The Samsung Brand Decoded: Marketing Insights For Brands
When you think of smartphones what brands come to your mind? We bet Samsung’s on your list, right? You’re not alone! It is the market leader in the segment after all. From a local trading company in Korea to a global tech leader – Samsung truly has come a long way. So what sets the Samsung brand apart from the competition? What marketing and branding strategies have helped the brand march steadily for over 86 years in the ever-evolving unpredictable technology realm?
Well, that’s what we’re here to discuss. The growth and evolution of the Samsung brand and the marketing lessons that brands can take away from this journey.
- The Samsung Brand – An Introduction
- Samsung’s Branding Brilliance: Crafting a Memorable Identity
- Sculpting the Samsung Brand With a Strong Marketing Mix
- Captivating Campaigns That Helped Build the Samsung Brand
- 1. Newspaper advertising
- 2. Outdoor advertising
- 3. Share the Epic – making customers the hero of the campaign
- 4. Awesome is for Everyone – collaborating with creators
- 5. #FunMode – leveraging AR filters for engagement
- 6. Brilliance To Rely On: Growing Up – brilliant targeting
- 7. #YouMake campaign
- 8. #SamsungUnpacked 2024 – positioning itself as a trendsetter
- 9. Samsung India Service – a heartwarming regional ad
- 10. Flivertising – targeted advertising with a twist
- Come Up With Visuals for Your Samsung Brand Inspired Campaigns With KIMP
The Samsung Brand – An Introduction
Before we begin, let’s take a quick look at where the Samsung brand stands today. And why Samsung is a great source of inspiration for businesses looking to build strong brand identities, amplify their own marketing efforts, and reach new heights.
Founded by Lee Byung-chul in 1938, Samsung (Samsung Trading Co. back then) was initially a trucking business transporting noodles, groceries, and fish. Today, the brand has branched out spectacularly and holds an unparalleled spot in the world of technology.
In the year 2009, Samsung held just 3.3% of the global smartphone market share (Nokia was ruling the game back then). Fast-forward to 2023, guess which brand is the market leader? That’s right – Samsung – holding a 19.7% market share! Now if that isn’t growth, what is?
What more? Today Samsung is among the 10 most valuable brands in the world valued at 99.66 billion U.S. dollars and also one of the 10 most recognizable brands! This all comes from a blend of understanding customer requirements, embracing market trends and continuously investing in R&D to stay ahead of the curve. To complement these processes in the background, there has also been a blend of strategic marketing and robust branding in the foreground. And this blend is precisely what we’ll delve into today.
Samsung’s Branding Brilliance: Crafting a Memorable Identity
Evolution of the Samsung logo
Branding extends beyond logo design, yet the logo remains the ultimate brand identifier – a visual signature. A strong logo is paramount for a robust brand image. Samsung excels in this aspect. Over the years, the Samsung logo has seen purposeful refinements, maintaining its effectiveness and significance.
The below image shows the first-ever Samsung logo. It featured the brand’s name in Korean along with 3 stars that continued to hold a special place in the brand’s logo in the years to come. Do you know why? Because the name Samsung was derived from the Korean term translating to “three stars”. Creating a logo that draws inspiration from the brand name goes a long way in building awareness – a great idea for businesses taking their first steps.
Samsung ventured into the electrical and electronics sector in 1969. Aligning with this shift a more refined and modern logo was introduced, but it still retained the signature 3-star symbol, a more minimalistic version this time. Considering this was the time when huge developments were made in the color television segment, the bright red color in the Samsung logo was a relevant decision.
The 1990s mark the golden era for Samsung’s place in the tech segment. From the first digital TV to the first MP3 phone, the brand made big steps in the tech industry. To mark this, a fresh new identity was introduced and this introduced blue color into Samsung branding. This was also the time when the brand started expanding to the global market. Hence the modern and versatile logo!
In the 2000s when the brand started steadily progressing toward the modern era in technology, the Samsung brand logo also became sleeker and more modern than its predecessors. We’ll delve deeper into this logo design in the next sections.
Understanding the new Samsung logo design
We spoke about the old Samsung logos and their significance. Now it’s time to analyze the current-day design. It is one of the most iconic examples of the power of simple logos in branding. This logo was introduced in 2005 when the brand already had a strong global presence. Hence a dapper design that transcends geographical boundaries works. The idea was to boost visibility and the harmonious design achieves that perfectly.
The overall design looks minimalistic and versatile. Its clean look is what makes the current-day Samsung logo visually appealing across various digital and offline platforms. This is particularly useful considering that Samsung is one of the largest advertisers in the world setting aside about 4% to 5% of its revenue for ads in the form of TV commercials, print ads, outdoor ads, sponsorships, social media campaigns, etc.
