabilitiesModerately priced products||WeaknessesCompetitors and failure to match Apple’s marketing capabilitiesThe heavy dependence of consumer electronic sales in markets with limited growthUse of Android, which is a free OS and seen as inferior to IOS|
|OpportunitiesGrowing markets in India and AfricaGrowing middle class in developing countries||ThreatsApple domination of U.S. smartphones and tablet marketsChinese manufacturers of products such as Huawei|
There is no doubt that Samsung is among the leading electronics companies, especially in the area of smartphones. However, just like every other business, Samsung has both big and small competitors. Apple is number one competitor of Samsung when it comes to high-end smartphones (“Rivalry between Apple and Samsung in smartphones will grow fiercer,” 2017). Apple has the biggest market share in the U.S. and holds the second highest market share in the world, making them the strongest competitor of Samsung. The other major competitor in smartphones sector is Huawei that has impressed its consumers with their design and functionality. Doubled with their penetrative pricing, there are speculations that the company will likely become a strong competitor to Samsung and Apple.
On a scale of 1 to 5, Apple ranks the highest in two criteria except for the pricing criteria. The criteria were based on the same product – smartphones. According to the results, the smartphones environment is highly competitive. It is evident that Apple is the leader, as Samsung follows and Huawei holding the third close.
As one of the leading companies in electronics, Samsung enhances customer empowerment by allowing them to participate in marketing their products. In social media networks including Facebook and Twitter, customers are free to review the company’s products and their functionality. They also interact with the company through posts and ask questions regarding the specific products, cost, availability, and functionalities among others. From the discussion, other people who may not have tried the product will know about it and are likely to try the product, thus marketing the product. Samsung also uses their official website to address customer concerns and even get feedback regarding their products. Definitely, social media creates buzz marketing for the company as products trend in social media such as the release of a new product prompting people to respond and buy based on the views of the people.
Customer satisfaction is often assumed a significant determinant of repeat sales, customer loyalty, and positive marketing. Satisfied customers are likely to come back and tell others about their experience. In a rapidly changing business world, customer satisfaction is critically important for the mobile industry to maintain and increase their profitability. In light of this, Samsung understands the importance of creating avenues for customers to express their dissatisfaction. The company also encourages consumers through social media such as Facebook and Twitter to reach out to them in case they are not satisfied with their products. The official website of the company also has a support page that enables customers to communicate with the company through email, and receive feedback.
Customer Relations Management
Customer relationship management is a business strategy used to optimize profits, revenue, and increase customer satisfaction by focusing on specific target groups (Buttle & Maklan, 2015). It is a mindset that enables the design of customer-focused strategies and targets at putting the buyers first for the success of the company. Unfortunately, for Samsung, it is still unclear whether they have a customer relationship management in place. However, according to an article by Valentine (2004) on Business Wire, Samsung choose to integrate their mySAP Customer Management interaction center Avaya with AMC’s products. The move was intended to harness their ability to increase customer satisfaction by enabling their agents’ efficient interactions. The AMC technology was designed to enable contact centers to manage all types of customers with greater efficiency and to enhance customization of individual offers to the consumers. Consequently, in their sustainability report, Samsung acknowledges the importance of customized after sale services targeting their wide range of customers around the globe and on different cultural levels. Definitely, customer relationship management is an important business strategy. Samsung should continue modifying their CRM to meet to able to reach out to their large number of consumers and deliver customized products to meet their diverse needs.
Samsung. (n.d). Philosophy. Retrieved from: http://www.samsung.com/in/aboutsamsung/vision/philosophy/business-principles/
Valentine, R. J. (2004). Samsung Electronics America Chooses AMC Technology Solutions to Improve Call Center Operations. Business Wire. Retrieved from: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20040420005976/en/Samsung-Electronics-America-Chooses-AMC-Technology-Solutions
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