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Samsung Unveils New Products, Brand Strategy

Samsung Electronics showcased an array of cutting edge video, mobile and major appliance products — and previewed a new brand strategy to promote them — at a Global Road Show held here recently at the Time Warner Center.

The event, hosted by vice chairman/CEO Jong-Yong Yun and emceed by actor William Shatner, underscored the company’s commitment to innovation through research and development.

“We have emerged as a company with a reputation for excellence, but we are still on the rise,” Yun said, citing Samung’s expected $5.2 billion in R&D outlays this year, representing more than 9 percent of the company’s projected total revenue in 2005.

The fruits of those expenditures, unveiled to retailers, analysts and the press, included:

  • A 71W-inch DLP rear-projection TV, an 82W-inch flat-panel LCD TV, a 102W-inch plasma panel and a working 40W-inch OLED TV prototype, all billed as the largest displays within their respective technologies (see story, right)
  • A Blu-ray DVD recorder with built-in HD tuner
  • A portable multimedia player that can receive live TV content
  • Samsung’s first single-pass color laser printer

The company also showed its four-door convertible refrigerator with separate climate zones, which debuted at the Kitchen/Bath Industry Show (K/BIS) in May (see story, p. 52).

Yun noted that Samsung built its success on excellence in design and innovative technology, pointing to its development of the first mobile camera phone and the creation of an open standard Extended Home Theater platform (XHT), to be introduced next year, which permits remote interoperability between A/V devices.

Going forward, Samsung will build on its brand — which outscores Dell, Sony and Apple in consumer awareness, Yun said — by “giving consumers unlimited choice” in the size, function, styling and configuration of products. “In the years ahead, successful technology companies must respond to the growing power of consumers’ choice,” he observed.

To that end, Samsung has developed a new consumer marketing campaign called “Imagine” that demonstrates the “sensational technology” of Samsung products within novel scenarios. The campaign is built around four lighthearted TV spots that target “high-life seekers” who desire premium goods and the latest technologies and “want it all,” explained chief marketing officer Gregory Lee.

Lee noted that Samsung is changing its marketing organization; will tie the brand to “trendsetters” in sports, fashion and music; and is experimenting with the use of fragrances at retail in order to appeal to more of the senses.

Shatner, who helped foment consumer fascination with electronics devices in his role as starship Captain James Kirk on the 1960s sci-fi TV show “Star Trek,” noted that he is a “huge fan of Samsung as a company and have been a long-time user and admirer of its products.”