The foundation of the commercial and reputational success of modern companies is not only their economic performance but also the level of competitiveness, which affects the position of the organization in the industry market. The historical business paradigm has not a few illustrations of those companies which could become extraordinarily recognizable and famous in a short time, bringing good income to the owners, but which failed to fight for leadership roles and underwent a crisis. In this case, it is appropriate to assert that for a company that claims to have a long existence on the market, which is generally equivalent to commercial success, it is essential to have high-quality specific advantages in order to stand out against its counterparts. This is especially true in the world of technology: perhaps the fastest-growing sector of the market. Every year, consumers witness high-profile innovations from major players, not the least of which is Samsung. This paper analyzes and evaluates the competitiveness of this company through the use of matrix theory, as well as predicting the continuation of its leadership position in the coming years.
It is worth acknowledging that Samsung is a South Korean transnational technology company, annually selling millions of electronic devices around the world. The company’s basic range includes a line of smartphones, smart TVs, home appliances, tablets, computers, and some other devices used every day. Samsung was founded in 1938, and in 83 years, the company has been able to achieve a leading position in the industry’s global market: the numerical data can best confirm this (Burris, 2020). According to O’Dea (2020), although Samsung has slowed commercially compared to 2012, the company still accounts for approximately a quarter of global smartphone sales. In addition, as of 2020, the technology conglomerate had more than 74,000 active patents protected by South Korean jurisdiction (Wunsch, 2020). Together with a recognizable brand and robust positioning, this brings Samsung financial and reputational success, bringing in $206.21 billion in 2019, according to SRD (2021). Based on the above information, it seems only natural that this company is at the forefront of the technology innovation market and has a strong track record of competitiveness.
When conducting organizational analysis in order to measure the current competitiveness of the company, it is necessary to use the available theoretical information. Thus, as a marketing tool in this section, a comparison matrix is used, which allows to carry out positioning and to find out the strengths and weaknesses of the business. It should be understood that strengths, or competitive advantages, are commonly understood as those attributes that qualitatively stand out in consumers’ perceptions compared to the offerings of market competitors (Tidd, n.d.). At the same time, key business attributes are represented by four aspects, which include positional, regulatory, functional, and cultural capabilities of the company.
Each of the attributes mentioned demonstrates a different aspect of organizational development, so a confident and robust presence in all four capabilities ensures that the company is highly competitive. In particular, Tidd (n.d.) defines regulatory capability as a company’s intangible resources, mainly represented by patents. Positional resources are those capabilities that have been accumulated by the company over time: trust, reputation, business process chain. Organizational business systems, financial management, and resource management constitute Samsung’s functional capabilities, while corporate culture, HRM systems, and the ability to manage change characterize the company’s cultural aspect. The matrix below visualizes Samsung’s major milestones according to the four criteria.
Based on the data in the table, it is not difficult to point out that Samsung has more specific advantages than disadvantages, which unambiguously allows us to attribute the appropriate status to it. Using the matrix, the company’s main positive effects were highlighted, including a commitment to innovation, a high customer focus, and a robust corporate culture. However, some shortcomings were also found: the too high cost of flagship smartphone models and the company’s strategic policy, making new phones obsolete after six months of use. In order for Samsung to remain at the top of the industry market, the conglomerate needs to continue to innovate and manage its weak points. In particular, some smartphone models, such as the Galaxy Fold 1 or 2, are excellent examples that illustrate a commitment to innovation and healthy risk-taking (McCracken, 2019). It is unlikely that Samsung will get a high conversion rate and thus profits from this phone; however, a fantastic device’s mere existence increases consumer interest. Moreover, it was shown that Samsung invests most of its revenues, namely 80%, in the R&D division, which actually reflects a vector of strategic development of the conglomerate (Haque, n.d). On the other hand, management should take a closer look at the weaknesses, namely the policy of forced obsolescence of new devices, high price, and oversaturated functionality, in order to retain current customers and attract new ones.
|Strengths||Intellectual Property Law||More than 74,000 active patents|
|Organizational culture||Recognizing Diversity and Inclusion|
|Accessibility||Many distributors, inexpensive segment||Relatively easy customizability of the system|
|Commitment to innovation||Samsung Galaxy Fold, |
responding to market trends, the world’s best displays
|Customer focus||High device safety||Frequent software updates, following market trends|
|Structuring||Vertical integration mechanisms|
|Technical compliance||Progressive NFC payment mechanism||Horizontal diversification, modern features, Android OS|
|Customer service||High service standards|
|Weaknesses||Cost of goods||The high cost of flagships|
|Update rate||Regular line updates make the new phone obsolete|
|Technical compliance||Low autonomy of devices, short service life|
|Simplicity||A confusing abundance of supply||The user interface is complex|
|Conclusions: Samsung has a large number of specific advantages that effectively set it apart from its competitors. Simultaneously, the company has disadvantages, which can be solved by a change in the company’s strategic management and commitment to customer demands.|
Principles for a Successful Company
As can be seen from the discussion, a successful company’s central attributes are the key aspects that guarantee sufficient competitiveness. More specifically, this refers to a high level of trust and customer focus, a strategic approach to innovation, and demonstrable risk-taking. In a technology company, customers want to see compliance with current market trends and the uniqueness that sets the manufacturer apart from others. It is no longer enough to put a few camera modules in a phone and make facial recognition: the market is overflowing with such offerings. Nevertheless, to maintain a competitive edge, as Samsung does, a successful company must manage knowledge. Thus, Tidd (n.d.) argued that knowledge dynamics could be described using a cyclic C-space. A product that is known to all firms and can be fully automated certainly brings popularity to the enterprise but hardly becomes a concrete advantage because it can be easily replicated.
It is essential to understand that a company’s momentary leadership hardly guarantees lifelong brand success, so management policy should be aimed at the continuous improvement of organizational processes. On the one hand, this affects the issues of optimizing the supply chain, reducing production time while improving the quality of goods, and developing a corporate culture that meets modern society’s demands. Samsung is a successful example of how culture should work even in such a large company (Samsung, n.d.). In particular, the conglomerate recognizes the importance of investing in young minds, so it regularly holds student conferences and hackathons (“Samsung AI hackathon,” 2018). Moreover, given the company’s global scale, Samsung takes into account the local interests and values of employees, offering flexible terms of cooperation. This, in turn, is reflected in the loyalty and rewards program for talented employees. Ultimately, an employer who is highly popular with job seekers has a competitive advantage over other companies.
To summarize, it is crucial to recognize that today’s companies must make every effort to remain at the forefront of sales and reputation among consumers. This is especially true for manufacturers in the technology industry, where innovative developments become a topic for discussion every six months. This paper conducted a detailed analysis of Samsung using a marketing analytical tool, namely the capability matrix. The designed matrix included the company’s strengths and weaknesses in each of the four aspects: regulatory, cultural, positional, and functional. In conclusion, it was shown that Samsung has more points of strength, which is equivalent to a competitive right. Nevertheless, management should understand that this situation is not permanent, so the right decisions and change management should become an ongoing organizational practice.
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