Samsung relies on brand authenticity

13 March 2014
HOLLYWOOD: Samsung, the electronics giant, has emerged as a leading player in the smartphone sector by enjoying the major benefits that result from impactful storytelling, the company's US head of marketing has said.

Todd Pendleton, cmo of Samsung Telecommunications America, told delegates at the Association of National Advertisers' 2014 Brand Masters Conference that the firm's marketing was based on a clear principle.

"It's a level of storytelling that's all about authenticity," he said. (For more, including how Samsung uses the voice of the consumer, read Warc's exclusive article: Relentless innovation and "authentic" advertising drive growth for Samsung.)

"And we've stayed true to that [authenticity], no matter what we do, no matter what campaign we're running, no matter what product we're launching: that voice has to be authentic."

This model is consistent across Samsung's wide variety of communications in the smartphone category, from ads that gently lampooned Apple to those promoting its tie-up with the rapper Jay-Z.

"It has to be real," said Pendleton. "We have to connect with people in that way, whether you're a huge celebrity like Jay-Z or an everyday person looking to buy a smartphone."

Having witnessed considerable success with its Galaxy range of devices, and registered a dramatic increase in its social media following, it is evident such an idea has paid off.

In 2013, Samsung was the top-ranking smartphone vendor in terms of global shipments and market share, according to research group IDC.

Samsung has also continued to see growth in America, where its share of smartphone subscribers rose by 1.3 percentage points between October 2013 and January 2014, figures from comScore suggest.

That situation marks a substantial turnaround from 2011, when Samsung was merely one among many manufacturers leveraging Google's Android operating system.

"It's hard to believe that, just three years ago, you wouldn't think of Samsung as a smartphone brand," Pendleton said.

"The problem," he confessed, "was that we weren't really telling our story."

Data sourced from Warc
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