This from the TWICE email newsletter. I found a couple of items interesting, including the mention of Westinghouse, the addition of Wal Mart, and the lack of enthusiasm for 1080p plasma.I tried to keep all the copyright notices, I hope this does not cause any problems.
July 6, 2006
Samsung Sets Promo Goals for HDTV To Gain Share
By Stewart Wolpin
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - Samsung was much clearer on its promotional plans for both Blu-ray and especially HDTV, although its attitude toward 1080p plasma is relatively cool.
While the company trumpeted its triumph as the number one TV seller in the U.S. for the month in April, its goals, philosophy and attitude still reflect its year-to-date position as number 2 behind Sony.
â€œSamsung had been a follower, and we've concentrated in closing the gap,â€ noted Dr. David Steele, Samsung's Digital Media Business division marketing team VP. â€œThe transition from analog to digital has given us a chance to create a new playing field.â€
While Samsung claims the top spot in worldwide TV sales, it wants to take over the top revenue spot as well; the company projects its global TV sales will total $2.5 billion this year with a goal of $4 billion by 2008.
To this end, the company is endeavoring to raise the level of its design, performance and perception of its HDTVs, â€œto eliminate the quality gap with our number one competitor [Sony] with higher-end product,â€ explained Youngjoo Park, senior manager of Samsung's Sales & Marketing Group for the Americas.
The first step in this was the introduction of its best-selling Series 51 and Series 52 LCD HDTVs, known as â€œBordeauxâ€ in many countries due to its resemblance to a wine glass. Bordeaux, created by a team led by Samsung's principal TV industrial designer Yunje Kang, was an internal code name for the sets that was adopted by Samsung for specific foreign markets, but for trademark reasons could not be used in the U.S. Sales of the sets helped push Samsung into the number one unit sales position in LCD past Sony. â€œWe wanted to create a message product that is also a premium product that would put us on the same level as Sony,â€ said Joshua Kim, assistant manager of Samsung's LCD TV product planning group.
But Sony is not Samsung's only competitor in the TV market, especially LCD and the many low-priced no-name and re-branded sets. â€œEach week we agonize because their market share jumps up 20 percent, especially Westinghouse,â€ notes Park. â€œSome people say their profit will be very low, so after some period they will disappear.â€
Park also doesn't see much potential for its 1080p plasma sets, scheduled to reach U.S. retailers in the middle of next year. â€œOur buyers are not so excited [about 1080p plasma],â€ Park admits, â€œbecause of the higher price. They're much more excited about 1080p LCD.â€
To increase both real and perceived quality improvements, Samsung will alter its TV design to gain higher rankings in Consumer Reports by matching product attributes to the magazine's judging criteria and add other quality improvements to produce comparable or better picture than Sony LCDs, even though both use the same panels from the Sony/Samsung LCD partnership.
But mostly, Samsung's plan to dominate TV sales in the U.S. includes a variety of retail strategies, including:
* Channel expansion into Wal-Mart with LCD and potentially DLP HDTV with specially designed product;
* Adding a September product introduction cycle to its on-going March delivery schedule;
* Increasing the number of SKUs in the third and fourth quarter this year;
* Continue to shorten new product sell-through ramp-up time from six weeks to four by 2008;
* Increasing local market sensing capability via additional field marketing intelligence and collaborating with local retailers on creating promotional calendars;
* Increasing the number of field marketing representatives from 58 in 2005 to 81 in 2006 and 99 in 2007;
* Improve dealer recommendation rate from 13 percent in 2005 to 15 percent in 2006 and 22 percent by 2008 by strengthening training for retail sales personnel at key dealers, adding innovative incentive programs and accommodation programs for national channel sales staffs, higher incentive for product bundle sales, and spiffs for regional dealers.
In addition, Samsung's â€œOfficial HDTV of the NFLâ€ promotional effort will be re-launched in September with an $18 million dollar campaign that will include four former quarterbacks each representing a particular HDTV technology â€“ Dan Marino (LCD), Troy Aikman (DLP), Steve Young (plasma), Boomer Esiason (SlimFit CRT). Consumer promotions connected with the campaign will include a rebate promotion for the NFL Kick-Off in September, NFL souvenir gift cards, customized local retailer merchandising such as the right for local retailers to use the NFL logo in its store videos and increased spiffs for DLP, LCD and plasma sets.
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