Innovation as a Launch Pad for Growth

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Innovation and extension of product portfolios have continued to dictate the pace of competition in the electronics market. Raheem Akingbolu reports

Players in the electronic market are not leaving anything to chance in their determination to gain top positions in the market chart. In Nigeria market, LG and Samsung appear to be the reign of the moment as both are daily churning out new innovations to deepen their presence in the market.

Two recent events clearly pointed out the level of competition between the two players and the role of innovation in their growth strategy. First, few months ago, over 250 patrons of LG Electronics from across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) met in Barcelona, Spain, for Innofest 2017, which represented a crucial platform for reiterating LG’s position in the global consumer electronics and appliance industries.

The conference did not only highlight the brand’s increased focus and commitment, in not only emerging as a leader in the premium product category but also showcasing an expansive line-up of innovative and energy efficient products, planned for MEA, across multiple business units.
In what looked like a response to the platform, Samsung also had its annual forum, where it showcased its products and felt the pulse of its trade partners. At the 2017 edition, the company reiterated its commitment to customer satisfaction in the area of technology innovation.

LG Signature
One of the highpoints at the LG Innofest 2017 was the unveiling of the LG Signature, which was described as a product that would pave the way for the ultra premium in smart home solutions in Middle East and Africa (MEA). According to the promoters of the brand, the new offering was introduced to redefine home entertainment and home appliances as never before in the region.

Meanwhile, the company has stated that the ultra-premium brand, strives to remain true to the essence of each product with a touch of sophistication. For accessibilities, the company stated that the new innovation is expected to rollout across various countries in the region over the course of this quarter.

The LG Signature, which has been described as ultra-premium brand includes “Engadget Best of CES 2017” LG Signature W7 OLED TV, boasting the ultimate in elegant simplicity and seamless blending into the wall while offering an unmatched visual experience. Also unveiled for the region included the LG Signature InstaView refrigerator with its intuitive and evolutionary design, the LG Signature air purifier, which allows the air cleaning process to be a visual experience with its innovative transparent panel, and the LG Signature TWINWash washing machine, which was said to offer ultimate washing performance and convenience with prestigious design for the most discerning individuals and families.

President of LG Electronics in the Middle East & Africa, Mr. Kevin Cha, was quoted as saying that; “We are proud to see that our ultra-premium brand has once again garnered great interest by our long-time loyal partners across the region who want to bring the best of LG to local markets for people with the most discerning sensibilities. The LG Signature brand caters to the sensible rich who have always been in search for a high-end, most superior offering for the home, an offering that provides subtle elegance and an unmatched intuitive and sophisticated experience that only the brand can offer.”

Home Entertainment
Part of the brand line-up also includes; the LG Signature OLED 4K TV, which was said to deliver the stunning picture quality and advanced technologies of OLED: perfect blacks, improved brightness, and amazing pictures at wide viewing angles. The company attributed the feat to OLED’s unique ability to turn each pixel on or completely off. It stated further that LG OLED TVs produce perfect blacks and flawlessly render crisp, vibrant colours and rich shadow details, even when bright objects are directly next to deep, dark areas. Another one showcased was the wallpaper design, the LG Signature 77W7, which was described as the ultimate in OLED TV technology with powerful performance and audio capabilities. The 77W7 has also been described as the all-in-one package for any modern home.

‘’Aesthetically, the LG Signature OLED TV’s “Picture-on-Glass” technology sets new benchmarks in design with an exceptionally thin depth (measuring about one-tenth of an inch) and a translucent glass back. The OLED module is applied directly to the glass back panel for a clean, ultra-slim profile and attaches to a powerful, forward-facing sound bar that doubles as a unique stand for a seemingly invisible bezel and stand,’’ the company stated in a statement.

Other strategies
Aside innovation, LG has also involved in many activities, especially Corporate Social Responsibility and advertising to boost its brand influence in the Nigerian market. In recent time, the company has inaugurated technology workshops in some institutions of higher learning and awarded scholarships to some students in line with its tag line; ‘good life’.
Few years ago, LG awarded scholarship to ten students in the Faculty of Engineering, University of Lagos, based on their Grade Points of 4.0 to 5.0. The opportunities were given to students in 400 and 500 levels.

According to the company, the initiative was designed to be an annual event that would also give the beneficiaries opportunity of joining LG Electronics for their Industrial Attachment for a period of four months.
In the area of communication, the company has also explored almost all legs of communications to reach its target audience. Its handlers have come out with good campaigns, experiential marketing and sponsorships

For instance, it sponsored the English football club Weyside Rovers from 2000 until 2002 and the English football club Fulham F.C until July 2010. It also sponsored the Brazilian football club Sao Paulo FC from 2001 to 2009, during which time the club were the winners of the 2005 FIFA Club World Championship. In August 2013, it was announced that LG Electronics would sponsor German Bundesliga club Bayer 04 Leverkusen for the next three years with an option to extend for one more year. Because of the huge followers that sports command, the brand has been able to attract a lot of patrons in all the markets it involves in sponsorship.