#SamsungCares, an emotionally driven campaign for Samsung recently went viral on YouTube within a week of its launch. Ranjivjit Singh, CMO, Samsung India tells us how the brand hopes to build a lasting relationship with its consumers
Q] Why has Samsung now decided to focus on the service aspect when the emphasis earlier was on product launches and new features?
Our endeavour at Samsung India has always been to cater to the customers, be it with innovative products or world class service. We are always gathering feedback from our customers and creating innovations that are meaningful. The intent of the new campaign is to apprise our patrons about our initiative and let them know that Samsung cares, and will reach them in every part of the country.
Q] Please elaborate on the areas Samsung’s after-sale service will cover henceforth.
We have been in India for 21 years and have further strengthened our service outreach. Today we have the widest reach of service centres with trained service engineers. This team will go to the deepest parts of the country to service the needs of our customers. In October last year, Samsung strengthened its commitment to provide quality customer service in both urban and rural India by augmenting its service network with 535 service vans. The aim is to bring world class service to the doorsteps of lakhs of rural and semi-urban customers. With this new addition, the Samsung service network is now over 3,000 strong from around 2,000 service points earlier. With this, Samsung’s reach will extend to customers in over 6,000 talukas across 29 States and seven Union Territories, making its service network the largest in this industry in India.
Q] Samsung clearly is attempting to build an emotional connect with customers in rural areas with the campaign #SamsungCares. What kind of marketing insight led to it?
Our finding was that our customer in rural areas has to go many miles to get products repaired. We wanted to make life better for them. Hence, we launched the 535 vans that go to their doorstep. At Samsung, we listen to our consumers, analyse the insights and then develop innovative solutions to make their lives better and comfortable. This is the basic essence of our work at Samsung and the campaign too. The idea behind launching these unique customer service vans was to reach out to our customers in the remotest corners of India, ensuring timely service to them. In fact we want to reach out to a large set of consumers spread across territories - urban, rural or semi-urban. Our campaign strategy is simple - to keep customers at the core of it and focus on Samsung’s ability to listen to its customers, wherever they are.
Q] What is the marketing mix for the campaign?
Led by TV and Digital, we want the campaign to be seen by our customer, wherever they are in India. Like any of our flagship campaigns, this service campaign is a 360-degree one stretching across both ATL and BTL. The ATL is led by a 240 second high impact Digital film, TV commercial and Print advertisements.
Q] Tell us about the kind of response the campaign has received?
The #SamsungService campaign video has been viewed over 52 million times in three weeks since it was launched. The fact that it has been viewed so many times and people like it gives us a lot of encouragement. The TVC is a part of the nationwide campaign showcasing Samsung’s initiative to take customer service to the doorsteps of consumers in the hinterland. The campaign film aims to apprise the customers about the initiative and let them know that Samsung will take care of them wherever they are in the country. Our intent was to tell the story in a compelling way.
Q] What is the unique aspect of Samsung’s customer service? Apart from large electronic goods, would a Samsung engineer visit a consumer’s home even to service a phone?
At Samsung India, every customer is important and our goal is to ensure personalized timely service to each one of them across product categories. The objective of the campaign was to highlight the depth of our service and its reach to our vast customer base, spread across all age groups, in the country. Since our service network comprises both rural and urban areas in India, we are committed to providing premium services to customers present in every nook and corner of the country.
Q] In India, Samsung sells four TV sets a minute, but where do maximum sales come from -- rural or urban areas?
As an inclusive brand, Samsung is the number one choice for people across cities and upcountry. We are the No. 1 brand across categories of mobile handsets, televisions, frost-free refrigerators, inverters, air-conditioners and microwave ovens. Samsung is one of the most visible brands across media - Television, Print and Digital.
Q] Who do you perceive as your biggest competitor in the two categories that contribute to a major chunk of your sales in India - Television sets and mobile phones?
As a true market leader, we focus on driving the category and expanding the market. Focus for us has been on customers rather than competition.
Q] What differentiates Samsung products from its rivals? And how different is the Indian market for Samsung vis-à-vis that abroad?
For India in particular, our ‘Make for India’ philosophy drives innovations across the product categories. India is among the select strategic markets where we have a strong Product Innovation team, three large R&D infrastructure teams, Design Team, and two global scale manufacturing factories. In fact, 2016 was a record year for us and we did a lot of hard work to make it a success. Our people understand the Indian market and that’s one of the major factors why Samsung has done so well here as well as globally. There are not many brands that perform as effectively in the technology industry across territories. Samsung has done some interesting innovations for Indian market needs. And that’s what makes us market leader in the segment.
Q] According to International Data Corporation (IDC), India is the fastest growing smartphone market in the world, what kind of innovations can we expect from Samsung in the category?
In the first and second quarter of 2017, we are looking forward to bringing in a lot of innovations and exciting products, across categories, which Samsung is known for. So there will be a slew of innovations coming into the Indian market for our consumers, to make their life better, and we are working towards setting new records in first two quarters of 2017.
Q] What are the products Samsung is betting on in the near future?
We have launched some new products in 2017 like Samsung Gear S3- a smartwatch that is built to enhance your lifestyle. It offers two bold, refined designs with sophisticated features such as standalone wireless network connectivity, a built-in GPS (Global Positioning System), MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) technology and IP68 dust and water resistance. In smartphones, we have launched Galaxy J2 Ace and Galaxy J1 4G and have further strengthened our J Series portfolio, the best-selling smartphone series in the affordable segment. Apart from that we have launched Galaxy C9 Pro which sports all metal unibody and is designed for consumers who demand more from their smartphone. Additionally, we also launched new QLED TV series- Q9, Q8, and Q7 and Odyssey- our new gaming laptop for gaming enthusiasts.