Samsung Electronics America, the electronics manufacturer, is focusing on marketing experiences as a powerful means of engaging consumers, especially millennials and members of Gen Z.

Michelle Crossan-Matos, VP/Strategy and Transformation at Samsung Electronics America, discussed this subject at Advertising Week New York 2019.

“One of the things that we’re looking at for the next five years in our corporate strategy is: How can we be the brand of the future?” she said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Samsung Electronics America seeks to become an experiential brand – with Gen Z in mind.)

And the attitudes of millennials and Gen Z, in particular, are helping the company shape its approach in this area, as these consumers are vital audiences for the brand.

“We’re moving and shifting from product over to consumer [experiences]. Product- to experience-centric. We want to be the number-one experience innovator,” Crossan-Matos said.

One example of its move into consumer experiences reflects a widespread perspective from within the Gen Z community: a preference for “storyliving” rather than “storytelling”.

“They don’t like us ... ‘storytelling’ as much,” Crossan-Matos said. “So we need to be ‘storyliving’ with them, being with them, and going through the process versus just talking to them.”

One case in point is “837”, a retail location unveiled in New York City in 2016 that features giant screens, a virtual reality “tunnel”, a space for tech-based art installations, a music studio, and a kitchen and living set up to show off Samsung’s tech.

The site also hosts events, including sessions for learning about gaming, coding and media ethics, held with not-for-profit Black Girls Code, a similar gathering with members of the Latinx in Gaming community, and talks by entrepreneurs.

“Our experience is really important because we're targeting youth. It’s all about youth,” Crossan-Matos told the Advertising Week New York delegates.

In February 2019, Samsung opened three more “experience-focused” stores in New York, Los Angeles, and Houston. And the reasoning behind this strategy, Crossan-Matos asserted, is clear.

“Young millennials and Gen Z love a brick-and-mortar experience,” she said. “It doesn’t mean that they’re going to purchase there, but they want to touch and feel. And they want to talk to you. They want to hear your story about the product.”

Sourced from WARC