Mobile Phone and Samsung Electronics Company

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Samsung Electronics Company: Global Marketing Operations

Company Background and Strategy

The Samsung conglomerate’s roots dated back to 1938 when the company produced agricultural products. In the 1970s, the company focused on shipbuilding, chemicals, and textiles. Samsung Electronics Company (SEC)2 was founded in 1969, primarily as a low-cost manufacturer of black and white televisions. In the 1970s, Samsung acquired a semiconductor business, thereby setting the stage for future growth in electronics. Throughout the 1980s, SEC supplied global markets with massive quantities of commodity products such as televisions, VCRs, and microwave ovens. The company sold its products to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that resold them under their

1 “Samsung Electronics Marketing Special: Brand Reloaded—analyzing the world’s fastest growing brand,” CLSA Emerging

Markets, May 2003.

Professor John Quelch and Research Associate Anna Harrington prepared this case with the assistance of the HBS Asia Pacific Research Center. HBS cases are developed solely as the basis for class discussion. Certain details have been disguised. Cases are not intended to serve as endorsements, sources of primary data, or illustrations of effective or ineffective management.

Positioning Statement
Samsung embodies style and technology for the young professional, with its cutting edge design and superior connectivity features. Samsung's positioning statement is one that asserts its differentiation vis-à-vis other mobile phone providers. In the local market where myriad choices abound, Samsung's sleek exterior design, accompanied by its selection of soft and hard features, render it an optimal purchase for the young, technologically updated professional. II.SWOT based on primary and secondary research


Strong global presence
Diversified product line

Customer perception of weak product attributes like Durability ...
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