Where will Samsung’s S9 customers come from?

Russell FeldmanHead of Client Services
March 27, 2018, 5:00 AM GMT+0

As Samsung releases its new handsets, new YouGov data indicates that the brand has managed to achieve press cut-through with its launch, and also reveals who is most likely to purchase the phone.

YouGov brand tracking data underlines the press coverage that the brand has created around the release. Samsung’s Attention score (whether you have heard something about a brand in the past fortnight) has increased by six points, from +9 to +15. Strikingly, among those that would consider buying a Samsung phone, its score has risen from +18 to +25.

Similarly, Samsung’s Ad Awareness score (have you seen an advert for a brand in the past two weeks?) has also grown considerably – up from +12 to +19 among the general public. Again, this is higher among considerers (up from +20 to +30).

YouGov SMIX data underlines that Samsung is well placed to appeal to its core customer base. Our figures indicate that 4% of those in the market for a new handset are intending to purchase the S9. This is much higher among Samsung smartphone owners, with 11% of this group intending to get an S9 as one might expect. Whilst 4% may seem small on first glance, only 6% of those looking to buy a new phone are intending to acquire the iPhone X.

The overwhelming majority of those looking to buy the S9 are already Samsung customers (98%). And of this group, 84% are already high-end handset owners (such as the S7, S7 Edge, Note 8 etc.). There is long-term loyalty here, over four in ten (41%) have had a Samsung handset for five years or more.

This reflects that Samsung has created a sense of brand loyalty with its high-end customers. Even throughout, and in the aftermath of Samsung’s exploding phone crisis, YouGov found that though perception of the brand decline among the general public, current Samsung customers were much more likely to maintain their previously positive impression of the company.

There is more positive news for Samsung. Our data shows that 85% of Samsung owners looking to move to the S9 are already on a contract, against 4% that are on SIM only deals. Over half (51%) are paying £35 or more a month, with one in five (20%) spending £50 or more at the moment. Of those expecting to get the new handset, 82% expect to pay for it on contract, while 11% will get a SIMO deal, suggesting they may pay for the handset outright, or by Samsung finance/upgrade plan.

Whilst the S9 will likely sell well, it is unlikely to persuade many iPhone owners to make the switch.

It is understood that the 10th anniversary of the S series will be expected next year (‘S10’) and as such new innovative features or a new form factor may be announced to make a big deal of this anniversary. Whatever happens with the S9 and forthcoming ‘S10’, Samsung is moving in the right direction, building brand loyalty amongst its core high-end customers, and keeping this high-paying segment tied to the brand.

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