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Samsung consumer electronics - success by design

INTRODUCTION:

A Technology-driven company like Samsung Electronics uses product design as an instrument to improve their products characteristics supporting them to accomplish a competitive border within the marketplace. For most of the world leading companies design takes on a fundamental role in their success, for them to have a good design can make their products better, quicker and cheaper. When a company can perform this, they will keep their development costs down, but this may also permit them to charge an increased 'superior' price for the successfully designed product.

Consumer Purchase Decisions

Do consumers make their purchase decisions entirely based on the look aspect of something? Does having a good designed product in the market place encourage the buyer to buy?

Successful design is ways to surpass the user's prospects, keep them happy, this will encourage the buyer to purchase, come back again and recommend products to others. Design makes a folks life better by enhancing the grade of their connections with the environment. "Design is a reflective discussion, a dialogue with a predicament which involves people and their needs for artefacts that occur in their relationship with the global environment. " (Gowen, n. d)

Consumers purchase products that interest them, products that they are alert to, products that get their attention. Good design can improve the visual appeal, operation or usability for a product delighting the consumer who merely expects to own their functional requirements satisfied convincing them to get the merchandise. A designed product can also charm to the consumer's psychological needs. People want fast autos: Ferrari, Lamborghinis, designer wrist watches: Rolex, Breitling's that they can likely want to open up their wallets and purchase the merchandise, but only a few will as this kind of product is a luxury item in a distinct segment market. The consumer is emotionally mounted on the merchandise but will be less likely to buy these kinds of items due to cost. Consumers buy based on the benefits the product brings them, something that they perceive as creating a value, something that fulfills their needs. Design can also allow the control of an final result. Will the buyer buy the product or not? An excellent design will arouse desire, engenders devotion and forms indelible psychological bonds with the consumer. Once the consumer is psychologically interested in a brandname they think that they can not live without it.

A Consumer is more likely to buy a product that charm to both their efficient and emotional attributes. To do this companies brand their products through their design to make sure they are sell, offering clients something extra.

A successfully designed product is applicable the energy of the brand. One of Samsung Gadgets initiatives was to internationally brand their products through their 'Global Brand Communication Strategy'. A strong brand identity motivates consumers to trust existing products also to try new ones. The brand gives a consistent message about the company and its own products and services to the finish end user. A Consumer is much more likely to purchase something or range of products which have a reliably design, a good brand. The knowing of a brand in the design process enables the effective translation of the company brand in to the retail environment and customer experience.

A good exemplory case of a product that appeals to both their functional and emotional attributes of the consumer is the ipod device from Apple. On the market place there are extensive hard-drive based mostly MP3 players available to the consumer. Apple is able to dominate the market through their product design whilst reselling its products at a substantial price top quality. Apple at this point consistently produces a smooth and luxurious ipod device design that portrays the energy of the brand. Apple have made the MP3 player be more than a functional purchase, they have managed to get an emotional purchase.

A consumer is constantly involved with design, sometimes without even realising. Whenever a consumer bears out a task, checks their e-mails, go with their local supermarket someone has designed the experience you are experiencing whether you have purchased something or not. Successful design boosts our daily experiences by going beyond something's efficiency to make things look, feel, sound and work better.

The design of a product has values, values, and the possibility to change lives to the life of the consumer and will continually be an important aspect in their purchasing decisions. But the design won't always be the main reason for the consumer to choose which product they purchase. The cost and quality of a product and the technology used will always be a huge factor for the buyer to consider and will more often than not be described by the type of product and the reason for buying the product. But as we progress into the twentieth century will not consumers expect a good design product? Walter Herbst, CEO of the product-design organization 'Herbst LaZar Bell', once said, "Good design is not good enough any more. " (The Power of Design, 2007)

Design and Technology

Samsung Electronics is a worldwide head in more than sixty different products using their main business emphasis in the areas of Digital Multimedia, Semiconductor technology, the telecommunication Network, and LCD Digital Gadgets. As being a business Samsung Electronic centre their attempts on producing these types of high technology products. The consumer uses the design of a product as you their main important factors when purchasing these kinds of products. But does the buyer again apply the same way of thinking when buying a minimal technology product?

A product that is known as having a minimal level of technology will usually have been developed a long time back. Low-tech products can be purchased today but will work in the same manner as product that was manufactured 25 years back. A good example of this is a manual tin can opener.

Consumer's everyday are still buying low-tech products. The manual tin can opener are available in your kitchen in many of our homes, but also for a product that has a simplistic design does the buyer still bottom their purchase decision on the look of the tin can opener or is it the cost that sways their decision? Is it the operation of the tin can opener that the consumer is interested in? But cannot just how that the tin can opener function be known as the design?

