Samsung Electronics: Innovation and Design Strategy
In January 2008, Samsung Electronics won 32 innovation and design engineering awards at the Consumer Electronics Show, the largest show of its kind in the world. Samsung Electronics' management believed that the awards were an endorsement (or "vindication") of the company's investment in product design and innovation. However, the company found its competitive advantage diminishing quickly due to commoditization of research and development ("R&D"), product design and innovation processes. This is a management strategy case that explores product design, innovation strategies and strategic planning in a changing competitive landscape. While investment in R&D and product design has rewarded Samsung Electronics with its dominant market position and premium brand perception, such dominance may not be sustainable in the long run, especially now that competitors are achieving higher profitability with lower investments in R&D per product. The case also discusses such issues as product design philosophies, innovation strategies, localization of products, product design outsourcing for consumer electronics products.