With plenty of help from my friends who bought Samsung products and finally saw the light and switched to Apple’s latest and greatest I’ve finally figure out Samesong’s game. It’s a two-step process to compete with Apple. The way I see it, Samsung needs another step.
First, Second, What Now?
Samsung’s advertising slogan has been “The next big thing is here.” That’s obviously a swipe at Apple’s ability to innovate and disrupt markets and make Samsung appear more like Apple.
How’s that working out so far? Samsung’s smartphone and tablet share has dropped like a rock, Apple remains the premium brand and owner of most of the industry’s profits.
What’s wrong with Samsung? It’s that two-step market process.
Step One is where Samsung’s designers and engineers get together and think about what Apple might do, cobble together some techno gadget pieces and parts, wrap it up in a package, and throw a dozen versions agains the wall to see what sticks.
Of course, that doesn’t work too well and seems quite the opposite of Apple’s typical laser focus approach to product marketing, but, well, whatever, Samsung.
Step Two is where Samsung realizes that all the techno gadgets it threw up against the product marketing wall that were not lapped up by customers might need some focus. So, Samsung focuses by waiting until Apple releases a product, and then, five or six months later– however long it took to fire up the photocopiers– Samsung makes and ships a product that looks like Apple’s latest.
Need an example?
Samsung’s Galaxy line of smartphones sold well but didn’t bring the company much profit. The last Galaxy S5 was loaded with features Apple’s iPhone did not have and Samsung blasted the iPhone maker in the market and ad space with Galaxy features no one really wanted.
That didn’t work and the iPhone continued to gain marketshare, profitshare, and mindshare all over the world, while Samsung’s fortunes and profits slid into who-knows-wheres-ville. Then, out came patient Samsung, saw the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, fired up the photocopiers, and five months later introduced the Samsung S6, mostly a clone of the iPhone 6 line, devoid of removable battery, missing the microSD card, but sporting a new fingerprint ID sensor, and Voila! A Galaxy smartphone that looks like an iPhone.
Two steps and a about four years and Samsung gets it figure out. Of course, that’s just enough time for Apple to move the bar just out of reach again, which explains, on the eve of Apple’s introduction of Apple Watch, why we haven’t heard much from Samesong about their smartwatch models. Why not? They’re busy photocopying what they can of Apple Watch so in four or five months we’ll know exactly what ‘The next big thing is here‘ will be. An Apple Watch with a Samsung logo.