Haier
Vijay Babu
VP,
LG Electronics India

Consumers’ evolving needs drive innovation

The coronavirus pandemic has taken the whole world by storm. People are living differently, buying differently and in many ways, thinking differently. In fact, their way of looking at a product while buying has also completely changed and the new habits created is expected to transcend crisis, permanently changing the way we buy products.

In the consumer durables industry, this holds true in every aspect and we are already observing a change in consumer behavior. Various surveys have indicated that consumer durables remain a top priority on the purchase list post lockdown.

While consumers are looking for appliances that helps them in daily chores, but they are prioritizing health and hygiene more than ever and that has become a deciding factor while purchase of products.

There is a demand for bigger capacity appliances especially in washing machines and refrigerators. Consumers are also interested to know the origin of products; they are looking for products manufactured in India.

Interestingly, with consumers spending more time at home, they have closely experienced their appliances and are looking for additional benefits like water and ice dispenser on the outside. Refrigerator is probably the most significant home appliance in a household, especially in the current times.

The lockdown ensures that you cannot be as flexible about fresh food from time to time due to restrictions in mobility in the markets. Thus, a well-stocked fridge is essential in the house and the one that keeps the food fresh for longer.

We have seen good demand for refrigerators this season in 2020. In fact, the twin drivers for the refrigerators market are enough storage and ensure hygiene of the stored items. Features like water and ice dispenser on the outside or a small home bar compartment; number of shelves in refrigerator; maximizing the storage in door for frequently required items have been in trend this year.

Some other features that have taken a limelight include convertible modes or adjustable trays that can be used as per individual’s storage habits.

However, in all this, the one takeaway for every brand today is to continue to strengthen trust in after-sales service through constant engagement with consumers via social platforms. The customer journey for us, really begins from the day they start using our products.

Consumers have evolved and today they want to be more engaged and closer to the brand than ever. Their preferences have advanced and before buying a refrigerator, factors like capacity, hygiene features, after-sales service support are important criterion. They are being vocal for local and that is one of the most significant driving factors now. Consumers are preferring Made in India products.

At LG Electronics, we are celebrating the 23rd anniversary in India and it gives us immense pleasure to be the most desired refrigerator brand in the country (as per TRA most desired brands 2020 survey). We manufacture here and have a dedicated R&D set up in India, which helps in developing products based on Indian insights.

In the coming months and years, we expect to see brands making an increasing shift to demonstrating value-add to customers. Companies will be driving their attention on four parameters – understanding the changing consumer’s need, providing strong after-sale service during the current times, developing products focused on health and hygiene, and Make in India products.

We will definitely create new milestones by focusing on robust product portfolio developed based on consumer insights. India will shine!

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