J.S. Park, a president of Samsung Electronics Canada (SECA), has to come up with a new developing strategy for establishing Samsung as a premium consumer brand in Canada. To develop a new strategy, he should decide whether or not to make changes on the company's product line, pricing levels, advertising budget and distribution strategy. There are many implications of changing each of these areas. Consequently, the real problem here is how to achieve redefining Samsung as a premium consumer brand while not to cause a loss in each of these areas.
I believe that the best solution for SECA is to invest in its customer service and focus on customer satisfaction without changing the product line, pricing levels and the distribution strategy. First of all, there is a challange with eliminating some product lines because they are profitable even though they include low-end items which is contradictory to the repositioning strategy. The company should not sacrifice any profitable product line just because of rebuilding brand name; there are other ways to do so. The other issue is related to the pricing because some Samsung products are in a low price range, and it might damage the company's effort to rebuild the brand image. Inversely, raising prices for some Samsung products might cause consumers to choose other brands because the Canadian consumer electronics market is highly price sensitive. Raising price itself does not necessarily mean that the brand is the best or premium. The characteristics that make Samsung products different from others are the quality and the service that consumers benefit from after sales. Lastly, most of the Samsung products are sold in special retailers, such as Future Shop and Best Buy, as well as mass merchants like Wal-Mart and Staples. Removing products from mass merchants because of their discount image is going to undermine the company's sales volume, and I believe that nobody in management would appreciate low sales volume. There is not a direct relationship between how the products are distributed and the image of brand because if customers are well informed about the products and brand they will buy them from no matter where they are sold. In addition to this, I believe that most customers are looking for convenience of finding products anywhere. For the reasons shown above, I suggest SECA not to make any changes in these three areas. Instead, SECA should invest in its customer service and focus on customer satisfaction because even though the brand is premium, electronic products might still cause a problem. If the company immediately solves any problems and satisfies customers' wants and needs, they will become loyal to the brand and make Samsung a premium brand.
There are few things that SECA can improve its customer service by implementing the followings:
• Making the phone menu easy to reach the right department and giving customers shortcuts to talk to a represantative if that is their only purpose.
• Reducing the waiting time on the phone for technical support when customers have questions about the products.
• Replacing the defective products with the temporary ones while they are repaired, so even though the repairing time takes longer than the customers' expectations, they will not feel disappointed.
• Informing customers about the repairing process and letting them how long it will take.
Once customers are satisfied by implementing all of the above, they will know that Samsung is taking care of their problems. This is eventually going to lead to a mouth of word which will help bringing more customers and making Samsung the best brand in the electronics consumer market because most of the electronic customers ask their friends or relatives before making a purchase.