5-1 Top Dog Vs. Underdog

What is the brand strategy being used by the top dog? What is the brand strategy being used by the underdog?

In the ongoing battle of Apple vs. Android, it really depends on who you ask the question to on which company is the ‘top dog.’ In my opinon, as an Apple consumer, I am going to stick with Apple, however, the Android is no slouch when it comes to keeping up with the market segment they are both targeting.

For Apple, this company has a branding strategy that focuses on the emotions. The starting point is how an Apple product experience makes you feel. The Apple brand personality is about lifestyle; imagination; liberty regained; innovation; passion; hopes, dreams and aspirations; and power-to-the-people through technology.

The Apple brand personality is also about simplicity and the removal of complexity from people’s lives; people-driven product design; and about being a really humanistic company with a heartfelt connection with its customers. Through these qualities, Apple is positioned as being extremely helpful to people (and businesses) as they strive to achieve their goals.

Samsung’s, who uses the Android operating system, branding strategy is focused more on customization rather than streamlining the same type of set up for all of it’s phones. Uniqueness and individuality are some words that come to mind when I think of an Android product. Samsung’s branding philosophy is built on five main pillars: innovation, cutting-edge technology, world-class designs, recruiting the world’s best talents, and internal branding. This branding strategy is what has kept Samsung in the running for top dog with Apple, but at the end of the day, it is all about consumer preference.

How can the underdog improve its strategy so that it can gain more market share and surpass the top dog? Provide three recommendations.

The first decision in Samsung’s marketing strategy was to develop new competitive and promotional strategies. Mr. Yun (CEO of Samsung), initiated a new competitive strategy with the goal of developing and marketing superior products while also building an image of Samsung as a stylish, high-quality brand worthy of a premium price. The objective was to establish a unique position using technical innovation while designing more appeal to a younger generation, as well as upscale customers around the world. Yun argued that to continue to compete on price would eventually be their downfall.

  1. R&D into Innovative Technology: Samsung chose to invest heavily in technical innovation and R&D. In order to have a competitive advantage driven by innovation, Samsung had to become a pioneer in developing new technology. During the 90’s, Sony had an advantage in consumer-electronics, but it was rooted in analog technology. The digital world required new products and consequently, the firm shifted substantial resources into developing large-area LCDs, chipsets, and cellphones. Fastfoward to the economic crisis of 2008-2009, Samsung spent over 7 Billion dollars for nearly 6% of the unit’s revenue into research and development, and at the time more than 25% of the company’s workforce engaged in R&D.
  2. Product Development & Design: Understanding that cutting-edge technology does not always guarantee market success, Samsung also focused on product development and design. Their goal was to create products that deliver benefits that at least some segment of consumers will consider to be worth the price. Since many product benefits may be subjective – attractive styling, say, or a cool image, or maybe the quality of camera – new product development at Samsung usually involves a team of designers who collaborate closely with the firm’s engineers, manufacturing teams, and marketers. 
  3. Brand Building Campaigns: Last and certainly not least, Samsung’s marketing strategy focused on creating a promotional campaign to build Samsung’s brand image. Revamping their marketing efforts was just as critical to the success of a new competitive strategy because even the most technically sophisticated and well design products are likely to fail unless customers know they exist, can acquire them easily, and think they’re worth the money.

Why do you believe consumers prefer the top dog over the underdog? Which do you prefer, and why?

I believe that the majority of consumers prefer Apple because of its simplicity and ability to help streamline one’s daily life into an easy to use mobile device that is pleasing to the eye and easy to use. Most consumers do not want to have a phone that is complicated to navigate. Sure, the Android operating system might be more innovative and the specs on their phones may be a bit more cutting edge than Apple, but at the end of the day the consumer’s main goal is to have a device that makes their lives easier.

Another reason consumers buy Apple products more over Samsung, is that the branding and brand awareness is far greater than Samsung. Apple has honed its skill in creating a long-lasting impact on consumers where they have an emotional connection with the brand, which draws them in more and gains trust.

In the end, it really is all about preference, but in a case of top dog vs underdog, Apple has done a fantastic job at creating brand awareness and long lasting impact for consumers that keep them coming back for the newest products every year.


“Apple’s Branding Strategy.” Marketing Minds. http://www.marketingminds.com.au/apple_branding_strategy.html#:~:text=Apple%20has%20a%20branding%20strategy,%2Dthe%2Dpeople%20through%20technology.

“Samsung: The Global Asian Brand.” Martin Roll. https://martinroll.com/resources/articles/marketing/samsung-global-asian-brand/#:~:text=Starting%20in%201993%2C%20Samsung%20has,best%20talents%2C%20and%20internal%20branding.

“How Samsung’s Marketing Strategy Transformed Them Into A Global Brand.” ProEcho Solutions. https://proechosolutions.com/asheville-marketing/how-samsungs-marketing-strategy-turned-them-into-a-technological-powerhouse

“Why Samsung doesn’t beat Apple where it matters.” Guy Hirsch. Tech Crunch. October 24, 2017. https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/24/why-samsung-doesnt-beat-apple-where-it-matters/

Published by Kelly

Welcome to my blog! I am Kelly, and I am marketing major at SNHU and I've created this forum for all of my marketing blog posts that are required throughout my program.

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