Samsung vs Sony: From Benchmarking to Outsmarting


Code : COM0094

Year :

Industry : Home Appliances and Personal Care Products

Region : South Korea, japan

Teaching Note:Available

Structured Assignment :Available

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Introduction:Samsung Electronics (Samsung) was described by Fortune in 2003 as a "Korean company, once copycat maker of consumer electronics, reborn as cutting edge player in the digital industry…" Samsung is the flagship company of South Korea's largest chaebol, the SamsungGroup. Till the late 1990s, it was known for manufacturing low-priced imitations of products of established consumer electronic giants like Sony. Samsung was already in difficult financial conditions when it was caught in the midst of the Asian financial crisis in 1997. Jong-Yong Yun (Yun), then the newly appointed CEO of Samsung, executed a seemingly miraculous turnaround by focusing on a design and innovation led growth that paved the way for Samsung to emerge as a quality brand recognized for its distinctive style and features. At the same time, within Samsung, Yun evolved a unique 'paranoid' corporate culture, which envisioned a catastrophe lurking around every corner. It was designed to keep the company on its toes and at the forefront of digital technology. Itwaswidely observed that the fast growth of the Samsung brandmight lead to a showdown with Sony.

However, in 2004, Sony was in the midst of restructuring its electronics division and was mired with coordination problems between its various divisions. By 2005, Samsung had surpassed Sony in terms of most major financial parameters including revenues and profits. The British market research firm, Interbrand, revealed that for the first time in its history, Samsung's global brand value had surpassed that of Sony. However, despite a successful transformation, Samsung had been unable to develop an iconic, best-selling product, synonymous with its brand name like the Walkman and Play Station of Sony.

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