Samsung Losing Its Name and Integrity

By John Honovich, Published Mar 04, 2016, 12:00am EST

Samsung's video surveillance division told everyone that nothing was going to change. They were wrong, if not lying.

They are losing the Samsung name and, in the process, their integrity.

Samsung False Assurances

When Samsung sold off Techwin 16 months ago, Tom Cook, their US VP, staked his reputation on this declaring:

“Samsung Techwin will continue to provide product under the Samsung branding. This is a key negotiation point with Hanwha and Samsung, so that won’t change at all as far as the industry sees it,” said Cook. “This is basically an umbrella changing stock transaction." (emphasis added)

Now, Samsung Techwin will no longer exist. Even at that time, IPVM correctly noted this was a sale of Techwin from Samsung to Hanwha, not simply a 'stock transaction'.

Then Cook, in June 2015, admitted that it was more than a 'stock transaction' and that they were becoming part of Hanwha but that the Samsung corporate name was being kept in the Americas and Europe:

"[The Hanwha name] will be applied only for HQ in Korea, overseas companies will remain intact, which means STA (Samsung Techwin America), STE (Europe) and SST (Shanghai Samsung Techwin, China) will keep their current corporate identities including company name and brand." (emphasis added)

Now, Hanwha has admitted that they are losing the Samsung 'corporate identities' around the world.

Cook also doubled down just 5 months ago, emailing us:

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"Hanwha Techwin has unrestricted use of the Samsung brand beyond 2017 furthermore, it is our decision to keep the brand name for years to come."

Evidently not.

Name Gone - Brand Phasing Out

The company name is now gone. Samsung Techwin will be Hanwha Techwin, i.e., in the US, it will be Hanwha Techwin America and the Samsung brand on products will be phased out in some undisclosed time.

Of course, as an IPVM member has already shown, this was in progress even before Samsung Hanwha announced it:

The main global Samsung Security website has been switched over to Hanwha:

Competitive Impact Significant

In IPVM testing, Samsung Techwin cameras are generally above average competitively (e.g., see: Samsung Wisenet III Camera Shootout, Samsung Wisenet Lite Cameras Tested). However, Samsung Techwin had mixed integrator results (see Worst Camera Manufacturers 2016). Our surveys show that the main driver for choosing Samsung Techwin was a lower cost, stronger branded alternative to Axis (see: Top Manufacturers Gaining and Losing 2015).

Without the Samsung company name, Hanwha Techwin will become more like Hikvision or, worse, Dahua, even assuming pricing and product development is not adversely affected. For example, Hanwha does not have the breadth and sophistication of Axis' line nor the strong end to end offering of Avigilon, etc. to fall back on. The Samsung brand has been the key differentiator between the Chinese low cost manufacturers and Techwin.

Bad Branding Impact

Samsung is one of the most well-known brands in the world. Hanwha's brand is virtually nil in the West.

As one security end-user wisely opined:

"If I say to my boss, "We are going to go with Samsung." I will have no questions, issues or push back. If I tell him "We are going to go with Hanwha Techwin." I will have a fight on my hands before I can even explain anything.

Put another way, the spell check on here has no issue with Samsung but marks both Hanwha and Techwin as being spelled wrong. I think that says more about name recognition than anything else we can discuss."

Worse, since Samsung made such a big stand about business as usual and no changes, what else should people expect?

Hanwha says everything else is the same - people, products, etc. Probably today that is true. But in 16 months, they went from saying this was just a 'stock transaction' to now losing their company name and identity. What happens next and can Hanwha be trusted?

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