Samsung found itself in a world of trouble this time last year. Its new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Note 7, would combust spontaneously. It recalled the initial batch of units and made tweaks but that didn’t do it any good. Samsung ultimately had to issue a second recall and discontinue the product.
The rumors about the future of Samsung’s Galaxy Note lineup began. Some analysts felt that the Galaxy Note 7 recall had caused permanent damage to Samsung’s reputation. Others were sounding alarm bells for the company’s smartphone business. However, Samsung bounced back in spectacular fashion this year.
Galaxy Note 7 Recall
Samsung’s head of global brand marketing for the mobile business Pio Schunker that the company was in the midst of a rebrand of sorts when the Galaxy Note 7 crisis hit. He was speaking at the ANA’s Masters of Marketing Conference in Orlando.
Samsung had been working to revamp its image with ads that humanized the brand and connected with people on a global scale. The company’s 2016 Rio Olympics ad was cited as an example of this by Schunker.
He added that Samsung was seeing signs of success from its efforts to revamp the brand. However, it all went south due to the Galaxy Note 7 recall.
“Just when things were starting to go right, things went horribly wrong,” he said. Samsung suddenly faced its biggest challenge yet. A flagship product with a defective battery that threatened to permanently damage its business and reputation.
Samsung’s first priority was to rebuild trust. It detailed the root cause at a special press conference in January this year. It also detailed its new battery safety measures at the press conference. “Slowly, over the next few months, we saw the company trust begin to recover and then begin to stabilize,” Schunker said.
Samsung was then gearing up to launch the Galaxy S8, its first flagship after the Galaxy Note 7 recall. Schunker said that the stakes were much higher with the marketing direction. Samsung had to “recover and repair all the damage that had happened over the previous months.”
Not only did the company’s new flagship leave everyone impressed, Samsung also released moving ads that humanized its brand. They included Samsung’s award-winning ostrich ad that promoted the Gear VR headset.
Schunker mentioned that Samsung’s ads were part of the plan to rebuild its brand after the Galaxy Note 7 recall. The response it has seen so far for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 suggests that the Galaxy Note 7 hasn’t cast a long shadow.