Samsung committed the ultimate marketing sin by over promising and under delivering in the launch of the Galaxy S4, the Harvard Business Review (HBR) has reported.
Noting that Samsung’s greatest competitor was no longer Apple, but itself, HBR argues that the Korean technology giant made some fundamental mistakes in pitching its new phone to an attentive global market.
A big part of the brand’s problem was a lack of confidence. “Many experts see the Galaxy S4 as a new strategic thrust by Samsung to ‘De-Google’ its phone. In short, it is an Android phone that wants to stand out more as a Samsung made and operated phone. Despite this grand vision, Samsung is hedging its bets just in case the breaking away move does not pan out by keeping its key branding elements (especially the design and naming) more or less intact. That kind of straddling, however, may create confusion among consumers who judge products by their exterior. If the overall brand narrative is that it is a new kind of Samsung phone, then each important branding element must communicate a clear separation from existing phones,” the HBR argued.
Samsung is not alone in its problems according to the HBR, which says that the company needs to adapt to its new role as market leader, a role that tripped up Apple only last year with the launch of the iPhone 5.
In related news, Samsung has also come under attack from Microsoft, which has rather bizarrely launched an advertising campaign criticising the Galaxy III’s camera compared to a Microsoft phone the Nokia Lumia 92. AdAge reports that Nokia was previously caught faking a photo supposedly taken with the very same phone used to attack the now out-dated Galaxy phone.