Retail Redefined: Creating A Mobile Customer Experience To Rival Apple

  • Technology

The Challenge

Global giant Samsung was seen as a manufacturing success yet lacking in retail experience. To bolster its brand, engage consumers, and rival Apple stores, Samsung teamed up with Vivaldi to enhance its retail presence and promote Galaxy Android devices.

The Opportunity

Vivaldi developed a compelling business strategy along with a store plan and value proposition which included - analyzing in-store experience, marketing plans to boost awareness, customer research, performance assessment, and testing.

The Outcome

Today Samsung is unquestionably the world's number one mobile company. Its global footprint and retail presence has been a key success factor. Samsung retail outlets are interactive and fun product theaters designed to treat shoppers to an immersive experience

Creating a Master Plan: Samsung’s Retail Presence

Samsung is one of the largest multinational corporations in the world, with a brand that symbolizes inspiration and innovation with the goal of improving the lives of people around the globe. While a highly successful manufacturer, Samsung Electronics had little actual retail experience, except for their showrooms and some early experience stores in major cities. In collaboration with its advertising agency Cheil, Samsung sought to support its Galaxy line of Android smartphones and tablets and compete against Apple’s hugely successful omnipresent flagship stores. Wanting to strengthen its global brand presence and consumer engagement through a branded retail experience, Samsung Electronics partnered with Vivaldi to create a masterplan for its future retail presence.

Connecting the Dots

With multiple agencies and stakeholders involved, Vivaldi served as the chief strategists and orchestrators to define a compelling vision, strategy and roll-out plan for the new retail concept. Knowing a differentiated customer experience would make or break the concept, Vivaldi identified the key touch points that would most matter to customers.

Vivaldi was called on to create a plan for developing a compelling business strategy, store plan and value proposition including a location plan. Additionally, Vivaldi helped create a practical operations guide to deliver the first stores within six months in two major cities in Europe.

Vivaldi analyzed how the stores and mobile experience concept could deliver on the unique value proposition for Samsung Mobile, how the in-store experience would deliver on this proposition, and what marketing plan would drive sufficient awareness, visitation, purchase and increased traffic to partner retailers. Vivaldi also developed and executed on a plan to deliver the in-market experience, including performance assessment, customer research, and testing. Finally, Vivaldi created a comprehensive playbook including a business model, a P&L and a 3-5 year economic model and launch plan.

Vivaldi helped make major key resourcing decisions, including setting resource requirements, organization structure, and supporting the recruitment of key hires. Vivaldi also built a marketing plan and implemented it, including the retail brand strategy, the marcom activation plan, the sourcing of local agencies, and the store marketing plan. A launch plan, including an operating model, and a sales model, was also developed.

Delivering the In-Market Experience

To deliver a best-in-class experience, Vivaldi supported and advised various stages of the launch, and codified the learning from the experience for building the global master rollout plan. This included developing performance KPIs for the first stores from store metrics, systems, staff and operations. Vivaldi also conducted local customer research to optimize store plans and adjust for future operations. As an outcome, enhancements were made to the sales models, management, and operating plans, better preparing stores for future success.

Creating a Playbook for Global Rollout

Vivaldi’s major effort focused on developing and finalizing a comprehensive business strategy for Samsung’s global retail development to prepare them for the next five years. A comprehensive work plan was developed, that included customer metrics, financial forecasts, and a balance sheet. With a solid economic foundation, Vivaldi further developed and finalized the value proposition, the in-store experience concept with multiple solution iterations, testing, piloting and clearly defining the end-to-end experience. A retail marketing and brand plan, including marketing budget and creative output, was also solidified. Finally, the plans were consolidated with an established launch team, and launch plans were constructed for stores in other global markets.

As part of the comprehensive playbook, Vivaldi supported Samsung in a number of major decisions including store locations, recruitment, legal, IT architecture, supply chain & logistics, business team operations, HR staffing, customer care & staffing, building supplier relationships, and developing the standards and organizational requirements of financial reporting.

The retail presence that Vivaldi helped pioneer for the Galaxy has become a critical touchpoint for consumers to experience this vision of Samsung. It provides the competitive advantage against major companies including Apple, Amazon, Sony, Intel, Microsoft and LG. Samsung stores are highly differentiated from Apple stores, and have become known for being interactive and fun product theaters designed to treat shoppers to an immersive Samsung experience.