10 examples of how Samsung adapted locally for worldwide success

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Samsung ships millions of products every day to customers around the world. With a worldwide customer base, but to be successful, the electronics giant does not subscribe to a one size fits all philosophy. Its employees observe people's lives to give give them options that meet their varying cultural and regional needs. This case study offers a rare insight into how Samsung localises its products for the many markets it serves around the world, with 10 examples from different regions.

Brand: Samsung | Sector: Consumer Electronics | Country: Global | Objective: brand awareness, consideration and purchase |

At IFA 2013, Europe’s largest consumer electronics show, Samsung outlined its strategy to becoming the number one home appliance brand by 2015, highlighting its year-on-year 14% growth in digital appliances. One of the secrets of this success is the extensive research that goes into understanding how people approach and use technology. Localising products is something that is crucial to Samsung’s ability to realise its goals.

In the past year, Samsung has set up five Lifestyle Research Labs in San Jose, London, Delhi, Singapore and Beijing to forecast future ways of living and define opportunities for innovation. These labs look beyond product behaviour to discover people’s future needs and values – everything from how the family is evolving to work, education and wider societal and cultural trends.

From here five Product Innovation Teams gleam insights from this research and assist Samsung’s product divisions to develop innovative product and solution concepts. Located at the same place as the Lifestyle Research Labs, the Product Innovation Teams’ product concepts are 18–24 months ahead of the present.

The development process begins with a two to four month period whereby Samsung goes into the field to conduct research to see the world from a user’s point of view. From here, employees talk to the best thinkers and designers in the world to generate, build and refine ideas that will deliver the greatest innovation opportunity. Finally, the teams formulate a business strategy and create the product concept.

Complementing these two divisions are six Design Centres in San Francisco, London, Delhi, Tokyo, Shanghai and Seoul, working to bring the research and concepts to life with award-winning design excellence. This undertaking is part of Samsung’s extensive research and development commitment that saw a $10.8 billion investment in 2012 and encompasses over 60,000 employees. Over one in four people at Samsung are dedicated to product innovation.

Throughout the world, Samsung localises its products to suit specific market desires. The following are a few examples:

United States | French Door Refrigerator with Sparkling Water Dispenser

• Observing the increasing demand for sparkling water in the United States, Samsung introduced a refrigerator that dispenses carbonated water at the touch of a button.
Bulgaria | Samsung Smart Oven MC32F

• Yogurt is an important part of the local diet so Samsung developed an oven able to produce the perfect homemade yogurt in seconds.


• SafeSurge TV – To protect against the region’s frequent power surges and outages, Samsung created LED TVs with increased pressure resistant capacity.

• Free Satellite TV – Satellite tuners were installed directly into TVs to enable viewers to watch free TV services in isolated regions with no cable access.

• Duracool Refrigerators – These specially insulated refrigerators keep food fresh for eight hours in the event of a power cut.

Turkey | Samsung Top Mounted Refrigerator RT55

• The local taste for fresh vegetables led Samsung to reduce the size of freezer compartments by 21% and made the fridges narrower to better fit the space available in Turkish homes.

Middle East | Samsung DVM Desert

• To handle the region’s scorching 40C+ temperatures Samsung built air-conditioners with specially-developed compressors.

India | Samsung Twin Top Washing Machine

• A range of washing machines have been fitted with wheels to ensure they can be easily moved and connected to alternate power or water sources in the event of outages. They are also fitted with a special basin to meet the custom for hand-washing certain clothes before the full wash-cycle.

China | Fu Yun Monitor, Ji Xiang Fa TV F4280, Ru Yi Hong TV F5080

• The colour red and the number 8 are considered lucky, so Samsung’s Chinese product line includes PC monitors with red back-covers and LED TVs fitted with 8-shaped stands. The character for luck “福” was also embossed on the rear of monitors.

Korea | Samsung Kimchi Refrigerator M9000
• Koreans have kimchi, a fermented vegetable delicacy, with almost every meal, so Samsung developed a bespoke refrigerator that keeps the air-flow and temperature just right for the perfect kimchi.

China and Korea | Q9000 Air Conditioner
• With the growing desire for minimalist product design in evidence, Samsung developed a sleek, ultra-slim standing air-conditioner perfect for design conscious customers.

To find out more about the products announced at IFA 2013, click here

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