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Consumer demand for technology helping Samsung with new products

10/09/2009 10:50 PM | By Scott Shuey, Chief Reporter

Dubai: New products and an aggressive advertisement campaign have helped Samsung gain market share in the region over the last year, even if revenues have remained nearly flat.

According to Ram Modak, general manager for Samsung's AV division, the company saw flat or single digit growth for most categories in terms of revenue from 2008 to 2009, the height of the global recession.

"In hindsight, what Samsung did seems to have worked," he said. "Products are one part of it& even in a slowdown, consumers want a reason to buy and they want something different."

The biggest product for Samsung during that time was an LCD TV that uses LED backlighting. Modak said that having new products on the market helped them grow their market share in televisions in the region to about 35 per cent, a 5 per cent increase.

"People who are buying technology are always looking at what is new," he said, and it doesn't always matter what the new technology is.

"Half of them perhaps understand what is in it for them, technically speaking. The other half of consumers in this region of the world is just asking 'what's new'."

Conservative spending on marketing campaigns by competitors is also helping Samsung, which said that many companies saw the beginning of 2009 as a bad time to launch a new product.

Samsung, which sees much of its global revenue come from televisions, mobile phones and semi-conductors, is using the "what's new sells" approach to launch a new line of digital cameras, a category the company has not ventured into before.

"There is still a place and still a growth opportunity for stand-alone cameras," Modak said.

"Mobile phones and cameras are the ones that talk to the young audience. You always want to have products that talk to the younger audience, because they're the ones who are going to grow up and buy your LED TVs and other products."

The cameras will focus heavily on social networking features, such as the ability to send pictures directly to the internet via wireless connections.

A number of models will also include LCD screen on the front of the cameras to help users take pictures of themselves, which Modak said more and more people are doing regularly.

"Only weirdos would do that about 5 years ago - or narcissists - but know because of Twitter and Facebook and so many other social media, you have to constantly take pictures of yourself."

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