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The purpose of this Individual Report assessment is to develop your ability to identify and analyse the fundamentals of Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC), and their importance in relation to brand enhancement. This will enable you to apply relevant IMC theories and concepts to a real business scenario, whereby brand equity and IMC are integral parts of business survival.

In this report you will concentrate on the recent Samsung “exploding battery” crisis. Your task is to investigate Samsung’s brand equity, and its current integrated marketing communication efforts to restore consumer confidence in purchasing Samsung’s smart telecommunication devices. The prime focus of your investigation is to understand and analyse how Samsung is trying to restore its brand image after recalling more than 3 million devices globally.

In your analysis, you will need to address the following questions:

- Identify the current marketing communication mix used by Samsung. You must use examples to support your answer.

- Analyse Samsung’s brand image and consumer brand awareness using the customer based brand equity framework and the brand awareness pyramid.

- Identify what the Samsung brand means via an analysis of various sources.

- Identify how Samsung is trying to enhance its brand by using integrated marketing communication.

Samsung's Marketing Communication Mix

The companies nowadays moved towards Integrated Marketing communications (IMC) which means the coordination of the promotional elements and some other activities related to marketing which helps in communicating with the customers. The advertisers nowadays use variety of promotional tools to have an impact on the customers (Richa, 2014).

Samsung, a well renowned Smartphone brand across the globe also uses combination of promotional tools to communicate with the customers and to market and promote its products. Samsung focuses on relationship marketing. In this, it aims at involving with the customers, maintaining and developing long term relationships with the customers for the mutual benefit. Samsung has to first identify its target audience so that communication can be done well (Mihart, 2012). The current communication mix used by Samsung to promote its products is explained below:

Advertising: Advertising can be understood as paid communication medium which helps in educating and creating awareness among the consumers about the products of Samsung (Bhasin, 2017). Samsung uses print media, digital media and other forms to advertise its products. New concepts and ideas are used to communicate and use the medium effectively. Samsung designs its advertisement to provide accurate information about its products to public. For e.g.  To beat the competition, it often hires celebrities to display the positive features of the brand in its advertisements (Rehman & Ibrahim, 2011)

Sales promotion: Samsung uses sales promotion at the time of festivals and other events. It uses price discounts, free gifts, etc.  to persuade the target customers to buy more.

Publicity: Samsung believes in establishing good public relations so that the customers can trust the brand and customer loyalty can be established. Samsung often use social media to establish good public relations. It highlights the features of its products in the events which creates a connection between the customer and the brand.

Event marketing: Samsung is sponsoring events and programs in order to be in contact with the customers. This helps in increasing their visibility and promotion of the brand at the places where population is available or present in masses (Rehman & Ibrahim, 2011). For e.g. Samsung sponsored London Olympic Games 2012, which has viewership across the world. It helps the organisation to create its brand awareness among target customers.

There are many factors which have an impact on the strength of the brand. To evaluate the brand image and brand awareness, Keller gave a brand equity model which involves four steps. This model aims at shaping the thoughts and views of the customers. Building strong brand will let the customers recommend the brand to others and this shows their loyalty towards the brand (Vukasovi?, 2016). Below given model shows that these steps should be taken by Samsung to build strong brand equity:

Analyzing Samsung's Brand Image and Consumer Brand Awareness

Figure 1: Brand Equity Model by Keller

The model is followed by Samsung and there are six building blocks which should be followed to reach the top end of the pyramid which ultimately leads to the successfully brand.  There are certain steps which helps in strengthen the brand, these steps are taken by Samsung:

  • Setting Brand identity

Here, Samsung creates Brand salience which can also be understood as brand awareness. Samsung needs to make people aware about the brand. The brand makes sure that the customers able to identify the brand. Samsung sets up its Unique Selling Proposition and communicate with the customers so that they can make their buying decisions (Lee & Leh, 2011).

  • Meaning of Brand- What Are You?

At this step, Samsung identify and communicate the meaning of its brand to the customers. It defines how well it meets the needs of the customers and reviews itself on the basis of certain characteristics like reliability, durability, effectiveness, efficiency, etc. Samsung makes its customers feel good by its innovative products and sustainability practices (Bill and Chan, 2010).

  • Brand Response:

At this step, the response of the customers about the brand is identified. The customers judge a product on the basis of categories like quality, Credibility, consideration and superiority. In case of Samsung, The customers trust the brand, its credibility and its expertise (Atilgan, et al., 2009).

  • Brand Resonance

It is the top dimension which is at the top of the pyramid. It is the most difficult level to reach for a brand. In case of Samsung, the customers feel a deep psychological bond with the brand which is achieved when the customers makes repeat purchases, share love for the brand and get engaged with the brand actively (Lee & Leh, 2011).

Samsung is a successful brand because they knew how to keep their customers happy and retained. They have taken challenges for years and grown the focus on the brand slowly and gradually. Samsung is a well-known brand which is loved by millions of customers in the world.

Samsung is known worldwide for producing the best Android smartphones. The company has produced many successful phone brands like Galaxy, Note and others. The phone explosion of one of the phone series has led to the downfall of the popularity of brand but Samsung is striving continuously to keep its position and competitive edge in the industry.

