December 15, 2023

Device customization: A branded experience in the palm of your hand

Samsung Knox Team
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We’re so used to seeing stock mobile devices that unique or customized ones demand our attention and pique our interest. Companies can lean into device customization to focus that attention on their brand.

Businesses gift mobile devices regularly, as big-ticket giveaway prizes, purchase incentives, or to staff for specific functions or events. 

With some creative thinking, a business can go a step beyond and transform the devices they give away into unique, branded ones that put the spotlight on the brand and provide improved user experiences. 


Device customization benefits the brand and the user

Innovative device customization can provide brands with a means of standing out from the crowd. Adding a thoughtful tweak to functionality or a beautifully branded home or lock screen turns a standard device into a powerful piece of marketing.

Let’s take the example of a bank. A mobile phone makes an enticing sign-up bonus for a savings account, but once the new customer in question has received their phone, there’s nothing that rewards them to stay with that account.

For better longevity in their brand loyalty, the bank can preload devices with their app. Customers are rewarded with an almost effortless experience where the headache of setup is removed and access to the banking platform is made easy.

Vehicle manufacturers are also well-poised to make the most of branded devices. Purchasing a new car is a major decision. A free phone or tablet might be enough to seal the deal.

A device that’s preloaded with an app that controls the vehicle and a stunning wallpaper won’t just tip the scales for the manufacturer: it creates a moment of brand loyalty-building the customer will never forget. 

Nothing showcases the power of device customization and branding better than the businesses that are already selling them directly to consumers. 

BMW’s bundled Galaxy S23 device comes with BMW-themed apps and a custom background, along with a special edition case, watch, and more, while Starbucks’ custom S23 arrives with branded boot and shutdown animations and other merchandised goodies. 

Brands like these are world-famous because they understand the status power of their name and constantly seek new ways to build prestige through branded experiences.


The benefit of branded devices

Let’s stop to summarize three of the most immediate benefits of working branded devices into your promotional activity. By incorporating your unique services or branded elements into devices, you can achieve:

  • Increased brand recognition: Repetition builds awareness. Adding a logo to a phone that’s used daily ensures the person using it will never forget your brand.
  • Longer customer relationships: Preloading devices with your apps dramatically increases the chances that device owners will use those apps habitually and continue to engage with your brand for the entire lifespan of the branded device.
  • Better brand experiences: Customizing devices to the needs of your audience (like a bank preloading their online banking app) can provide better, more streamlined experiences of your services overall, making customers happier and more likely to recommend your business.

Now, let’s look at software that has been unlocking the benefits of device customization: Knox Configure


3 ways this Samsung solution helps with device customization  

Creating a branded device (and certainly making branded devices at scale) requires the use of a user-friendly and intuitive tool, tailor-made for the job. 

Knox Configure is that tool: a cloud-based solution capable of remotely configuring Samsung devices in bulk and customizing them to exact standards, right out of the box. Knox Configure can provide:

  1. Custom branded user experiences:

    Businesses can get creative with how to bring their brand to life with customized Samsung devices. Customize the user experience: From startup and shutdown animations to app icons and lock screens for a complete, beautifully branded experience in the palm of your hand. 

  2. Preloaded apps and content
    Devices can be preloaded with apps, but Knox Configure can go a step further by adjusting the precise location of home screen shortcuts to apps, websites, and phone numbers. Savvy businesses can give their content pride of place to maximize user engagement.

  3. Unique branded experiences:
    Businesses can easily manage their branded devices through custom IDs provided by Knox Configure, while staying data compliant. Knox Configure enables continuous customer engagement and loyalty by providing exclusive benefits and updates to device owners, even after distribution, without relying on sensitive information like the IMEI, which is subject to collection restrictions under privacy laws such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

Through Knox Configure, these customizations are handled remotely. Hands-off configuration is convenient for brands and means consumers can receive their new devices in tightly sealed, mint-condition boxes to maintain that sense of premium quality. The way Knox Configure applies customized profiles has gotten broader. Now, you can set up devices using accessories that have NFC (Near Field Communications). This opens up more opportunities to sell packages with mobile accessories such phone cases and photo cards along with the devices.


Brands have made waves with Knox Configure

We’ve already detailed some examples of how Knox Configure might be used in the real world to transform devices into branded promotional powerhouses, but it shines most when paired with some creative thinking.

Household-name brands are already using Knox Configure to make major gains in marketing, event organization, and accessibility in ways that demonstrate the platform’s powerful flexibility.


Publishers reinvented the subscription model with Knox Configure

One of the biggest challenges when selling digital content subscriptions as a news or magazine publisher is that the product lacks a feeling of “place”. Without a physical presence, a publisher’s content exists as a web page or simple app in a sea of free content and other distractions, resulting in fewer subscriptions and reduced ad revenue.

Samsung helped one of Asia’s largest news providers to bridge the gap between physical and digital. This publisher began to roll out a special tier of subscription that came with a Samsung tablet at an affordable price. Knox Configure transformed these tablets into a dedicated newspaper e-reader that would be perpetually updated with the content users wanted to read. 

Knox Configure stocked the tablets with premium, exclusive articles that couldn’t be found on the free app or website and customized the font and layout of devices to match the look and feel of a traditional print publication. These articles were free from lag and accessible anywhere for a truly bespoke and seamless experience only made possible by harmony between hardware and content.

50,000 new subscribers (a huge 10% lift to the provider’s entire digital subscriber base) were brought into the fold through this innovative new subscription-plus-hardware model. Unsurprisingly, the publisher intends to continue to expand this subscription model to other magazines and print media under its brand — further utilizing the Samsung tablet strategy as a bridge between print and digital.


LG U+ launched a kid-safe phone using Knox Configure

While some brands use Knox Configure to tweak a device for a specific purpose, LG U+ used it to pioneer a whole new smartphone product.

Kids have tremendous opportunities to learn and play with smartphones, but safety is key. Parents are often stuck between fiddling with parental access settings and obsessively monitoring usage, or purchasing one of the low-end options which lack the cool features kids crave.

LG U+ broke this dichotomy open with a new kid-friendly smartphone, and they didn’t have to manufacture any new phones to do it. Partnering with Kiwi Plus to leverage Knox Configure, LG U+ took a standard commercial smartphone model and transformed it to fit their audience’s needs.

Knox Configure uploaded Kiwi Plus’ device customization configuration to smartphones before they left their boxes, ensuring all of the apps and features that make them safe and child-proofed were ready before anything else. Threats are removed from the equation: unknown numbers are blocked, the parent can view the child’s location, and these safety features cannot be deleted.

Knox Configure also rolled out adorable Kakao designs to adorn the home and lock screens, complete with character-themed layouts and icons, making a perfect backdrop for the preloaded audio storybooks, picture books, and educational programs. 

LG U+’s kid-friendly phones were close to being sold out in just three months, cementing the success of the first phone-for-kids concept. A second version in 2019 launched to even greater success, and thanks to Knox Configure,  and its ability to adapt standard smartphones for niche use, LG U+ got to save big on custom manufacturing costs. 

It’s just a matter of time before we see more unique smartphone products customized (by Knox Configure) for other segments.


Knox Configure unlocks the creative power of device customization

We’ve explored how brands of all kinds can make the most out of smartphones through device customization — whether adding branding to devices that are given away, configuring devices for specific purposes, or even unlocking efficiencies for staff at events. 

Readers could take from this article that smartphones are powerful tools for businesses in a myriad of ways. But if a smartphone is a tool, limited in its uses, then Knox Configure is a workshop: a solution factory where brands can use their imagination to create the perfect solution to win in our customer-centric world. 

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