EXCLUSIVE: It’s a case of new broom sweeps clean at LG Electronics as senior management set about establishing new consumer electronics marketing programs in an effort to take TV and appliance market share away from a surging Samsung and a struggling Sony. Key to the sweeping changes that are being implemented at the Australian subsidiary, is the appointment of William Cho, the former President and CEO of LG Canada.
In his new role as CEO of the Australian operation he has moved quickly to replace old management with new appointees. Among those appointment is Tim Barnes who has taken on the role as Marketing Manager, Consumer Electronics at the Korean manufacturer.
Barnes who used to work with Cho at LG Canada believes that he has to “go back to basics” and establish a new marketing platform in an effort to take marketshare away from his competitors.
“We are currently moving very quickly to implement change. During the next six months you will see a lot of innovation from LG. We have a great brand and an extremely good range of consumer electronics products however we do need to get the basics right and that is what we are doing right now”.
Barnes who joined LG Australia after the dumping of former Marketing Director David Brand and the sudden resignation of his predecessor believes that IPTV is set to be a major selling point for consumers running into the peak Xmas period.
LG who already has a key IPTV content relationship with Telstra is currently working with the national carrier on a global basis to further expand the BigPond Movie service that is currently being built into select LG TV’s.
Barnes believes that if IPTV is to be successful a lot more has to be done to educate consumers.
“We all know the problems with 3D TV including price Vs 2D TV’s, the use of 3D glasses and the lack of content though this is going to get better as more content is released. At LG we are in an excellent position with our IPTV offering however we do have to deliver a great consumer experience at a store level if consumers are going to buy our offering and that is what we are currently working on” said Barnes.
When asked about the Canadian Vs the Australian retail markets Barnes said “The markets are not much different. The Canadian market is dominated by big US brands like Best Buy’s, Sears, Wal Mart etc and they have different strategies than Australian retailers, they are a lot more stringent with when it comes to merchandising, Australia is a lot more flexible and I believe that consumers get a better experience in Australia”.
“We have to really understand how a TV is used in the home if we are to be successful; IPTV is proving popular due to convergence however sales have to be driven by highlighting the benefits in store”. He said.
“LG Australia has done a great job getting to where they are in the consumer electronics marketplace, we aim to capitalise on this. At a global level LG has also done a great job in research and development of TV’s and consumer electronic products however our competitors have done a better job of commercialising their opportunities. We have some stunning products coming for the CES show in January and we are currently working on new products for Australia. The next six months is set to be big for us if we get the fundamentals right”.
In a taste what’s to come LG yesterday announced the “world’s thinnest,” TV display that when launched later this year will measure a mere 0.29-cm in thickness while sporting an impressive 31-inch screen. The panel will also support both 2D and 3D modes, and feature a refresh rate of 600 Hz.
Set to be shown at the IFA Show in Berlin, LG will also three other 3D TV display sreens including the 0.88-cm LG LEX8, the LEX9, and the PX950N 3D TVs. These are also slated for a reveal at IFA 2010 starting Friday, September 3.