Samsung is a Korean brand which was founded by Lee Byung- chull. The brand name signifies three stars which mean that the brand is as powerful and strong as stars in the sky. Three stars are used because the number three illustrates something huge and effective. As per Samsung Newsroom (2013), in the year 1993, the brand changed itself by following the “New Management” philosophy. Here, the company took a commitment to maintain top quality in its products. Samsung decided to produce its products in its own factories so that the quality can be set high. Through this change in the management, the company was able to see success across the world. In 2012, the company was rated as 9th top brand in the global brands around the world.

Integrated Marketing Communication Strategies to Enhance Samsung's Brand

Figure 2: Samsung Logo

Samsung is also chosen as the top most trusted brands in many countries. As per Gee (2017), Samsung has faced many problems of faulty products and recalling the handsets. The brand still earned profits at three year high in 2016 but the question is that the brand has fully recovered or not. Samsung has to reassure the retention of its customers for achieving its goals completely. It is planning now to launch new products and services to deliver its commitments to the public. For regaining its brand image and awareness, the company has to advertise it, publicize the brand positively so that people began to trust it again. These are the techniques of marketing communication which reassure its customers about the quality of its smartphones (Vizard, 2017).

Samsung has a goal to deliver the best possible quality and experience to its customers and that is why, they focus on innovation and design of its handsets. Some of the series of the phones have made records of sales in the world markets (Samsung Newsroom, 2013).

Integrated Marketing communication is practiced at a very wide scale nowadays. It is more of a consumer oriented approach which also focuses on the needs of the organisation (Naeem, Bilal & Naz, 2013). After the case of battery explosion, Samsung is trying to enhance its brand image by using different tools of Integrated Marketing communication.

Samsung has sponsored Rio Olympics with the series of advertisements featuring human stories which helps in engaging the customers with the brand. Samsung used power of emotions in its advertisements. The brand focussed on the lesser known athletes and used a tagline ‘Proud sponsor of those who defy barriers’ (Handley, 2016). Samsung has also participated in the biggest advertisements after the case. It became the Number 1 advertiser with the total ad minutes of 1964 (Vizard, 2017).

Figure 3: Samsung sponsored in Rio Olympics 2016

Samsung also used Internet marketing which is the latest advertising channel and the most used one. Samsung use advertisement and promotion techniques on Online websites where the mass population could visit the site of the company. Samsung also uses social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to be engaged with the consumers.

Sales promotion is another technique where Samsung offers gifts, vouchers or discounts to the customers in order to persuade them for buying their products. It stimulates the sales of the company and provides value to the customers (Bhasin, 2017).

The brand launches marketing campaigns where its main motive is to entertain and enhance the customer interest in the brand. Samsung has made a debut of its Galaxy S4 at Radio City Music Hall and then uploaded the event at You tube to get a worldwide popularity (DeWitt, 2013). This shows how Samsung has put its funds, heart and soul in the marketing campaign to engage more and more customers with the brand. It increases brand awareness and also improves its image among the masses.

References

Atilgan, E, Akinci, S, Aksoy, S and Kaynak, E, 2009, ‘Customer-based brand equity for global brands: A multinational approach’, Journal of Euromarketing, 18(2), pp.115-132.

Bhasin, H 2017, ‘Marketing mix of Samsung – 4P of Samsung’, Marketing 91.

Bill Xu, J and Chan, A, 2010, ‘A conceptual framework of hotel experience and customer-based brand equity: Some research questions and implications’, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 22(2), pp.174-193.

DeWitt, P E 2013, ‘Smartphone wars: Samsung & Apple launch media campaigns’, Fortune.

Gee, R 2017, ‘Samsung’s Profits have recovered but has the brand?’, Marketing week.

Handley, L 2016, ‘Samsung’s top mobile marketer on being ‘human first’, premium partnerships and competing with Apple’, Marketing week.

Lee, G C & Leh, F C Y 2011, ‘Dimensions of Customer-Based Brand Equity: A Study on Malaysian Brands’, Journal of Marketing Research and Case Studies.

Mihart, C, 2012, ‘Impact of integrated marketing communication on consumer behaviour: effects on consumer decision–making process’, International Journal of Marketing Studies, 4(2), p.121.

Naeem, R, Bilal, M & Naz, U 2013, ‘Integrated Marketing Communication: A Review Paper’, Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research In business, VOL 5, NO 5.

Rehman, S U & Ibrahim, M S 2011, ‘Integrated Marketing Communication and promotion’, Journal of Arts, Science & Commerce, Vol.– II, Issue –4.

Richa, 2014, ‘Marketing Communications Mix: Promote Better and Effectively!’, Udemy Blog.

Samsung Newsroom, 2013, ’20 Things You Didn’t Know about Samsung’. Retrieved from https://news.samsung.com/global/20-things-you-didnt-know-about-samsung.

Vizard, S 2017, ‘Samsung, Nationwide & Direct Line: The 10 biggest TV advertisers in March’, Marketing week.

Vukasovi?, T 2016, ‘A Conceptual Framework for Understanding Consumer- Based Brand Equity’, Joint International Conference 2016.

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