The simple sans-serif font creates a contemporary look perfect for a company that invests in the future of technology. And yet to capture the authority that the brand commands over the market, the logo uses uppercase letters with sharpened strokes.
Other than the bespoke logo font, the brand uses the font Samsung Sharp Sans across its marketing materials. The font gained popularity, particularly with the Galaxy range of products and is now used in several places. This Geometric sans-serif font with its stable structure has also been customized to suit various regional markets that Samsung caters to.
Samsung’s signature blue represents professionalism and builds trust. And yet it also has a bright undertone that captures the enthusiasm that the brand holds in exploring new technology.
- PMS 286C
- CMYK – 100/80/0/0
- RGB – 20/40/160
- HEX – 1428A0
Sculpting the Samsung Brand With a Strong Marketing Mix
Having spoken about the Samsung brand’s core identity, let’s now discuss the brand’s marketing strategy, particularly its marketing mix. Because for a fast-growing brand with a diverse portfolio and a massive global presence, a clear marketing mix lays a strong foundation.
Samsung is always ahead of the market in several technological innovations through its products spanning smartphones, home appliances, entertainment, semiconductors, and other electronic components, displays, and other segments.
In all of these segments, the brand continuously innovates and introduces new products to keep up with the changing needs of the market.
Samsung has intuitively priced categories to meet the needs of various audience segments. From premium-priced flagship products to feature-focused budget products the brand has a wide spectrum of pricing. The brand also adopts price skimming in various product categories to stay ahead of the competition.
Samsung was among the first tech brands to bring its products to the world of ecommerce. This shows the brand’s efforts in making its products accessible. And it still flies high in the physical retail segment. Take for example the local distribution through Samsung Experience Stores – these are present in more than 60 countries!
Samsung’s advertising strategies have been constantly evolving. From its quirky competitive ads that take a dig at Apple to its experiential campaigns, creative billboards to social media ads, the brand has left no stone unturned, no platform untouched when it comes to promotions.
Having discussed the core marketing mix of Samsung, let’s now discuss a few creative campaigns that helped establish the Samsung brand as a global icon.
Captivating Campaigns That Helped Build the Samsung Brand
1. Newspaper advertising
Samsung is one of the few brands that continue to invest in traditional advertising platforms like newspapers and magazines. According to Statista, the brand invested about 8.8 billion South Korean won (approx. 6.77 million USD) in newspaper ads in the year 2023.
The below image features an old newspaper ad from Samsung – one of the many in which the brand took a dig at Apple. In this one, it was about Apple’s signal issues. The ad was meant to highlight the superior signal quality of the Samsung Galaxy S smartphones and the visuals were bang-on.
2. Outdoor advertising
Samsung’s outdoor ads, similar to its newspaper ads, have thrown the spotlight on the product advertised and used crisp copies to instantly communicate the message. Additionally, the brand is known for its creative use of the outdoor ad space so as to deliver the message in a more memorable way. Take the below ads for its Galaxy Flip phones for example.
Both these ads make the most of the available advertising space to communicate the core message – in this case, the compact pocket-friendly size of the Galaxy Flip phones.
Moreover, Samsung has also quickly been adapting to the advancements in the outdoor advertising segment, like digital billboards and 3D billboards. The below 3D billboard ad was placed in Seoul. Notice how the brand seamlessly incorporates symbols and colors most relevant to the local culture to appeal to the local audience in this case.
3. Share the Epic – making customers the hero of the campaign
To promote its Galaxy S23 Ultra series, Samsung created the Share the Epic campaign. This one is a reminder of how the brand excels in monitoring its target customers and keeping up with their likes and dislikes. Because the ad takes cues from the generation that likes to share pictures and videos with their friends.
The brand also garnered an endless reserve of user-generated content with this ad. Additionally, by featuring user content across various platforms the brand created a lot of buzz both online and offline. The below video shows an outdoor experiential set-up the brand installed as a part of the Share the Epic campaign.
For this, Samsung allowed users to experience the power of the camera on the S23 Ultra through a photo booth in the heavily crowded Piccadilly Circus area in London. The photos were then featured on the large billboard screens. By involving customers in the campaign, the brand boosted its engagement significantly.
4. Awesome is for Everyone – collaborating with creators
Samsung has been among the first few global brands to tap into the booming creator marketing sector. Take the “Awesome is for Everyone” campaign for example. The campaign was meant to promote the Galaxy A series phones as feature-packed ones where there is something for everyone.
For this, the brand highlighted a wide range of features on the phone featuring creators in relevant segments – like popular gaming creators for the phone’s superior gaming abilities. By working with creators from various segments, the brand appealed to everyday people from all walks of life.
By featuring young artists from around the world, the campaign captured the essence of diversity and inclusivity. This also helped build authenticity and appealed to a global audience.
