From trash to treasure: How Samsung became a bastion of Creativity

How on earth did samsung products  get transformed from the ancient, ugly and frightful devices & gadgets into beautiful,  smart, simple and sophisticated products?

Here is how.

There is a brain behind every brand

“Understand what customers want and need” – this is the mantra at the heart of Samsung’s marketing powerhouse, according to executive vice president of marketing, Younghee Lee. It was Lee that, over the last decade, transformed Samsung’s marketing from a monotonous and overly-technical affair into the fun and engaging image we know it for today.


Forget the tech Jargon; Focus consumer Satisfaction

Admittedly taking cues from Apple’s catchy marketing campaigns, Samsung’s advertising has slowly switched from showcasing a “tech-driven engineering company to a consumer-centric lifestyle brand”. The shift of focus worked: Samsung’s advertising efforts in previous years were recently rewarded with the Creative Marketer of the Year award at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Speaking about her vision for Samsung’s marketing, Lee is clear about what is most important: “Our mission should be for the everyday users, not technology for the sake of technology. All the great technology we have had to be translated to consumer language. We’ve done a lot of research to understand what consumers want and need. That is at the core of our marketing.”

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Zuckerberg at Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge launch

An example of Samsung’s marketing creativity can be seen in the appearance of Mark Zuckerberg at the unpacked event for the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge at this year’s Mobile World Congress. Zuckerberg’s involvement added a lot of weight and fanfare to an otherwise standard smartphone launch and put the spotlight on the mutual interest in virtual reality that both Samsung and Facebook share. Since then, Gear VR really seems to have hit the mainstream.

“This was the first time a mass experience of 5,000 Gear VR headsets had been done and a great example of how we can create excitement with our advanced technology,” Lee says. It’s true too, nobody in the audience expected Zuck to stroll up to the stage while the attendees were busy experiencing an S7 promo in VR. It was a clever move and is indicative of the kind of risks Samsung is willing to take to create a buzz.



Samsung may still be focused on pushing the boundaries of technology but it is also interested in appealing to as many people as possible, for as many reasons as possible. “the phone is a gateway to new experiences.” This is perhaps the ideology Samsung’s marketing appeal for millenials: by showing what Samsung products make possible rather than just focusing on the products themselves.

Samsung Creativity Award

Samsung may be the most trusted brand for millenials in the U.S. but her biggest challenge is to obtain more share of mind from millennials. It’s crucial for them to keep their Samsung Galaxy brand as a young and fresh mindset, Another focus is to tell the story of how the smartphone is a gateway to a bigger world and galaxy of experiences.

Wearables are another area of increasing emphasis: Wearables are a key area that they are focusing on, not just for sales but also as a great communications and experience too, they’re committed to constantly looking for ways to intersect technology, content and services to enable consumers to do more and get more out of them.

With several high-profile hires in the marketing department – headhunted from the likes of Unilever and Proctor and Gamble – Samsung’s marketing juggernaut is only just getting started. If Samsung’s efforts in recent times are anything to go by, we’re only going to see more innovative, bold and catchy lifestyle marketing from Samsung in the years to come. But even Samsung’s marketing chief knows the company can’t rest on its laurels.


Acknowledge the competitions

Samsung acknowledges the increasing threat from low-cost Chinese manufacturers but remains stoic in the face of increasing competition. “Being a leader now does not mean that you can sustain that leadership forever. Samsung knows that very well….We will focus on providing better value to our consumers, the way we have always been … successful. We are always ready and very confident to win.”, Younghee Lee




Author: Godfrey Egbuokporo

Published by Ogunbowale Olugbenga

Ogunbowale Olugbenga is a multiple award winning social entrepreneur & digital skills expert. An alumnus of the Leadership in Business Institute of Kellogg School of Management (USA), He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Obafemi Awolowo University (Nigeria). Inspired by the plight of millions of unemployed youths, Olugbenga founded, a digital agency passionately growing businesses & accelerating the application of digital skills for economic prosperity across Africa. To help institutions prevent scandals & promote performance, Gbenga founded Polivoice.Work, an anonymous employee feedback tool that captures & analyses feedback anonymously in real time to detect, predict & improve work place conditions. A Mandela Washington Fellow, Tony Elumelu Fellow, Royal Common wealth society fellow, YALI star of business & YALI network influencer, Olugbenga is the founder of Africa’s biggest orphanage outreach, The Orphan Empowerment Society, with a 5,000 strong volunteer force and a presence in 19 African countries empowering thousands of orphans with free vocational skills, medical care, & food. He is also the co-founder of the communication & leadership organization, Pacesetters Leadership Club.

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