Is headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul. It is a multinational conglomerate (combination,mix) that unites numerous affiliated businesses and it was founded on March 1st, 1938 by Lee Byung-chul. Lee a revenue of over $300 billion (2016) and has employees in over 80 countries. Lee has a construction company that built the Burj Khalifa (Duabi, UAE), the tallest building in the world.
Samsung ships millions of products every day to customers around the world. With a worldwide customer base, but to be successful, the electronics giant does not subscribe to a one size fits all philosophy. Its employees observe people’s lives to give give them options that meet their varying cultural and regional needs.
This case study offers a rare insight into how Samsung localises its products for the many markets it serves around the world, with some examples from different regions.
In the past year, Samsung has set up five Lifestyle Research Labs in San Jose, London, Delhi, Singapore and Beijing to forecast future ways of living and define opportunities for innovation. These labs look beyond product behaviour to discover people’s future needs and values – everything from how the family is evolving to work, education and wider societal and cultural trends.
From here five Product Innovation Teams gleam insights from this research and assist Samsung’s product divisions to develop innovative product and solution concepts. Located at the same place as the Lifestyle Research Labs, the Product Innovation Teams’ product concepts are 18–24 months ahead of the present.
The development process begins with a two to four month period whereby Samsung goes into the field to conduct research to see the world from a user’s point of view. From here, employees talk to the best thinkers and designers in the world to generate, build and refine ideas that will deliver the greatest innovation opportunity. Finally, the teams formulate a business strategy and create the product concept.
Samsung’s most successful products that have been made to accommodate specific regions:
UNITED STATES French Door Refrigerator
Sparkling water dispenser; by observing the increasing demand for sparkling water in the United States, Samsung introduced a refrigerator that dispenses carbonated water at the touch of a button.
Turkey | Samsung Top Mounted Refrigerator RT55
The local taste for fresh vegetables led Samsung to reduce the size of freezer compartments by 21% and made the fridges narrower to better fit the space available in Turkish homes.
Middle East | Samsung DVM Desert
To handle the Middle East region’s scorching 40C+ temperatures (with high humidity), Samsung built air-conditioners with specially-developed compressors.
Read the business case study of Samsung Successful Marketing Story and develop a solution to the questions raised.
There are multiple potential answers to the questions so you should explore all possible answers. You should address the following questions and present your action plan, proposal or decision at the end:
Customer Needs & Wants
1) Why is tailoring to a customer’s needs so important for a business?
- What are some problem(s) that can arise from catering to customers needs? How can a company like SamSung resolve such problem?
- Using your business knowledge, how does company like Samsung generate the insights they need to tailor products to customers’ needs? Think about how they know about their customer’s need
- If you could change just one thing about any specific product (i.e: mobile phone, laptop) to meet your group needs, what would it be?
International Business & Managing Cross-cultural Environment
- Samsung being a global brand has played a major role in exports, jobs, and innovation for each of the countries they operate in. As a group, discuss some of the challenges/holdbacks this can create.
- As a global business, how can Samsun manage diverse cultures of employees and employers to avoid cross-cultural issues?
- In what new, innovative ways can competitors (like Apple, Sony, Huawei ) prove that it can adapt to any country/region’s needs through their products?