Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Consumer connect is key

With a generation obsessed with mobile phones and new technology, the question uppermost on everyone's mind probably is — to borrow a phrase from Samsung — Next is What? That also sums up the way Sumsung has been stoking the consumer’s curiosity before every big launch.

So months before the Samsung Galaxy Note was launched launched in India on November 2, 2011, the company set the ball rolling in the media. Looking back at the strategy, Ranjit Yadav, country head, mobile & IT, Samsung, says a number of things came together to make the launch successful. For the first time in India, Samsung conducted a multi-city event on the same day and at the same time to announce the launch. While the main event was hosted in New Delhi, audiences in Mumbai and Chennai were connected via video conference. This was followed by on-ground consumer events at variousmalls across the country wherein the audience was given the opportunity to playaround with the S Pen and explore the smartphone’s potential.

Right after launch, Samsung opened up more than 7 million contact points for customers to experience the product. “Samsung created various touch points for consumers across key centres in India through multiple platforms — shopping malls, theatres, corporate parks etc. Consumers appreciated the experience and the smartphone’s on the go usability,” says Yadav. Table-top demonstrations at its new retail format, the Smartphone Cafes, with provided an effective, interactive platform for consumers to touch and feel the Note.

Yadav says the Galaxy Note opened up a new category in the mobile industry. So there was an added need to educate consumers in India about the product and its applications. “In order to highlight the device’s ability to enhance mobile communication, Samsung executed an aggressive marketing strategy. Our aim was to reach out to the largest audience and educate them about this product — one that offers a more advanced, productive and creative user experience than ever before.” The television commercial of the Galaxy Note demonstrated the key features of the device and the ground events were aimed to give potential consumers a chance to experience the product.

However it was the product and its key selling proposition that attracted the attention of the consumers. While the device was launched at Rs 34,990, it is now available for Rs 33,690. While the online sphere went abuzz with reviews and discussions on Smart Pen feature, ChatON (its global mobile communication service) etc, consumers were given a first-hand feel of the product’s 5.3-inch HD display, processor speed and applications while holding it close. With its processor speed, the Galaxy Note users were able to stream videos real-time or engage with friends through online gaming platforms, facilitated through its game hub.

The buzz Samsung generated at the time of the launch of Galaxy Note was ‘phenomenal’, says Yadav. Ramanujam Sridhar, founder CEO, brand-comm says the kind of word-of-mouth publicity the Galaxy Note enjoyed made a significant difference soon after its launch. “It’s a category that has high involvement - the consumer’s knowledge and awareness of mobile phones as a category and that of individual models is very high,” he adds.

Sridhar says Samsung will do well to remember that consumers change their handsets frequently these days. This is driven by the desire to experiment, change to newer technology and adopt new features. “Above all, people are constantly making a statement about themselves with the smart phones they use. So, the ability of the brand to sustain will depend on how many new versions and models it can launch and whether people are comfortable with the features and applications that come with it,” says Sridhar.

Samsung knows that only too well. “We plan to continue this momentum next year with a stronger thrust on innovation. Converged devices will be a top priority for us,” Yadav said in an interview to Business Standard soon after the launch of the Galaxy Note last year.

Read my blogs @ http://www.brand-comm.com/blog.html
Facebook: facebook.com/RamanujamSridhar
Twitter: twitter.com/RamanujamSri

No comments: