Samsung A4 color laser printers and multi-function printers are ready to hit the B2B and B2C markets with a full lineup for 2012! Let’s take a minute to find out about the process of product planning and see how this remarkable line of products was created.
※ Color Seg 1~4 are classified according to the speed of color printing. Abbreviation ppm refers to pages per minute.
New printers, including multi-function printers, were released for 2012. After gaining confidence with our mono technology in the Korean market, designing of new products has been in place since April, 2011.
Opening a new world of printers / multi-function printers
We had 10 years of technological experience in segment 1, so we had a bit of confidence. However for seg 2 and above, we did have attempts made in the past but we had our difficulties, especially in the global market. So what did we do? We decided to take another step even further. We simultaneously began the development of both Seg2 and Seg3 printers, and on top of that, for both domestic and global markets. Of course feasibility studies were undertaken to ensure that these releases would remain competitive.
While making sure that a competitive edge would not be compromised, Samsung Electronics planned a marketing campaign aimed at making a big impact. With an ambitious eye on the global market and a great amount of resources invested, a successful release was an absolute necessity.
Aim for quality!
The whole planning phase was focused on quality. No detail was overlooked in the process of supplying the highest-quality product. Color quality and resolution of both text and images were improved through a new image reinforcement technology called ReCP (short for ‘Rendering engine for Clean Pages’) and polymerized toner (which boasts precise and uniform particles). Detailed printing that perfectly processes edges requires special consideration and lots and lots of research and development, and it’s easy to see this attention to detail in our new line of printers.
Mission 1. Fit the taste of individual consumers!
For starters, seg 1 products were geared towards providing more convenience. We wanted to make sure that non-professional users could easily access and fully utilize are advanced technologies.
The ‘One Touch’ buttons are one of the examples on how Samsung Electronics shot for user-friendliness. While previous printers required PC connection,, some of the most convenient functions can be carried out straight on the printer. ‘Wi-Fi direct’ let’s you connect the printer to your mobile devices without PCs having to intervene, a simple click on the ‘eco button’ helps you easily reduce power consumption, and the ‘USB direct’ and ‘scan-to’ buttons are pretty self-explanatory.
Developers toiled with adding these functions, and struggled with keeping costs down. One less step for the user usually meant another step for the printer, which also led to extra parts and lines of software. However, ‘user convenience’ was not an option to give up, regardless of its cost. With these printers, users always come first.
Mission 2. Secure printing for the corporate market
While general consumers choose their product off the shelf, B2B customers usually ask for customization – their own specialized devices with specific features that fit their needs. Therefore, it is important to accurately understand the needs of corporations and provide an optimized solutions accordingly when competing in the corporate market.
This year’s new product lineup includes a ‘number pad key’ for the first time in Seg3 products, a function not seen in most competing products. Many corporate put high value on information security,, and the introduction of a ‘number pad’ helped implement better security solutions..
You need magic to plan products for the global market
While specifications usually do not differ by region, but many countries require products to comply with their own safety and environmental regulations. For example, the United States requires Energy Star and European markets require Blue Angel. They are quite particular and products from all segments need to satisfy these standards as B2B deals usually require a mix of products.
Samsung Electronics recently stepped up to the no. 1 spot in the German market after 12 years of struggling with environmental regulations since 1999. Measures to satisfy the strict eco-friendly standards of European companies include waste toner cartridge recollection and recycling programs spanning over 17 nations and Blue Angel certification. Ever since securing the no. 1 market share of 25.8% in the second quarter of 2011, Samsung Electronics has been maintaining the no. 1 place in the German A4 laser market, sustaining over 25% of the market share for four consecutive quarters.
The role of the product planning team became more important in the global market, where the needs of many more people in a broader market must be met.
This time we also paid particular attention to package designs of the new products for entry into the global market. In the past, products had a single unified box design for all global markets. In other words, important information and messages were translated into 13 languages when exporting to 13 different countries and the same message was printed over and over again side by side 13 times. Having smaller fonts and more lines definitely didn’t help make the box look more attractive. In fact that makes it harder to make out what the letters say. With our new line, product characteristics were described using figures and texts that do not require translation.
The most important points were inserted on the top as an icon, and complicated contents like legal issues were positioned at the bottom. In particular, since products this time had an advantage of high resolution, we decided to emphasize this with numbers indicating the resolution on the top of all lineup packages
Covering all bases from start to finish
It may seem a little strange for the product planning team to worry about even package designs. Indeed, this may differ in different business departments, but the product planning team for printers is in charge of practically everything before and after release, including large issues and miscellaneous tasks. It’s easy to see the wide range of roles that the team is tasked with, from market studies prior to release to package design to product launches to dealing with issues after the products hit the market.
Product planning generally begins 1~2 years before the release of a product, and can begin as long as 3 years before. After a product has been released, we start our days every morning by checking sales rate and searching for consumer reactions on the internet. Studies are always conducted to prepare for new products to be released in 2~3 years.
Let’s hear from Hyelang Cho, a member of the product planning team, about how to predict and prepare for future products.
Deputy Manager Hojoon Kim stressed that ideas are most important in prediction.
He made a significant point about the meaning of this new product full lineup to Samsung Electronics.
These people were serious and they love their printers. That’s usually a good sign. Though it’s impossible to know exactly what the future may hold, but I’d say it’s safe to say that this team will have a pretty good idea! Wonder what they’ll come up with for the next Samsung printer. What do you think?
* All functionality, features, specifications and other product information provided in this document including, but not limited to, the benefits, design, pricing, components, performance, availability, and capabilities of the product are subject to change without notice or obligation.