Samsung and Apple : the Tech Battle

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January 2009 Edition|
 | Being ahead of the competition is the mantra of Samsung’s success. In business, it always pays to reduce the lead-time, as being late in business means business is over, which happened in the case of many big brands and competitors.|      Print this     RSS  |

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  By VARIndia Correspondent|
 |   It does not require the genius of a rocket scientist to recognize that branding is the lifeblood of any corporation. This was well recognized by Samsung Electronics Corporation (Samsung), way back in 1998, when the South Korea’s leading consumer electronics giant entered into an agreement with the International Olympic Association (IOA) to sponsor the 1998 Seoul Olympics. The message was clear. Samsung wanted to sponsor Olympics to establish itself as a global brand. And it became successful to a great extent too.

Samsung’s association with the Olympics helped the company increase its brand visibility and brand recall among its consumers worldwide. In the late 1990s, Samsung forged several marketing alliances with companies worldwide and sponsored events to enhance its brand awareness. Due to its marketing efforts, its brand value appreciated by more than 200 per cent from US$5.2 billion in 2001 to its current $10.8 billion. The company was ranked twenty-fifth in Interbrand’s list of the world’s top 100 brands. In 2002, Samsung emerged as the only non-Japanese brand from Asia to be listed in the global top 100 brands valued by Interbrand, the world’s leading brand consultant. The company was ranked as the fastest-growing brand in the world by Interbrand.

In spite of the worldwide slowdown, Samsung, whose sales are equivalent to some 20 per cent of South Korea’s GDP, posted a net profit of 1.5 trillion Won for the third quarter of 2007-08.

In late 2008, Samsung emerged as the number one player in the US cell phone market by snatching the crown from Motorola. It also emerged as the world leader in the memory chip market In 2007, Samsung spent more on R&D than IBM. The company has jumped to the second place in the number of patents granted by America’s patent office (just behind IBM).

As a result of its commitment to innovation and unique design, SEA was ranked #6 in the electronics industry segment in the Fortune magazine’s “Most Admired Companies 2008”, and named as one of Fast Company’s “Fast 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2008”. Among popular Business Week rankings, SEC ranked #26 in the publication’s “Most Innovative Companies of 2008” and #21 in the “100 Best Global Brands” for 2007. SEC is also a top patent holder, ranking second overall in the U.S. in 2007.

According to industry experts, the reason for these earnings over the years is Samsung’s holistic approach to develop several strategies for different regions, but guided by one unified Samsung brand image building strategy. Samsung’s branding strategy was launched by its Chairman Kun Lee in 1996. It was a coordinated global programme to make Samsung an international brand. Over the last one decade, Samsung has executed its comprehensive brand building strategy. The company’s annual investment in branding and marketing is about US$3 billion, which has been spent to increase its brand awareness around the world.

For any new company, when it makes its entry into the market, there are two ways to stimulate growth: intensive advertising campaign, and product offerings with unique functions. Samsung recognized the potential of both. “In terms of products, Samsung introduced its leading-technology display products as well as printers in the Indian market and carried out SI meets all over the country to educate the channel community on its new products, “ says Ranjit Singh Yadav, Director – IT, Samsung India.

However, the power of brand building exercise was not lost on the company. In fact, Samsung tilted more towards advertising and brand-making strategy – creating awareness of its name by...
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