Can Samsung find a way to market foldable tech to the public?
Samsung is betting that foldable tech is the future of handsets, having just announced the Galaxy Z Flip4 and Galaxy Z Fold4. For Samsung, the big question surrounds how it can effectively market a product that requires a hands-on experience for full understanding.
Samsung predicts the market for foldable tech will reach 25 million consumers by the end of the year / Samsung
The tech brand is kicking off an experiential marketing campaign with a pinch of influencer spend to meet that challenge. To begin with, Samsung is inviting its core audience of early tech adopters to Samsung’s Unpacked experience space in London’s Regent Street until the end of August to (hopefully) generate positive word of mouth.
Annika Bizon, marketing and omnichannel director at Samsung UK, explains that the early stages of the campaign are designed to “stop consumers in their tracks” through experiential and outdoor that emulates the foldable nature of the products.
While the tech is still relatively new to the consumer market, the company is building upon a core base of flip and fold-based phones already on the market. With 10m devices already shipped globally, Samsung is seeking to move beyond establishing a product into focusing on demand capture.
She says that the UK is the Western market most attuned to the ethos of the new products: “The consumer is always thirsty for innovation. They always want to be cutting edge in the UK; no matter which category you look at, people are more open to innovation.”
Samsung is heavily pushing the innovation aspect of the new phones across the campaign, which is designed to showcase a shape-shifting design, immersive displays and PC-like multitasking features, in addition to new camera tech and mobile processors.
Conor Pierce, corporate vice-president of Samsung Electronics UK and Ireland, said: “With our all-new Galaxy Z Flip4 and Galaxy Z Fold4 devices, we’ve pushed the limits of what’s possible with two radically different smartphone experiences that allow people to express their individuality – because there’s no one-size-fits-all for foldables anymore.”
As a result, the brand is investing in long-running partnerships with influencers in order to generate demand for the products based on that thirst. Bizon says that the 12-month-long partnerships will demonstrate the viability and use cases for the phones in a way that a launch event, no matter how successful, simply cannot: “We always focus on building out a narrative of benefit. I use the word authentic very deliberately because I don’t want to feel that the focus is how I use my product ... [but rather] this is why I love it.
“That’s not to say that we don’t have a hero, but I want to take it all the way through the journey ... and we want to play with it and continue to own it.”
Notably, the target among influencer-focused agencies over the past few years has shifted. While once the influencer model was based on broadcasting information out to as wide a selection of the public as possible, it is now about selecting an ambassador with greater cachet among a smaller but more valuable audience.
That’s true for both tech and health influencers, which also fits the marketing possibilities around Samsung’s other recently-announced smartwatches, the Galaxy Watch5 and Galaxy Watch5 Pro.