Case Study: Samsung's Next Frontier
New York, NY, April 6, 2010 – A new case study, authored by Professor Bernd Schmitt, examines Samsung's launch of the 2View camera: the first point-and-shoot camera with a display screen on both sides. Schmitt explores both the customer insights that led to this innovation as well as how the 2View is emblematic of Samsung’s drive to transform itself from a purely engineering-driven company to a consumer-driven company as well.
The Samsung brand has historically been known for its technical and manufacturing capabilities. By leveraging this prowess and focusing more on quality and design, Samsung became a consumer electronics leader by the mid-2000s. But in one area – products for creating digital content – the company lacked creative products and a compelling brand identity to compete with category leaders Sony, Nikon and Canon. Thus, becoming a leader in digital imaging represented Samsung’s next frontier and a new strategic focus for the company.
To achieve this goal, Samsung overhauled its Digital Imaging division. New leaders were appointed and new processes were established in an attempt to transform the culture. Sang-Jin Park, the executive tapped to lead the transformation of Digital Imaging, explained his rationale, "I had to change the mindset of my people. They didn’t pay any attention to the consumers and how they used a camera to take pictures." These efforts culminated in the Fall 2009 launch of the 2View camera and its innovative front screen feature, which met the needs of customers who were increasingly using point-and-shoot cameras to take self-portraits.
Now, Samsung must explore its next steps. Were its customer-driven efforts in the digital imaging category successful? Will digital imaging be a vital market in the future, and if so, how should they approach the competition? What is the next frontier for the company now?
In writing the case, Professor Schmitt uses a unique style, which he describes as being "akin to a New Yorker article" Written from the personal perspective of Schmitt as he conducts his research, Samsung's Last Frontier provides an entertaining analysis quite different from traditional case studies.
Bernd Schmitt, "Samsung’s Next Frontier," Columbia CaseWorks, March 29, 2010.
Download the case at: http://www4.gsb.columbia.edu/globalbrands/academicresearch/casestudies. To request copies of this case for academic purposes, including an additional instructor’s note, please e-mail ColumbiaCaseWorksgsb.columbia.edu.
Bernd Schmitt is Robert D.Calkins Professor of International Business at Columbia Business School, where he also directs the Center on Global Brand Leadership. He has authored or co-authored seven books which have been translated into 20 languages, including Experiential Marketing (1999), Customer Experience Management (2003), and Big Think Strategy (2007).
The Center on Global Brand Leadership at Columbia Business School is the leading forum worldwide for executives and researchers addressing the challenges of building and sustaining strong brands. The Center provides today's leaders with innovative branding solutions and a global perspective through a network of partner centers at leading schools in China, Germany, Korea, Spain, and Singapore.
Assistant Director, Center on Global Brand Leadership
Columbia Business School