7 Product Strategy Lessons from Samsung's Wearables

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Observations and lessons from my experience with Samsung's wearable products, I thought it could be useful for those who are interested in product strategy, product launches, wearable and mobile …

Observations and lessons from my experience with Samsung's wearable products, I thought it could be useful for those who are interested in product strategy, product launches, wearable and mobile technologies.

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  • 1. 7 Product Strategy Lessons from Samsung’s wearables Observations after my experience with Gear Fit and S5 mini Luke Szkudlarek - @LukeSz
  • 2. Context Still early days for wearable devices and some teething problems are natural. Customers are likely to see some average devices that will be soon forgotten. Samsung has done extremely well and has the edge on Apple and regularly delivers products before anyone else. Gear Fit is one of the recently released devices and client expectations are high. Gear Fit looks like a great product, offers fitness and health features and simple interaction with a smart phone, such as notifications, reject calls, reply to messages. Luke Szkudlarek - @LukeSz
  • 3. Lesson 1: Set the right client expectations Samsung marketed the Gear Fit incorrectly. Their claim that it was compatible with a number of mobile phones was later removed from their site. Gear Fit only works with a handful of Samsung devices and users are forced to upgrade.
  • 4. Lesson 2: Product has to be compatible with their latest devices Encountered several errors during the set up and was unable to connect Samsung Gear Fit with my the recently released Samsung S5 mini running the most recent Android software. Luke Szkudlarek - @LukeSz
  • 5. Lesson 3: Offer killer features and apps User expectations are high because there are some well establish fitness tracking devices (e.g. Garmin), features really need to bring something new for users to switch. The default health app “S Health” is underwhelming. Pedometer is nice but what’s the point? Only two apps available in S Health (i.e. Workout Trainer, Lark Activity Tracker) Luke Szkudlarek - @LukeSz
  • 6. Lesson 4: Unified app market is a must to make the customer onboarding easy for the first time users Once your phone is set up, finding compatible apps is incredibly difficult. Users are really expected to need to know all parameters of their system in order to find compatible app store. It doesn’t help that Samsung offers two similar apps“Gear Manager” and “Gear Fit Manager”. Some research is required to get up to speed with the set up. Some apps aren’t available in Google Play or Samsung Apps store. I installed Aptoide, which seems to have everything you need to find Samsung apps, unfortunately Aptoide isn’t supported by Samsung.
  • 7. Lesson 5: Customer support needs to be available globally Samsung’s customer support teams were clearly surprised and confused that I already have S5 mini and Gear Fit. UK support was unable to help with Gear Fit and Samsung S5 mini because the device I purchased is European (German) edition and it hasn’t been released yet in the UK. Luke Szkudlarek - @LukeSz
  • 8. Lesson 6: Test, test, test…and release products when they are ready Gear Fit was launched prematurely. The insane speed of product launch schedules, pressure to generate positive PR stories drives Samsung to release unfinished products without proper testing. Gear Fit was simply launched before it was ready. It leads to subpar customer experience, shocking ratings and is likely the end of Gear Fit. Luke Szkudlarek - @LukeSz
  • 9. Lesson 7: The timing is great Customers are clearly interested in the recent product releases, there are plenty of early adopters willing to test and review products, and there is no market leader.
  • 10. Summary Lesson 1: Set the right client expectations and over deliver. Lesson 2: Product has to be compatible with the latest devices Lesson 3: Offer killer features and apps Lesson 4: Unified app market is a must to make the on boarding easy for the first time users Lesson 5: Customer support needs to be available globally Lesson 6: Test, test, test…and release products when they are ready Lesson 7: The timing is great Luke Szkudlarek - @LukeSz
  • 11. Sources My painful experiences with Gear Fit and S5 mini http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/samsung-galaxy-s5-mini-pictured-gear-2-gear-fit-1447473 http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Fitness-Tracker-Smartwatch-Warranty/dp/B00JBJ3JBI Google Trends Luke Szkudlarek - @LukeSz