Nick Portlock General Manager, Digital Appliances
2011 was a challenging year with manufacturers operating in what proved to be very tough market conditions. It was the year that saw a much more price oriented consumer, resulting in a stark polarisation of the market; with entry level and premium products faring well, but those pitched at the mid-market experiencing a much tougher time.
For our part, Samsung’s Digital Appliance division has continued to move the brand into the premium sector. In spite of the challenges, last year proved to be a successful one for us, as consumers embraced our premium product offering with demand for appliances that boast slick modern design, cutting edge features, and market leading innovation.
We began the year by extending our energy saving ecobubble™ washing machine and Navibot™ ranges, launching the world’s first dual cook oven with steam functionality and introducing a stunning range of G-Series refrigerators, incorporating our ground breaking ecospace™ technology.
We have enjoyed promising growth in the £500+ segment of the laundry market, growing to almost 8% market share in some price segments, with a very strong and compelling product line up. In refrigeration, we are now brand leader in several price categories, including the £600+ segment, and remain dominant within the side-by-side market, despite the arrival of several entry level competitor products.
This promising performance has been supported by a substantial investment in marketing through the line in 2011, which included Samsung’s first ever UK home appliances TV advertisement for the ecobubble™ range. We are also excited to be embarking in a new relationship with Jamie Oliver, who will be endorsing our range of Dual Cook ovens both in-store and across our marketing entire platform in the UK and Ireland in 2012.
This additional marketing investment is testament to Samsung’s increased profile in the home appliances market in the UK over the last two years and will be a continuing theme throughout 2012, as we continue to assert ourselves as a growing player in the sector.
As well as our continued working association with Jamie Oliver, 2012 will see us make a significant investment in the in-store retail environment. We will be working closely with our retail partners to create more premium visibility for our product range at the point of purchase, following in the footsteps of our brown goods colleagues by pushing the boundaries of premium immersive retail into white goods real estate.
With the eyes of the world on London this summer thanks to the Olympics and Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, we will be looking to elevate Samsung’s position in the UK home appliance market even further by providing our customers with premium products that boast truly pioneering innovations, whilst still being convenient, easy-to-use and beautifully designed.