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Behind The Velvet Rope: Inside Samsung's VIP 'White Glove' Service

Product placement is worth its weight in gold these days, but almost every show is filled to the brim with Apple phones, laptops and tablets. So how is Cupertino’s biggest rival, Samsung, meant to compete and get its products into the hands of influencers? Welcome to Samsung White Glove: the VIP program you’ll want to be in.

White Glove is all about helping to shift the perception away from Apple, BlackBerry and other Android devices onto Samsung products as naturally as possible. It’s easy as pie to pay someone to be your corporate ambassador and hand them a phone. Just look at Alicia Keys and her work with BlackBerry, for example.

What Samsung want to do with White Glove is subtly get phones and tablets in the hands of influencers without people noticing so that those people can just start talking about them naturally.

So who qualifies for White Glove service? Great question, really. It’s still mostly a mystery. From what we’ve been told of White Glove, we’re told it’s “influencers”: people advantageously placed in social circles who people listen to. Sports-men and -women, socialites and performers are all likely eligible for the White Glove treatment.

Parties, dinners and meetings are held for White Glove members, and Samsung staff attend to help them get acclimatised to the products.

It’s not an outbound selling platform, rather it’s a subtle “wooing”, if you will. Once someone decides they want to move to Samsung, reps will take their existing phone and copy the information and apps onto the new device, while giving the influencer the education they need so they can hit the ground running. If these people have a bad experience, people will hear about it. That’s not what Samsung want. Education and guidance is key to a successful White Glove interaction.

So do these people get their devices for free? Another good question: it depends on the individual. Samsung will often hook up people directly involved in commercial partnerships up with devices on-spec, like the Wallabies, for example — a team directly sponsored by Samsung.

So how do you become one of these White Glove influencers. It’s the age-old question: if you’re on the list, you’ll know about it.

White Glove image via Shutterstock


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