LG electronics has been around since 1958 when it was established as Goldstar. In 1995 it changed its name to LG Electronics. It has spent most of those years as a quiet second (or even third) choice electronics option or most people. That it already changing.
Now Andrew Barrett, LG’s vice-president, marketing, for LG Electronics Canada Ltd. announces he has big plans for LG’s future in an interview with The Globe and Mail.
“It seems like only yesterday that LG was a rather ordinary, personality-less, original equipment manufacturer. “The only way LG could shake the shackles of being lesser known,” Mr. Barrett says, “was to be seen as a brand of desire.” ”
The new strategy: To seed the company’s global operations with a marketing mindset geared to a sense of style. Think red steam washing machines.
Style implies taste, and taste can be tricky. Consider Scarlet, the LG TV with the brazenly red back panel. “When your positioning is based on style … the TVs can’t just be a black box that looks like everybody else’s TVs,” he says. The reaction to the Scarlet has been polarizing. “There were some who absolutely loved it, and others who were appalled by it and never wanted to see it in their home,” he says.
Two weeks ago Mr. Barrett was tapped by LG HQ to lead the company’s just-announced global sponsorship for Formula 1 racing.
“There’s a social style, a social status, a premium-ness that sits around F1,” he says, expressing how he believes the style-technology harmony of the racing circuit makes a perfect match for the style-technology focus of LG. Think Monte Carlo and yachts and celebrities and cerulean vistas. “We think we’re the Monte Carlo of consumer electronics,” he says.
The job grows bigger. Any day now the company will announce a broadening of Mr. Barrett’s marketing responsibilities to encompass what he will define only as a “significant portion of the world’s geography,” reporting to the chief marketing officer for LG worldwide.