LG targeting the premium market with innovations

Tech March 13, 2017 01:00

By PRADIT PHULSARIKIJ
THE NATION
JEJU ISLAND, SOUTH KOREA

2,497 Viewed

LG ELECTRONICS (LG) unveiled a strategy and new innovations and products targeting the premium market, especially smart home appliances and solutions, at InnoFest 2017 (Innovation Festival) on Jeju Island in South Korea last week.



Ian Kim, vice president brand management and global marketing officer for LG, said the brand was committed to investing more in innovations, especially related to the Internet of Things (IoT) and deep learning technologies. 

Kim said LG would also continue to create brands, conduct marketing activities and engage in research and development as well as offer sales support to increase its premium market share. That share is currently about 3 per cent, with the company aiming to increase it to about 9 per cent, he said.

LG will also focus on research and development, he added.

Sung Jae Kim, president of LG Electronics Thailand, said the company planned to bring IoT-based products to the Thai market soon starting with smart-home electronic appliances which could be connected to WiFi and controlled via smartphones. 

“LG is confident we are strong in the [Thai] market, while we see the high potential of the premium market in Thailand since Thailand’s GDP is growing and consumers still have strong power purchasing,” Sung Jae Kim said. “Moreover, Thailand also has positive factors including growth of exports and tourism. Thailand’s government also launched policies to encourage economic growth.”

The company expects to increase its revenue at least 10 per cent in Thailand this year and is targeting a 5 per cent share of the premium market. Its leading products are TVs, washing machines and air conditioners, with LG focusing more on boasting its refrigerator sales.

“Since business-to-business revenue is still only 10 per cent of total revenue, we plan this year to boost this portion to be 50 per cent. We will increase more resource in gearing up in this market,” Sung Jae Kim said.

The premium home electronics appliance market in Thailand is worth only 2 per cent of the total market, or about Bt2 billion a year, so there is obviously high potention for it to grow.

Eugene Yoo, LG’s general manager global business, said the company’s new products could be connected to WiFi, even the low-end models. 

He said the company planned to invest in IoT and cloud technology, since it believed it had opportunities in these markets. 

“We believes that IoT will be widely adopted in the next five years, as the result of driving factors of growth of broadband and consumer awareness. We are open to work with partners to co-develop the [IoT] ecosystem and penetrate into new markets in each region,” said Yoo.

The new products LG introduced at InnoFest Asia 2017 included the new generation of CordZero premium vacuum cleaners led by the improved CordZero Handstick and CordZero Canister. 

Efficient and convenient

LG said the CordZero vacuum cleaners allowed customers to experience a higher level of cleaning through the use of LG’s aero science vacuum technology. At the same time, the HOM-BOT robotic vacuum cleaner provides users with more efficient, convenient cleaning options, LG said.

It said the new CordZero Handstick delivered top-class suction power thanks to its smart inverter motor that spins 16 times faster than an aircraft engine, enabling the 3D turbo fan to generate powerful airflow. 

The new CordZero Canister comes with a variety of advanced features designed to offer users a streamlined cleaning experience.

It also introduced LG Top-Freezer refrigerators along with the InstaView Door-in-Door refrigerator, which are to set to be launched in a number of important markets across Asia within the first half of this year. 

Song Dae-hyun, president of LG Electronics and the Home Appliance and Air Solutions Company, said that LG had worked to ensure that top-freezer refrigerators provide consumers the utmost in convenience while keeping food fresh and delicious for longer periods of time.

“Carefully considering and catering to user needs has driven LG’s rise to its prominent position as a leader in the global home appliance industry,” said Song.

LG said InstaView Door-in-Door was widely recognised for its ingenious display screen and cutting-edge knock-on feature that saved energy while maintaining a sleek, futuristic appearance. 

LG’s IoT product launched at the event is the Hub Robot. It will be displayed alongside LG’s Windows 10-powered Smart InstaView Door-in-Door refrigerator, paving the way to a “dynamic and entertaining kitchen experience”. 

“LG’s innovative Hub Robot redefines the smart home. Essentially a digital assistant, the robot completes household tasks using voice recognition technology by connecting to other smart LG appliances in the home,” he company said. 

“With a simple verbal prompt, such as ‘turn on the air conditioner’ or ‘change the dryer routine’, the connected appliance will automatically execute the assigned task. The Hub Robot is also equipped with an interactive display that can showcase a wide variety of information such as images of refrigerator content and even recipes with step-by-step audio and visual instructions.

“Additionally, the Hub Robot is capable of performing a variety of other tasks including: playing music, setting alarms, creating reminder memos as well as providing updates on the weather and traffic.”“The versatility and usability offered by our smart home products are set to maximise the power and benefits of smart technology in the home and beyond. Already recognised as an IoT pioneer, LG will continue to innovate in order to reinforce our position at the forefront of this dynamic market.” At last week’s event, LG also showcased its premium 2017 TV line-ups, which include its award-winning OLED TV series, as well as SUPER UHD TVs with Nano Cell technology, at InnoFest Asia. 

Brian Kwon, president of LG Electronics Home Entertainment Company, said that this year the company would continue to expand the premium TV market through its unrivalled, award-winning series of OLED TVs and it groundbreaking SUPER UHD TVs with Nano Cell display. 

“With these innovative TV products, our customers will be able to enjoy the best home entertainment experience that the industry has to offer,” said Kwon.