"In today's modern society ascetics sensibilities are highly relevant to all products, regardless of their function" (Holbrook, 1980; Holbrook and Anand, 1992; Holbrook and Zerlin, 1985).

When a consumer is in the market for a low technical product the price must surely be an important reason behind investing in a product. If is understandably when a consumer buys a high-tech product that they can pay a premium due to its technology. "When given a decision between two products, equivalent in price and function, aim for consumers buy the the one that they consider to become more attractive" (Kotler and Rath, 1984; Nussbaum, 1988).

When a consumer acquisitions something do they understand the difference between a high-tech and low-tech product. "Low-tech products are not highly differentiated" (Shapiro, Slywotzky and Doyle, 1997) and a differentiated product is examined and understood buy the consumer differently than undifferentiated products. This may suggest that the consumer evaluates low-tech products, which will tend to be undifferentiated, differently than they evaluate high-tech products.

When the buyer makes their buying decision they examine high and low technology products in another way to one and other but for both will usually make design the differentiator between competition products. The design plays an important role in the success of a product and generates desirable utilization experience and favourably influences subsequent consumer behaviour.

Consumers do not buy products for smart, value-for-money reasons. The consumer purchases something because they enjoy it and the product attracts them and makes them feel great. Therefore this changes the way in which a business advertises their product with less focus on product features and more on the design and lifestyle that the user can enjoy. Investing in a designed product is more than buying its function. It is buying into a perspective of one self as one would like to be.

Samsung's Design Delivery Process and Design Capabilities

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd is a Korea-based consumer electronics company that has worked hard to refine its focus and adjust its business strategies. Today, Samsung is one of the most successful global companies, with high sales and earnings through its progressive technical design.

In the 1990's Kun-Hee Lee (Group Chairman) made a decision to adopt design and use design as a differentiator and for competitive advantage. To get this done Kun-Hee Lee (Lee) wanted to redesign Samsungs systems and operations to improve their design delivery process. This initiated a new management age for Samsung to open up digital frontiers all over the world.

The leadership of Lee is a key to Samsung's success making Samsung one of the fastest growing brands. Samsung started its quest towards design superiority in 1993 and acquired its first design trend in 1996.

At the beginning of Samsung's design initiative they delivered 17 of the designers to the Artwork Centre College of Design in California USA. This might broaden the designer's ideas about design and help these to be creative. For Samsung this will help their employees to provide design solutions and also to understand the process of product design commercialization. Samsung later appointed the service of two consultants to help them take up a design school to train their designers. In a very constantly evolving, consumer electronics business Samsungs success is determined by their employees having the right skills to keep their products at the cutting edge of design and technology. The in-house institution provided its designers the various tools and confidence to associated risk think in different ways, it was vital for Samsung to determine the right training for their employees through their own design university.

Samsung also attempted to incorporate Korean values to their designs. A ethnical identity was important for Samsung to meet the emotional needs with their customers. Cultural ideals are, regarded to as "the regulating ideas and guiding principles for thought and action" in a given society and a robust pressure shaping consumers' inspiration, life-style and product selections (Tse, D. , R. W. Belk, et al. 1989). Further to this Samsung introduced a "design dialect" where all product characteristics were to have constant features and high levels of convenience. This might give the designers one common goal and help those to consult with fellow designers about their designs.

In 1996 Samsung involved the services of Design Consultant, Tom Hardy to help improve their design features. Hardy would suppose the role of Corporate Design Advisor. Hardy was a design strategist and the inventor of the Verbal-Visual Platform (VVF) technique, his consulting work included proper brand design way for Samsung intergrading business technique to improve the customer's desire to have the merchandise.

To Improve Samsung's design functions the company also started mailing their older designers abroad to broaden their knowledge and help them to come up with new ideas. They directed their designers to different diverse establishments such as beauty products, furniture and fashion to encourage different thought patterns enabling them to think outside of the box.

Samsung also exposed six design centres worldwide which included research centres and design labs to assist in improving their design functions and encourage a worldwide perspective. This modified Samsung's engineering-driven culture; the designers got to discover a way to place their boxes round the engineers' devices. In the current environment, designers often produce product development, who then asks technical engineers to put their devices inside the designers' boxes.

Lee's design eye-sight for Samsung was to make a design friendly culture to boost customer services and corporate and business spirit that plays a part in the well - being of culture. This helped to change Samsungs management and employees mind set of these product design from volume to quality.

To improve Samsungs international design capacities they also dispatched their designers on a world wide travel to help them understand the global market and broaden their thought process. An abroad specialist course nurtured for the superiority of their employees.

