This year Samsung spent a lot on advertising.
To give you some perspective, Coca-Cola spent about US$2.5 billion in 2012, across all of its brands, globally.
Want some more perspective? US$14 billion is more than Iceland’s GDP and more than Google paid for Motorola, according to an article from Reuters, which goes on to suggest that Samsung is spending a lot, but not necessarily seeing a return. It quotes Oh Jung-suk, a business school professor at Seoul National University.
“Samsung’s marketing is too much focused on projecting an image they aspire to: being innovative and ahead of the pack. They are failing to efficiently bridge the gap between the aspiration and how consumers actually respond to the campaign. It’s got to be more aligned.”
Apple spends a fraction of Samsung’s budget (about US$1 billion). Horace Dediu, an Asymco analyst says the lower spend is down to product strength:
“The stronger, more differentiated the product, the less it needs to be propped up by advertising.”
We’ve heard that before, haven’t we? Designer Yves Behar said “Advertising is the price companies pay for being unoriginal.”
To borrow from football, you could say Samsung is trying to do a Man City rather than a Manchester United – short-circuiting its rise to tech brand royalty with brute force spend. Following that logic, it won’t be concerned with the odd frosty reception for product placement or sponsorship.
While most companies become prisoners of their business models, one way to deal with this is to have a strong strategy that means you know when shift to new models and products when the time is right.
Broadstuff’s “All you need to know about Apple in 3 easy steps” suggests that the Cupertino giant may have this kind of strategic fortitude, with the consequence that financial markets get huffy because it means quarter-on-quarter performance is not the first priority.
look at Apple over 35 years and you will see that they:
1. Are typically a very early entrant, integrating a variety of existing systems in a hitherto poorly served early adopter sector with promise, to create an easy-to-use product.
2. Use great design to create a demand for a high margin product. In recent years they have also become “cuter” at doing software as well as hardware after being caught out by the MS-DOS ecosystem
3. As that market matures, retreat to the highest profit quartile. Follow the money, not the volume.
So great has been Apple’s performance in recent years that the markets have created their own expectations bubble about performance.
Apple-bashing is a game a lot of people these days.
John Gruber at Daring Fireball is challenging the emerging narrative of the company’s inevitable decline after the death of Steve Jobs.
Apple was far from perfect under Steve Jobs. But in hindsight, critics and skeptics of the company now see fit to deem his reign flawless or nearly so. Here’s a guy on Yahoo Finance telling Henry Blodget that “Steve Jobs wasn’t wrong about anything ever.”
What you want is to be (1) right more often than wrong; (2) willing to recognize when you are wrong; and (3) able and willing to correct whatever is wrong. If you expect perfection, to be right all the time, you’re going to fail on all three of those — you will be wrong sometimes, that’s just human nature; you’ll be less willing or unwilling to recognize when you’re wrong because you’ve talked yourself into expecting perfection; and you won’t fix what’s wrong because you’ll have convinced yourself you weren’t wrong in the first place. The only way to come close to being right all the time is to be willing to change your mind and recognize mistakes — it’s never going to happen that you’re right all the time in the first place.
There’s some wisdom for us all in that…
iCrossing UK colleagues falling for the iPad (via @shortlisted)
Like most of the world, it seemed, I was perfectly prepared to offer an opinion on the iPad without having ever seen one. Like most of the pre-launch “analysis” I’m not sure I added much of value to the discussion around it, other than to caution that we will have to wait and see what its real impact would be.
Apple’s newest product became a kind of proxy war for all sorts of other interests: DRM, death/survival of publishing, Mac v PC (yawn) etc etc. Cory Doctorow’s discussion of why we should not buy iPads was both typical of this slew of writing and stand out brilliant. It got me thinking, it made me hesitate for a moment about buying one…
Now? Reader, I bought one. And all the hypotheticals fell away, and it became about being a user – and that’s a whole different matter… Continue reading