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Samsung addresses branding confusion

Samsung is aiming to simplify branding and improve relationships with its security customers through an internal reshuffle and renewed partner relationship.


February 4, 2010
By Neil Sutton

At the beginning of 2010, Samsung’s Korean headquarters made the decision to merge its Samsung Techwin and Samsung Electronics Video Security Products businesses. The Techwin and Electronics brand names are being dropped and the company will go to market strictly as Samsung.

The move solves the problem of the “two Samsungs confusion” the company has experienced in the past, said Pedro Duarte, vice-president Americas, Samsung Techwin.

The ripple effect in North America is that Samsung Techwin and GVI Security Solutions, which operated as GVI | Samsung, has entered into a new strategic relationship. As a result, GVI | Samsung will now go to market as Samsung Security and there will be a single Samsung product line.

“With regards to the Samsung relationship, we will operate under the name Samsung Security and the brand will be purely a Samsung brand. The GVI piece will be moved to the side,” explained Steven Walin, CEO of GVI.

Samsung’s policy of realignment will allow the company to take advantage of new efficiencies, said Duarte. “What we’re doing is literally doubling the number of R&D resources for our organization,” he said, adding that Samsung’s renewed focus on its security products could help shorten the development process and reduce time to market.

“At a time when most companies are reducing their R&D investment and reducing the number of models that are going on the market, we’re doing it the other way around.”

“Instead of having an engineer working on a camera on the Electronics side and one working on a very similar one on the Techwin side, you can keep one working on that camera and take the second one and put him on something different and new,” added Walin. “You’ll see the line-up get wider and deeper more quickly than you normally would.”

Walin said that GVI’s new relationship with Samsung will enable both companies to take advantage of synergies on the sales side. The companies will merge together their rep groups “where it made the most sense geographically,” he said. “We’re going to market with our sales forces kind of partnered up together in the field to attack the market in a very close, very strategic partnership.”

Samsung’s reorganization may help to simplify the company in the minds of a lot of its customers, said Dilip Sarangan, industry analyst with Frost & Sullivan’s North America physical security practice. By effectively having two Samsungs — Techwin and Electronics — the company was creating unnecessary confusion.

“I could never figure it out. Who am I supposed to talk to? Which person at Samsung? It makes sense to have everything under one umbrella,” he said.

Samsung may be able to make strides in the residential security market by leveraging the power of its brand name, which is already well known to most consumers, he added.

“Samsung is a huge brand on the consumer side,” said Sarangan. “If they start going into the home automation market and start developing some solutions for the residential market, they might some better transaction than just the commercial or the industrial markets.”

However, Sarangan said that Samsung may not have done itself any favours by eliminating the GVI | Samsung name, at least in the short term, since GVI is still more strongly associated with security than Samsung in North America.

Prior to its new arrangement with Samsung, GVI Security Solutions went through its own corporate restructuring. The company was bought out by private equity firm GenNx360 Capital Partners late last year.

Walin said that the sale of GVI and the timing of the Samsung partnership were just coincidental “but it comes at the right time. As a public company, GVI was fairly limited in terms of the kinds on investments we can make because we were a public company. We have the ability now to invest in growth, much more now than when we were a public company.”