Lee also broke down the Confucian hierarchies at Samsung. Designers were free of dress codes and other constraints that hinder creativity. Lee also let more radiant designers have a bigger role and urged them to task their superiors. All designers worked in common areas with hardly any segregation; functions were collaborated to improve efficient communication. This improved team development and urged individuals to speak their brain and discuss their design ideas, team conferences were regularly performed to assess new products and evaluate designs. The company also presented the new position of Key Design Officer to provide greater words for the design function.

Since re-designing Samsungs systems and processes to improve their design delivery process, Lee had more than doubled the rates of Samsung's designers by getting more than 300 new recruits that was contributed to a greatly increased design budget.

Samsung helped bring a lot of change to its people, operations and systems to improve its design delivery process to get greater design features and an improved design viewpoint, since this change the Korean company has triumphed in 19 citations in the exclusive Industrial Design Excellence Honours (IDEA).

Samsung spend a lot of time and money to achieve design superiority but which part of Lee's new management design initiative had the best impact on bettering their design functions?

Before Samsung could become a world head they needed good designers and the right people to accomplish that, hence Samsungs educational method of improve their design functions. Training their employees to be capably of good designs defiantly gave them an advantage over the competition which also helped them to build up and entice new people to the organisation. The design school may help their workers to learn and understand the company core principles and the eyesight that Samsung were trying to portrait.

The design institution would have got a critical impact on Samsungs successful product design; it could have empowered the designers to learn from other designs and each other. The designers would have learnt how to evaluate the quality of the product and how to maintain the quality throughout the look delivery process. If is very important to the designer to identify the characteristics of something which make it either a inability or successful. By educating in house Samsung could have also been able to control its quality guarantee process better and reduce guarantee issues. The design school could have helped the designers to study different products with similar features, through recognition, analysis and analysis prior to starting their design making the design with the capacity of success with a competitive good thing about the competition. The design college would of increased experience and knowledge of Samsungs designers through the wide educational track record of Samsungs design consultants which would have helped to teach and offer answers to diverse specialized design problems. The design consultants would provided priceless experience to the look delivery process.

A part of Samsungs educational program was to also send their designers on a world wide tour. This was the beginning of Samsung becoming a global company. It is important for Samsung to obtain key personnel with global competencies giving them the capability to understand foreign civilizations and design.

Another key part of Lee's new management design initiative which had an enormous impact on enhancing their design capacities was the change in design culture of the business. Lee achieved this by incorporating Korean worth to their designs to meet the emotional needs of the customers, and broke down the Confucian hierarchies at Samsung. Samsung also introduced worldwide design centres to improve Samsungs engineering-driven culture.

Business Culture includes the techniques and advantages of any business aiding it to believe with the creative imagination and dynamism of the ethnic world. Having a good culture at Samsung could have exploited their full probable and help to realize their aspirations. In today's interpersonal and monetary market there's a huge advantage in having business culture to build up higher communication and global ways of achieve good design capacities.

Samsung helped bring a great deal changes into their design delivery process and everything would have performed a essential part in their success. To boost a companies design functions people, the designers, is key to the success. Little or nothing may be accomplished in today's environment without good people. For the company to have good people they want skills and education. Creating a dedicate Design Institution to educate your people also experienced a great impact in assisting the company improve its design features.

The Future of Design

The term 'design' recently is among the most buzz word for many individuals. Consumers are progressively more evaluating products they buy based on the design. In Corporate businesses like Samsung and even in small companies design is increasingly understood to give an organization a competitive border. A good design will also assist in improving production functions.

But even as move into the near future maybe there is a period where design would cease to be a useful differentiator? There is an Increasing knowing of this is of design and what design actually is and what can the design industry offer.

In today's economy many managers of business organizations have to be convinced of the business enterprise case to make ventures in design. Many managers believe that the expenses of the original design investment will never be paid back through sales. But a designed product is usually matched up sufficiently by increased revenue and sales repaying the original costs.

The graph below represents a study completed by the British Design Council of the talk about prices of 166 UK design-led companies.

The companies were grouped; Design Collection represented 63 companies who had been chosen for his or her consistent showing in a variety of design award plans and Emerging Profile symbolized 103 companies whose accolades success contacted that of the look Portfolio. If can be seen from the graph that both outperformed the FTSE All Talk about and FTSE100 which signify about 81% of the marketplace capitalisation of the whole London Stock Exchange.

Companies like Apple and Samsung that use design for there future initiatives would greatly help the business case in making design investments and again the employing of professional designers. The design process can be very intricate and successful design rests upon future purchases in methods, techniques, education, people and time as seen from Samsung.

