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Samsung and the millennial headache

The world is currently burning, #TheBlackLivesMatter has caused so much pandemonium in the US, and the #FeesMustFall has done as much in South Africa, just as we have seen Gabon close schools due to unrests in the country.
But these are not the only things burning, the Samsung Note 7 is too, something which is predicted to affect other brands affiliated to the Samsung range. It is a matter of time before we see ‘naughty’ Nandos come up with an advert along the lines of: ‘Only our chicken gets better with flames.’

©Len Neighbors via 123RF

The characteristics of the above suggest that the world has started to incline more towards a socialist society, take the above, combine them with what the millennial market expects from brands and you will see how these marry effortlessly. The fact that it took Samsung about 40 days to start recalling their product left a void difficult to fill, the millennial market cannot afford and does not like ambiguity. In as much as it would be very ambitious to predict that Samsung will experience the same demise that we saw with Blackberry, it is clear that there is a lot of work that needs to be done to save the market share that they have recently enjoyed.
    • The market of today does not want to be dictated to, they want to participate in everything and be listened to, from the onset Samsung should have involved the market in finding the solution by creating a platform where those with the Note 7 could report any problems they faced. In South Africa, we saw how the ‘Steve’ guy of FNB created a personality to the brand and how much it worked to their advantage, a two way communication is vital when going through such challenges.

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    • Samsung needs to identify regional market influencers that will act as ambassadors, regional because in today’s trend, people have started to relate more to their local ‘celebrities’ more than global ones, evident to this is how Huawei has managed to grow their market share in China during this period.

    • As mentioned above in comparison of a socialist society to the millennial market, the consumer wants to know ‘what is in it for them,’ when they support a certain brand, this is not particularly to individuals but the community as a whole. Thus, Samsung must go on a big CSI campaign drive which will re-ignite the consumers’ emotions if they are to be trusted again. In an African market, starting an innovative competition where an African child would come up with a solution to their current problem might do just that.
There is no element of doubt that the Note7 was a great product. The products that came before it offers it a silver lining too, going forward, how the brand navigates through this product will be the defining moment if it is to stand any chance of a great come back, which in a way we all wish for! Failure to act decisively will only result in the product experiencing immature extinction.
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About Jimmy Tembo

Jimmy Tembo is the co-founder of Birdie Media, a marketing company that focuses on campaign marketing in the Mpumalanga area. At a personal level, he consults for franchises and non-franchise businesses. "We have started to see the backside of businesses that believed in national or global demographics, businesses that will excel tomorrow are those who listen to their particular local market" Jimmy Tembo.
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