Verve’s long-standing partnership with Samsung: Flexing our approach to help Samsung excel in a rapidly changing landscape

Everyone knows the tech sector is fast-paced and ever-changing. Companies are constantly evolving their products and services to surpass competition, attract customers, and drive improvement on a global scale. The sector has faced huge challenges in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic demanded adaptation to remote working and learning. Significant supply chain issues emerged, having a negative impact on global industrial production and trade. On top of a cost-of-living crisis that has only just begun. Alongside this, every business and consumer audience has begun scrutinising data privacy, security, and misinformation in ways they hadn’t previously. It’s only in the last couple of years that we’ve heard of the Metaverse, and that many of us have had real interactions with Artificial Intelligence. And of course, the tech sector is currently facing the same issue as many others: economic downturn and rising inflation.

We bring this knowledge to our partnership with Samsung, who we’ve been working with since 2016. Verve’s research supports Samsung in its goal to devote talent and technology to creating superior products and services, contributing to a better global society. To do this, it’s imperative we are flexible, adapting to Samsung’s changing needs and the evolving context of the sector as we collect data and deliver insights.

For us, ‘flexibility’ has multiple meanings, let’s look at three of them.

Firstly, we design processes to be flexible – and use that flexibility in the best way for each requirement.

We offer every flavour of option to stakeholders, from self-service to end-to-end full-service. For full-service projects, a third of these are delivered to Samsung within five days of the questionnaire or discussion guide being signed off. We achieve this partly by using templated approaches, the fundamentals of the questionnaire or the report for example are set up in advance, and we adapt and fine-tune them to address each specific need. And of course, managing Samsung’s SmartLabx community means we also have consumers ready to talk to us any time we need them. However, a far bigger piece of the puzzle is the trust Samsung puts in us to get the processes right. Having templates ready to go and familiarity with their needs and ways of working means we don’t wait around for straightforward materials to be signed off, discuss something in a weekly catch-up call or need to pull together a full-blown PowerPoint proposal. We can move ahead with minimal friction, and maximum focus on what’s most important, the insights.

We recently helped Samsung to assess some promotional messages and visuals to identify those that would work best when launching a new smartphone. Just four days after receiving the assets, we’d given the team a clear read on what would work best for the launch. It was a normal creative test – research bread and butter – but the flexibility of our processes, and our templated materials, made delivery and execution seamless, always important in a fast-paced and ever-changing environment.

Secondly, Verve is a digitally native agency that’s flexible about how we collect data.

Our expertise, tools and range of approaches mean we’re set up to partner with Samsung across all their business functions ranging from brand to innovation, CX to UX, and deep customer immersion.

Of course, researchers and research buyers shifted most things online during the pandemic, and of course, agencies who hadn’t already been operating predominantly online realised all of its benefits. Now that we’re free to do things in person again, we flex between online and offline approaches according to the research need.

For example, we’ve just completed a piece of UX research to understand the potential of a new app feature. We didn’t spend too long thinking about the best way to do this digitally: we booked a viewing facility in central London with multiple camera angles, and recorded not only the interviews, but users’ movements in the app and their facial expressions. The Samsung team were able to input into the interviews as they happened. Together, we uncovered important insights into the way consumers want to view content, which will feed directly into their 2023 strategy.

Thirdly, we’re flexible about methodology: we comfortably pivot between approaches during a project when it’s the right thing to do.

Last year we partnered with Samsung to uncover insights that would add value to a new in-home device: which direction should they take the product development in to address the most resonant unmet needs? Phase 1 successfully identified the refinements that would elevate the various design concepts. We’d then planned to test the refined concepts with the same consumers’ in-depth interviews at Phase 2. However, our intended target audiences had reached a level of specificity, which made the concept less relevant. We'd derive more value from watching these new, more niche audiences interact'. We pivoted from our original plan of further depth interviews with the same audience, to focus groups with more specifically defined audiences – and delivered exactly the direction that Samsung needed.

We completed 130 projects for Samsung in 2022: always remaining flexible to meet their needs and the broader business objectives, and never compromising on the quality or integrity of the insights.

We’d love to discuss your need for flexible insight generation!