Samsung Group is Korea”s largest multinational conglomerate, it is also listed on the world”s top 500 enterprises, Samsung group includes numerous international subordinate enterprises, subsidiaries company are: Samsung Electronics, Samsung property, Samsung airline, Samsung Life Insurance and so on. Its business involved electronics, finance, mechanical, chemical and many other fields. Some people call the Samsung Group as the “Samsung Empire.”
Umbrella branding is one of the terms used to describe the common practice of selling several products under the same brand name.（Miklós-Thal, J 2012）. Umbrella Branding can also be called family branding, using this method, some well-known brands can launch new products in virtue of their good reputation, because consumers tend to believe that the brand is quality assurance, so that well-known brands can easily open up new markets.
Of course, when we think of the brand name “Samsung”，we tend to naturally remind of Samsung mobile phone, in the smartphone market, when iPhone is in its zenith , Samsung is the only one that can compete with it. When people buy a mobile phone, most people will actually only divide the smart phone into three categories: Samsung Galaxy, iPhone, other brands. Today we only focus on Samsung”s last three years flagship product “Edge.”
Why improve products？ How to?
Time back in 2013, at that time, the Galaxy S4 can be described as invincible,only two months after release, sales reached a 20 million units, but at the same time the phone got both praise and blame, because of its cheap texture , serious fever, irrational color saturation, meanwhile，the battery is not durable, the price is too expensive. Then Samsung launched galaxy S5, but beyond everyone”s expectations, S5″s design reverse, more cheap texture, raunchy design language, unpractical fingerprint identification function, these made the product sales fell down to the bottom, and also made a serious impact on brand image. As we know，brand is strongly associated with customer perceptions.
To be consistent with innovative image，Samsung began a new product R & D, to restore the lost image of the brand. The Samsung brand image in the minds of consumers is of a powerful innovation ability, especially in the aspect of hardware, benefit from their own R &D capability, and ability to control the industrial chain, there are few rivals can compete with it. However, the failure of S5 let consumers begin to doubt its ability to innovate. To better attract/satisfy customers。Enterprises want to develop, they need a good sales performance, throughout the group, Samsung mobile phone sales accounted for a big proportion of total revenue, so the performance of the mobile phone sector is related to the overall performance of the entire group.
Approaches to developing new products
Samsung, as a hardware driven enterprise, the strength of the hardware develop ability is the core competitiveness. It is often adopted top down approach.
It”s well-known that Samsung”s research and development capabilities on the screen field is outstanding, rely on their own AMOLED screen, Samsung in 2014 introduced the experimental product, Galaxy Note Edge, benefit from the characteristics of AMOLED, curved screen become possible.
(Galaxy note edge)
Although not all consumers gave this product a very high evaluation, but people left a positive feedback for this spirit of innovation, the consumers thought, although the usefulness of this screen is not high, but it still have some unique features.
Six months later Samsung launched Galasy S6 edge which had a subversive significance for entire smart phone market.
About this product, at first Samsung did not hold too much hope, but it has detonated the market, in short supply, even if the users who does not like Android systems also left a praise, it is strikingly beautiful. In addition Samsung used metal and glass as main material, enhance the hand feeling, they also did a further improvements in the camera, photo effects surpassed iPhone. Besides, thanks to the progress of the Android, in the field of system, Samsung also shorten the gap with iPhone.
This year the sales performance of the mobile phone sector has achieved very good results, consumer awareness of the brand has also improved.
However, Samsung is not complacent. In the global economy, companies try to maintain their competitive advantage through collaboration for re-innovation in business. (Bititci, 2004) Thereafter, Samsung make persistent efforts, they adopted the bottom-up approach, they listened carefully to the comments of consumers, they has carried on the investigation and study of S7 edge R & D, they improved the cell, they introduced an amazing camera sensor, improve the feel and and introduced the highest level of waterproof and dustproof, it is worthy of note, without sacrificing appearance, S7 achieved highest level waterproof and dustproof, this really made people surprised. Samsung launched S7 edge in March 2016, to a big proportion of consumers, they thought it is”perfect”, its reputation has gone beyond iPhone.
Miklós-Thal, J 2012, ‘Linking reputations through umbrella branding’, Quantitative Marketing & Economics, 10, 3, pp. 335-374, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 29 August 2016.
Bititci,U.S., Martinez,V., Pavel ,A.,& Parung,J. (2004),”Creating and managing value in collaborative networks”, International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 34 Iss 3/4 pp. 251 – 268.