There is no doubt that the mobile device market is arguably the most competitive in the world. A recent report by the Federal Communication Commission of the US suggests that no less than 65 smartphones mobile devices are launched yearly in the USA. This is a staggering number that further illustrates how competitive the market is. There are also many brands in the global mobile device market, with the mobile division of Samsung Electronics being a key player in this market.
They have been able to carve a niche for themselves and gain a significant chunk of the global smartphone and tablet market by applying outstanding segmentation, targeting, and positioning strategies. At the same time, Samsung has historically been a smartphone brand known for providing low-priced mobile devices aimed at a target audience that desires affordable but fully functional and user-friendly mobile devices.
Samsung’s segmentation, targeting, and positioning business strategy are geared toward meeting the needs of the lower-end mobile device market. Samsung has established itself as one of the leading brands in this market. But in the high-end mobile device market, Samsung's mobile division has been more conservative in its approach, leading to a lesser degree of penetration in the upper mobile device market.
For Samsung, it is a question of sacrificing one for the other. Investing in producing smartphones for the high-end market would lead to sacrificing their already established position as a leader in the low-end market. Nevertheless, Samsung has struck a delicate balance between maintaining relevance in both markets, albeit more so in the lower rather than high-end market.
Market Segmentation of Samsung
Samsung segmentation is one of the key elements of the marketing strategy of this electronics company. Segmentation involves breaking down a given population group into segments by virtue of specified traits.
The Samsung market segmentation consists of four segmentation types: Geographic, Demographic, Behavioral, and Psychographic segmentation. Each form of segmentation is further divided based on certain criteria. For example, Samsung's geographic segmentation comprises two main criteria, namely, Region (worldwide presence) and Population density (in rural and urban areas).
For example, the Samsung Guru mobile phone brand is a segment primarily for mobile phone users in rural areas. At the same time, the Samsung Galaxy Segment is more in tune with urban dwellings. Samsung has a global target audience with the sale of smartphones and tablets in all parts of the world. In India, which has a very large population and potentially offers a huge market for users of mobile devices, Samsung is a leader in the provision of affordable mobile phones that satisfy the particular demands of Indian consumers.
The segmentation criteria for the Demographic type of Samsung segmentation is made up of the Age, Gender, Lifestyle, and Occupation of Samsung mobile phone users. Samsung offers mobile devices that meet virtually all age groups, including teenagers, young adults, and the middle-aged. Their mobile devices are designed for male and female users as well.
For example, with the Samsung Guru, Samsung has made a great brand for low-income earners looking for an affordable but highly functional mobile phone. The Samsung Galaxy series is a great smartphone option for the self-employed, executives, senior managers, and upwardly mobile professionals. Samsung is also in partnership with other leaders in the IT and communication industry with the aim of developing impactful enterprise solutions for corporate use.
Samsung mobile devices offer trendy functions and useful features that are in demand amongst all social classes, including the middle and upper class. Samsung smartphones fit all lifestyle choices; whether you are resigned, a reformer, an explorer, an aspirer, a succeeder, or a mainstreamer, a Samsung mobile device brand meets your lifestyle needs.
Targeting of Samsung
Samsung’s target market involves all those identified segments that fall under what can best be described as potential consumers of Samsung mobile device products and related services. Targeting follows right after market segmentation, and most times Samsung chooses its target audience from the identified segments based on feasibility studies suggesting the potential for the chosen target customers to consume a comparably higher number of Samsung products and services than other segments. Typically, the target consumers of the mobile division of Samsung Electronics include;
- Impressionable, trendy, fashionable teenagers and socially active teenagers.
- Mobile executives and professionals.
- Big corporations.
- Regular mobile phone users are looking for a cost-effective but functional handset.
- Secondary schools and higher institutions.
- Government organizations, including public utility and safety agencies.
It is interesting to note that the targeting activities of Samsung is not just aimed at acquiring new customers but also geared towards retaining the patronage of existing customers in the long run.
Positioning of Samsung
Samsung’s positioning strategies are three-fold, namely;
- Multi-segment positioning,
- Imitative positioning, and
- Anticipatory positioning.
With Multi-segment positioning, Samsung is able to target multiple segments at once. They do this by providing different products and services that will meet the needs of each target group. These needs do include not only the available features and functions of the products but also the pricing. Samsung is able to provide mobile devices that appeal to the budget constraints of target audiences.
Samsung also adopts an Imitative positioning stance where the company adapts its products to mimic those products of other successful brands. For example, Samsung products like the Galaxy series offer features that are similar to Apple iPhone. The design appears similar to the iPhone. You also have functions that are more or less the same. Samsung even adopts a similar marketing strategy as Apple rather than coming up with a completely different approach to marketing its products.
The Anticipatory positioning strategy of Samsung is one where they initially develop low turnover products. However, Samsung with Anticipatory positioning, expects that their low turnover products will eventually become high turnover products in the foreseeable future.
Table - Samsung Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning Illustrated
|SAMSUNG SEGMENTATION TYPES||SAMSUNG SEGMENTATION CRITERIA||SAMSUNG TARGET CONSUMER SEGMENT (IT & MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS)|
|GEOGRAPHIC||REGIONAL||ABOUT 80 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD|
|POPULATION DENSITY||RURAL & URBAN COVERAGE|
|DEMOGRAPHIC||AGE GROUP||BETWEEN 18 & 65 YEARS|
|GENDER||MALE & FEMALE|
|LIFECYCLE STAGE||SINGLES, MARRIED WITH OR WITHOUT KIDS, FULL NEST I, II & III, EMPTY NEST I & II, SOLITARY SURVIVOR I & II|
|OCCUPATION||STUDENTS, SELF-EMPLOYED, EMPLOYEES, EXECUTIVES, SENIOR MANAGERS & PROFESSIONALS|
|BEHAVIORAL||LEVEL OF LOYALTY||VERY LOYAL, MODERATELY LOYAL & CONSUMERS WILLING TO SWITCH PRODUCTS|
|REASONS FOR USING SAMSUNG PRODUCTS||FAD, TREND, OVERALL FEATURES & FUNCTIONALITY, OVERALL USABILITY & CONSUMERS WANTING TO FEEL LIKE THEY ARE A PART OF SOMETHING BIG|
|PERSONALITY TRAITS||AMBITUOUS, GO-GETTERS, DETERMINED & TRENDY|
|CONSUMER STATUS||POTENTIAL USERS, FIRST-TIME USERS, REGULAR USERS, EX-USERS & NON-USERS|
|PSYCHOGRAPHIC||SOCIETAL CLASS||WORKING CLASS, MIDDLE & UPPER CLASS|
|LIFESTYLE||ASPIRER, EXPLORER, MAINSTREAMER, SUCCEEDER & RESIGNED|
Samsung adopts four types of segmentation strategies which include Geographic, Demographic, Behavioral, and Psychographic. In terms of the positioning strategies, Samsung uses multi-segment positioning, Imitative positioning, and Anticipatory positioning. The Imitative positioning strategy has been particularly successful, with Samsung mimicking rival competing brands like Apple.
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STP of Samsung Mobile
Samsung Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning: multi-segment, imitative and anticipatory By John Dudovskiy, December 18, 2017