The start of design time is relatively resent and the future of the look industry itself can take many forms and could be likely to develop. Many global manufacturers carry out their design work internally in their own design departments and are the leaders in the 'design' industry. As they carry out their design work in house there may be no need for them to hire designers from outside which may impact the future of smaller designer organizations. But on the other side this will cause the global firms to develop bigger in-house design departments and increase their staff.

As we transfer to the near future surely design can be more difficult and can no longer be simply or something add-on. Instead design should be observed as getting a good competitive attribute for everyone products and services. All businesses want to remain competitive on the market place and thrive on huge sales and profits, they want to sell the best product and want their customers to be amazed by their design. If this keeps on happening at a worldwide scale the look industry will increase to increase where design will be the differentiator to the buyer. This would also create more careers in the design sector.

Many companies perform research on consumer spending and evaluate future technologies, this helps anticipate future consumer needs and to determine future design requirements. While regular market and research data can help to identify consumer needs and future tendencies in order to determine future design requirements, specific future focused trend analysis is often used. This type of analysis will intend to include consumer behaviour, product choices, new service needs and interpersonal, economical or environmental changes.

For design to be always a useful differentiator in the future, consumers have to be investing in new products and the development of new technologies is required to be able to design services. As years go away more products will begin to become the same, and then it'll become more very important to products to be different. Good product design can help manufacturers to distinguish their products of their rivals and also define and reinforce the company's brand. Norio Ohga, Chairman and CEO, Sony said "At Sony, we assume all products of your competitors will have basically the same technology, price and performance, and features. Design is the thing that differentiates one product from the other on the market place".

In the near future things will start to change, tighter rules will be put upon companies to design products to tighter requirements that are recyclable and reparably. Due to the environmental problems with pollution much longer product lifetimes will be needed through more advanced design giving an improved quality product. In the Future businesses must have the ability to take new design systems to another level and provide product life-cycle management and functional project execution. Businesses must be in the position to accept new technology and also integrated new methodologies, processes and systems. Failing to take action will low down the new and modern future of design.

Today and in the future design will always offer considerable advantages to businesses, consumers and products and will help them to:

Raise the perceived value of the product

Raise the aesthetic and visible quality of the product

Enhance the ease of manufacture for the merchandise

Reduce impacts on the environment

Improve the capacity for business to market their product

Enhance corporate vision and successful branding for the product

Design will always be a good differentiator for the buyer as Design is the look that lays the foundation for the making of every subject or system. For design to stop as a good differentiator the earth would need to stop producing products. In cost sensitive industries the design will act as a differentiator but may well not be the key differentiator for the buyer. In the foreseeable future design won't cease to be always a useful differentiator, but design changes as technology becomes more complex.

REFERENCES:

Active Knowledge Modelling (April 2009) "The Future of Product Design and Life Circuit Management", [www] Available:

(www. activeknowledgemodeling. com/2009/04/24/the-future-of-product-design-and-life-cycle-management/) [11 Dec 2009]

Bloch, Peter. H (1995) "Seeking the Ideal Form: Product Design and Consumer Response", Journal of Marketing, July 1995, Vol. 59, pp. 16-29.

Fast Company, (Dec, 2007) "THE ENERGY of Design" [www] Available: (http://www. fastcompany. com/magazine/95/open_design-index. html) [9 Dec 2009]

Gowen, Melanie (n. d) "To produce a Difference by Design", [www] Available: (http://blog. genuinedesign. com/?p=34) [11 December 2009]

Kellar, Gregory M. (Feb, 2003) "An information theoretic approach to modelling client satisfaction for low-tech professional offerings", Journal of Academy of Business and Economics, Feb, p. 1.

Kester, David (2004). "The Impact of Design on Stock Market Performance, an Examination of UK Quoted Companies 1994-2003", Design Council (http://www. designcouncil. org. uk) [13 Dec 2009]

The Free Catalogue (n. d) "An information theoretic method of modelling client satisfaction for low-tech commercial offerings", [www] Available: (http://www. thefreelibrary. com/An+information+threoretic+approach+to+modeling+customer+satisfaction+. . . -a0113563622) [11 Dec 2009]

Tse, D. , R. W. Belk, et al. (1989) "Learning to be a consumer modern culture: A longitudinal and cross-cultural content analysis of print ads from Hong Kong, the People's Republic of China, and Taiwan" Journal of Consumer Research, 15, March, pp. 457-472.

Chitturi, Ravindra (2009) "Emotions by Design: A Consumer Perspective" International Journal of Design, Vol. 3, No. 2, 2009.

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