Taking clothes out of the washing machine to hang them to dry, I glance at my cup of tea cooling on the table. The smiling little face on the door of the machine reminds me Life is good. As I put the cup in the oven to warm up my tea, the logo with the smiling face formed by the letter L & G assures again ‘Life is good’.
Interesting isn’t it when you think that one of the largest South Korean chaebol’s wears the crown of the most trusted brand in India, as per the Brand Trust Report, 2015.
Lucky Goldstar to LG
Founded in 1958, by Koo In-Hwoii, LG, then known as Lucky Goldstar was formed by merging Lak-Hui (Lucky) and Goldstar, with Lucky known for household products – toothpaste, soaps and detergents, and Goldstar producing the consumer electronics.
Producing Korea’s first radios in the 1960s, Goldstar began to ship the radios to the US in 1962. They were soon to start producing and exporting TVs, refrigerators, washing machines, and air conditioners, living up to the ‘Export Korea‘ motto.
In 1982, the company established its first overseas subsidiary in Alabama to produce and sell color televisions, and soon after it took to expanding globally, adding bases in Europe, Central and South America, and across Asia.
Renamed LG Electronics in 1995, the brand revamped its brand identity to shed its image associated with a brand producing low quality goods and framed a new tagline ‘Life is Good’, apparently with the intent to establish an emotional connect with consumers.
The Many Firsts
From developing developed World’s first CDMA digital mobile handsets in 1997, to world’s first 60-inch plasma TV, the brand has come up with many firsts. A lead innovator in the electronics and mobile industry, LG became one of the largest suppliers of LCD TV and mobile handsets.
LG Chocolate, a premium feature phone was a massive sell out with 7.5 million units sold worldwide in 2006.
“Stylish design and smart technology, in products that fit our consumer’s lives.“
With the new global brand identity launched in 2008, LG redefined itself from a low cost, generic Asian electronics brand, to a brand producing well-designed, compact goods that help to make life happier and better.
LG went on to become the Global Partner and Technology Partner of Formula One™.
LG Prada, a premium feature phone, developed in partnership with Prada, sold over 1 million units in 18 months, before the markets moved from feature phone to smartphone.
Late in catching up with its arch-rival Samsung in the smartphone market, LG introduced LG Optimus 2X, the first smartphone with a dual-core processor, at the end of 2010. The impressive hardware, however, was let down by the software. The gap between LG and its arch rival Samsung widened in the smartphone market.
LG has come up with its flagship smartphone ‘G4’, a phone that may take smartphone photography to the next level with its powerful camera besides allowing the editing of images on the phone through Photoshop after clicking. The brand has also made move into other smart devices such as smart TV and wearables. LG has also been Google’s OEM for manufacturing the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5.
LG’s Indian saga
A peep into the history reveals LG’s entry into India was not a cakewalk. In the early 1990s, the consumer durable market was dominated by few domestic players like Godrej, Allwyn, Kelvinator and Voltas. Government regulations prohibited foreign companies from starting independent ventures in India.
Failing in its first two attempts to enter the Indian market via partnership with local firms, LG succeeded in entering the Indian market in 1997, after the Indian economy opened up to foreign companies.
Setting up its own manufacturing facilities in Noida, near Delhi, LG completed a nation-wide launch during a period of 4 and a half months. In contrast with Samsung’s positioning as a premium brand in India, LG focused on establishing presence across the country, and offered affordable products with desired features.
The price point of LG goods made them attractive for the Indian market. Investing sufficiently in R&D, LG was quick to launch new products regularly with value added features. The company endeavored to understand the Indian lifestyle and findings about preferences of Indian households.
Observing that the generous use of spices and turmeric in Indian food can stain pastel colored appliances, the company came up with darker shades for appliances. Taking into account the rising number of dengue and malaria cases, LG has come up with an air-conditioner that not only cools the room but keeps away mosquitoes as well.
Not limiting itself to seasonal advertising during festive season, LG advertised all year round to occupy the mind space of the consumers.
Gradually re-positioning itself as a tech-based premium brand with India-insight products, LG is set to woo the new age customers who prefer high quality reliable products over bargain hunting.
Life is Good I say as I take out my cup of tea from the LG oven 🙂
Image credit: Twitter timeline of LG India (@)
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