Profile MMHK October
Through the Olympic Games the group found that a majority of Hong Kong people exercises regularly. To follow their active lifestyle movement and in search for more young customers, Samsung embraced sports marketing to change consumers' perception about the brand and has since been winning dynamic marketing support from customers and sports sponsors as a consequence.
Chung is no stranger to the consumer electronics landscape. Prior to joining Samsung in April this year, he spent 13 years with arch rival Sony, where he led the launch of its first digital camera and notebook PC, arguably two of Sony's key consumer product lines.
During his first six months with Samsung Chung led the launch of its first full high definition TV Crystal Design Full-HD TV and the iDTV, which has since gained the number one position in Hong Kong. Sales of Samsung HDTV jumped up to 30% to 40% from July to August this year compared to the same period last year.
Chung says much of this growth was due to its sponsorship of the Beijing Olympic Games and investments in the sports marketing field.
In late June this year, Samsung was the sole sponsor for the Olympic Day Run event, which was organised by the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong. It also won eight torchbearer nominations to run in Hong Kong and Macau, respectively.
The Olympics also has set the stage for Samsung's business growth. Chung says Samsung Hong Kong's US$10 million investment to the Beijing Olympics resulted in a profitable outcome for the group. Chung believes that Samsung has vastly benefited from the Olympics, which has not only energised the brand but also set a platform for Samsung to connect with a younger demographic and further entice them to try out new products.
Despite soaring commodity and gas prices and a shaken global financial sector, Chung does not see a post-Olympics slowdown in the retail and electronic sectors.
"At some point, Hong Kong's economy tends to rely on China's tourism market. Its steady growth benefits HK's consumer electronic sector from time to time."
He explains that Hong Kong's market as a whole can be affected by outside factors easily, and yet it is able to recover quickly from interruptions or economic storms. As a matter of fact, China's speeding economic and commercial developments, driven heavily by consumer demand, plays a greater role in influencing Hong Kong's retail environment.
Chung and his team produced a "3S" strategy to implement its investment in the Olympic Games. The "3S" strategy, which stresses three key principles of superiority, satisfaction and sales, aims to boost sales for consumer electronic products.
"Samsung maintains a consistent strategic focus and continues to develop a stronger persuasion tactic to approach perspective customers. We need a strong business strategy to fit into the local market culture and influence consumers' purchasing decisions."
Chung explained that local consumers are more concerned about brand names.
"They tend to look into reliable and trusted brands, whereas Westerners are more concerned with the prices and like to compare product features."
Samsung's "secret weapon," as many may have noticed, is the use of celebrity endorsement-that forms the backbone of most products' launch. The concept is to foster public trust and build credibility by attaching artists' names to Samsung and using their reputation to change the language of the brand.
"Its philosophy has reached beyond innovation and premium image." Chung says on the subject of sports marketing.
Samsung considers sports as a worthwhile investment for keeping the company as part of the historical moment of the Olympics.
Because the Olympic is what drove Samsung's CE product sales up, Chung said the upcoming campaigns will be associated with sports through the Chelsea promotion. Other product campaigns featuring joint promotion with TVB on HDTV and Pixel Magic will roll out around Christmas time.
The group even sets up Samsung Experience Day to increase consumer participation and strength customers' loyalty, allowing them to try out the latest technologies and products.
Online marketing has also become one of Samsung's campaign tools. It has developed online forum, e-newsletters and online games and campaigns to enhance interaction with customers in the digital world.
But he says that partnerships are crucial and conducive to business growth for Samsung in the long run.
"To ensure Samsung stays at the leading edge of the local consumer electronics market, I lead my team to shape aggressive marketing strategies. The leadership and problem-solving process involves a high level of creativity and communications, which makes my job a rewarding experience."
- Samsung Electronics
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