KIMP Tip: The ad worked in favor of the Samsung brand because of the catchy visuals in particular. From the transitions to the audio tracks, text effects to animated typography, everything about the video editing in the above ad aligns with the peppy theme and the vibrant audience it targeted.
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5. #FunMode – leveraging AR filters for engagement
Snapchat and other apps have popularized the trend of AR filters. They are great because they encourage users to create content on your brand’s behalf and share them online thus garnering free advertising through the most reliable brand advocates – customers. This is particularly helpful for brands looking to grab the attention of the younger generation and strengthen their social media presence. Samsung tapped into this with its #FunMode campaign.
The campaign introduced a Fun Mode on Galaxy phones featuring an AR wardrobe letting users snap a picture of themselves in various AR costumes. This feature was both fun and engaging. For this campaign, the brand collaborated with popular K-Pop artist BIBI to boost the authenticity and to create a trend that users will be eager to hop on to.
6. Brilliance To Rely On: Growing Up – brilliant targeting
When we talk about the Samsung brand, it’s not just the smartphone sector that the brand excels in. The home appliances segment is yet another where Samsung has carved a niche for itself. The below ad was created to promote the wide range of appliances from the brand.
The commercial worked because it kept things realistic and relatable by featuring real people and real-life problems at home and in the kitchen. From the familiar home setting to the characters featured in the ad, every little element aligns with the target customer persona – the family audience.
KIMP Tip: A noteworthy detail in the above campaign is the incorporation of storytelling. Storytelling helps humanize your brand and foster authentic connections.
7. #YouMake campaign
The Samsung brand is not just about one gadget or one home appliance. Over the years it has managed to create wholesome ecosystems of connected devices. The #YouMake campaign promotes such Samsung ecosystems. The campaign reiterates how the brand has continued to inspire creative people and allowed them to personalize their creations in many ways.
Like most Samsung commercials, this one shows the products in action. Rather than merely talking about a feature, showing a live demo does make a lasting impact!
8. #SamsungUnpacked 2024 – positioning itself as a trendsetter
Innovation is the name of the game when it comes to Samsung’s approach to growth! Samsung’s recent innovation in the Galaxy S24 series is proof of this. The #SamsungUnpacked 2024 event was one of the most anticipated announcements in the world of technology. And on January 17th, the brand made its big reveal – an assortment of Google AI features coming to the Galaxy S24 range of smartphones.
The brand teased the Galaxy AI era in the below commercial along with a host of social media ads and posts.
The ad features various milestones achieved by the Samsung brand and positions it as a trendsetter in the smartphone segment eventually leading to the idea that Samsung is among the first brands to introduce powerful AI features into the smartphone segment.
The irony here is that only a few months ago Samsung restricted the use of generative AI tools among employees on company-owned devices. 😉 And now the brand has taken a big step in making AI an integral part of its devices.
9. Samsung India Service – a heartwarming regional ad
A regional ad from Samsung became the Most Watched Video Globally on YouTube in 2017 and also won the YouTube Ads Leaderboard Award. It was an ad for Samsung India Service. The idea was to highlight the convenience of doorstep service offered by Samsung, even in the most difficult terrains.
Delivering the brand’s message “We’ll Take Care of You, Wherever You Are” the ad won hearts through emotional storytelling.
10. Flivertising – targeted advertising with a twist
To mark the launch of Galaxy Z Flip4, Samsung came up with one of the most creative campaigns ever. Titled Flipvertising, the ad was created as a cure to the ad skepticism that exists today.
The whole campaign was built around the fact that people trust other people when it comes to product launches. So, they wanted to create a campaign that would motivate people to search more about a product and gather all the answers.
Customers had to search for different things about the product to ensure that the Google algorithm understood their interests and moved them to the retargeting pool. Clues were revealed along the series of ads served leading to a secret ad that was only fed to the audience that searched the most about the product. In other words, the audience that showed the most interest in the product.
Instead of passive ad fatigue, users became active participants, intrigued by the mystery and challenge. The campaign won several awards and reportedly led to a 34% increase in sales!
This is one campaign where Samsung’s creativity truly stands out!
Come Up With Visuals for Your Samsung Brand Inspired Campaigns With KIMP
As can be seen from the various hit campaigns, Samsung deploys the best visuals to bring its campaign ideas to life. These are in the form of print designs, outdoor ads like billboards, social media videos, and so much more. This variety is what makes the campaigns a hit across various channels. And this variety has also been the reason behind the brand’s success with omnichannel marketing.
Looking to take cues from this approach and refine your visuals? Working with a designated design team helps. And with an unlimited design subscription, like KIMP, you can work with a designated design team at a flat monthly fee!
So, what are you waiting for? Register now for a free 7-day trial.