Consumers Are Value Conscious More Than Price Conscious

With a presence of over two decades in India, LG Electronics has carved a niche for itself in the refrigerator and TV segment. What is still a challenge though is the smartphone category which is dominated by Chinese companies in India. For LG, with more than 20,000 retail touch points and 650 brand shops, the key objective is to launch products/technologies which enhance consumer lifestyles, says Amit Gujral in an interaction with FE BrandWagon. Edited excerpts:

After 21 years in India, how would you rate LG’s performance today?

Localization and customer centricity have been keys to our success; we have been launching products based on Indian consumer insights supported by an extensive after sales service network. Apart from launching new products we are also introducing new product categories based on consumer insights like water and air purifiers with a differentiation. Health and hygiene are key concerns of consumers and they are looking for solutions to improve the same. For instance, air quality has been of pressing concern and based on this insight we have developed the latest LG air purifiers, with PM 1.0 sensor. The key objective is to launch products/technologies which enhance consumer lifestyles.

As per a Research & Markets report, it is expected that revenues from TV sets sales will reach Rs 130,500 crore by 2020. How does LG plan to capture this rise?

LG Electronics launched OLED TV which is not just another enhanced LED TV but is an altogether new technology, defined as Future of TV. Recently we launched televisions in India featuring artificial intelligence (AI) under the LG Technology aegis — AI ThinQ. The new range includes various models under its OLED, super UHD, UHD and smart TV category. We have continuously launched futuristic products. Artificial intelligence is definitely the road ahead for the future. We have launched 25 models of AI TV across all segments.

For LG, where is the growth coming from and from which categories?

We have an extensive presence across India; all markets are important for us. The 100 percent electrification initiative is also a very positive step by the government to improve the infrastructure and it will create a booming market for TV and refrigerators among other household goods.

LG is still struggling when it comes to smartphones. What has gone wrong and what is LG doing to reclaim market share?

The most fast-paced changing technology we have seen in the current generation is telephony. Not only have the services been rapidly changing but so have the devices, which connect to those changing services. For a while now, we have been launching smartphones keeping this dynamic industry behavior in mind and without compromising on customer needs and quality. Though the uptake has been a little slow, we are sure, soon the customer shall realize the merits offered by LG smartphones distinctively compared to other brands. LG G7 is the latest offering we brought for Indian markets with a unique artificial intelligence solution enabled. We are sure that our consumer centric products will be well received by people in times to come.

With mega sales on e-tail, how has the festive season changed for the electronics market in India?

Consumer electronics are an important part of any Indian household; a majority of consumers like to touch and feel products before buying them. Unlike the usual perception, consumers today are value conscious rather than price conscious. The lifecycle of a consumer durable is generally assumed to be five to 10 years or more; therefore, a robust service network and experience zones are seen to play a major role in buying decisions. This, in fact, has been core strength at LG.

In electronics and durables — categories which have very standardized marketing campaigns — how do you plan to stand out?

We have been focusing on the 3Es of marketing — experiential, engaging and emotional. Today’s consumers are much more evolved and are still highly emotional with an Indian ethos. Therefore, the right mix has been carved addressing the needs of consumers for an experiential connect and also emotional sentiment sharing, across varied campaigns like the Try & Buy (home demo) offer for our flagship models where consumers can experience products in their home settings before buying them. The consumer response for the same has been positive.

We have been focusing on addressing consumers on digital platforms. On the special occasion of LG India’s 20th anniversary in 2017, the brand had rolled out a unique Astronaut video showcasing how dreams come true with LG. Our continuous focus will be to address and engage consumers through new and emerging mediums like online media along with experiential marketing campaigns. – Financial Express

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