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Is Galaxy Note becoming the next Super Brand?

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Samsung has taken the smartphone market by storm in the past 3 years. With the rise in Android phones and the fall of Nokia, Samsung has not only capitalized on latest hardware trends but has also aggressively marketed its products creating a super brand of itself.

In the 2011 brand value survey conducted by Business Week and Interbrand, Samsung electronics ranked 9th out of 100 top brands which included many house hold names behind such stars as Coca Cola, Apple, IBM, Google and Microsoft. The most remarkable aspect of this is that unlike these stars, Samsung is a relatively recent entrant into Global markets. Out of the names provided in the top 10 however, only a handful has successfully created multiple successful sub brands within their brand portfolio.

Top Global Brands

Coca Cola perhaps the most successful with multiple brands such as Thumbs Up, Fanta, Real and so on. Apple has been the most successful in the same endeavour creating the iPhone, Mac book, iPod and the iMac among the most recalled and appreciated brands in the techno sphere.

It seems now even Samsung has created a powerful brand with its Galaxy range, most importantly the S series. The S2 and S3 are already becoming household names. But is the Galaxy Note also becoming another big brand from Samsung? Has the Galaxy S and the Galaxy Note built up the same kind of cult following as the iPhone?

This post takes a look at some of the elements of the Galaxy Note that draws parallels with the iPhone in becoming a super brand.

Brand Salience

Everyone knows the iPhone. Even those who don’t know that Apple makes the iPhone, knows of its existence and yearns for possession of the iPhone. The iPhone ranks in several globally conducted brand surveys as being the most desired, the most trusted or the coolest etc. It seems now; at least in select markets the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is also gaining the same status.

samsung galaxy Note 2

Samsung has ensured that Brand salience and brand recalls for the Note 2 remains significantly high in most of its target markets. Samsung has spent close to $ 12 Billion in the last year, more than the combined spending by Apple, Dell, HP, Microsoft and Coca-Cola combined.

That’s a lot of effort in making sure your brand is heard by everyone and anyone. For Samsung, Salience is key to selling the high end Samsung devices; the S3 and Note 2. The same Salience Apple builds merely by launching a new product.

Market Presence

The iPhone doesn’t hold significant market share in the global phone market. However each iPhone version consistently outsells its earlier version and does so in a massive way. The iPhone 5 in its first 9 days had sold over 5 million units. In China, the iPhone 5 has already sold over 2 Million units in 2 weeks. While Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is not comparable in sheer numbers, the phone is the second largest selling phone of Samsung with over 5 million units being sold in less than 9 months.

The number is expected to go up even further in the coming months. This is indeed indication that the Note 2 is making significant market presence. The brand is gaining acceptance among consumers despite its unconventional product design and features. The consumers seem to be lapping up the new phone in droves despite Samsung Galaxy Note 2 price being as high as Rs 37000 online.

Anticipation

Every super brand in technology is also marked by a significant, almost cult like following by the tech community. The tech community celebrates, argues and even anticipates every new development with these top brands.

The iPhone is of course the most significant recipient of this adulation from the tech community. Even before a new model gets official announced, countless bloggers anticipate the launch of the next product. Numerous leaks and rumours flood the blogosphere about the product’s possible specifications.

The S series of Samsung phones have already received this status. The S3 was one of the most anticipated new phones to be launched in 2012. Now with rumours and speculations surfacing over the Note 3, it seems the Note series of phones are gaining the same cult status as the S series.

Brand Power

The Samsung Galaxy Note had effectively created a whole new segment in display sizes for mobiles, forcing several new entrants in the large screen mobiles segment such as the LG Optimus Vu, Micromax A100 Canvas, WickedLeaks Wammy Note and much more.

These big screen phones are gaining acceptance among users quickly and is appearing to become the norm. Few years ago, one would say the same trend was set with the advent of iPhone and the replacement of QWERTY keypad phones with full touchscreens. Perhaps the greatest testament to any brand is its ability to convert the habits and nature of consumers. Samsung’s Note brand has definitely managed to do this to some extent.

Conclusion

If one assesses a brand in terms of the regular metrics of Salience, Acceptance and even Anticipation, Samsung’s Note is gaining quickly in the ranks. Gaining higher Salience with Samsung’s massive marketing budget, Higher acceptance through purchases by consumers and Advocacy as well as building the same kind of anticipation among the tech community as the latest iPhone. Perhaps the very fact that today more and more phones are breaking away from the early norm of 3.5” displays is itself indication of the power Note has as a brand in converting consumers as well as competitors. Note may not be a super brand yet but with each iteration, it seems there is potential for the brand becoming as big as an iPhone.

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