LG, once a major player in the smartphone market, faced declining sales and losses, leading to its exit from the business in 2021. But what could have LG done to survive in the smartphone market? Here are possible strategies that LG could have adopted to turn around its fortunes.
1. Focus on a niche segment
To differentiate itself, LG could have targeted a specific segment such as gaming, photography, or audio. By leveraging its expertise in OLED displays and sound technology, LG could have created a gaming phone with a high refresh rate screen and a powerful speaker system. While LG offered some features for audiophiles, they failed to capture the wider market due to insufficient innovation and differentiation.
2. Streamline its product portfolio
LG’s extensive range of models and sub-brands confused consumers and diluted its brand identity. By streamlining its product portfolio and focusing on a few key devices that offered consistent quality and performance, LG could have enhanced its appeal. Simplifying naming schemes and software updates would have made it easier for customers to identify and choose LG products.
3. Invest in marketing and customer service
To build awareness and trust among consumers, LG needed to invest more in marketing and customer service. Collaborating with carriers and retailers to offer attractive deals and promotions would have increased visibility and sales. Emulating Samsung and Apple’s marketing strategies and working on customer loyalty would have helped LG regain market share.
4. Embrace new technologies and the right trends
LG was known for being early in adopting new technologies, but they failed to respond to trends demanded by consumers, such as 5G, foldable screens, and rapid software updates. By embracing new technologies and trends more quickly and creatively, LG could have showcased its capabilities and vision for the future of mobile devices. Experimenting with innovative form factors and designs that challenged the status quo would have generated excitement and interest.
Reviving LG’s Smartphone Business
If LG decides to reenter the smartphone market, there are lessons they can learn from other successful companies. For instance, they could follow Google Pixel’s approach of offering a single model with two variations (a pro version and a standard version) released annually. Competitively pricing their devices would appeal to price-conscious buyers.
Taking inspiration from Apple, LG should focus on enhancing marketing strategies and presentations to create more appealing devices and build brand loyalty. Addressing the software update issue, which was LG’s Achilles heel, would be paramount. By prioritizing regular and timely software updates, LG can regain customer trust and confidence. Overcoming these challenges would pave the way for LG’s potential comeback.
LG’s struggle in the smartphone market highlights the importance of strategic decisions and timely adaptation to consumer demands. By adopting a niche focus, streamlining their product portfolio, investing in marketing and customer service, and embracing new technologies and trends, LG could have possibly revived its fortunes. However, competition from established players and disruptive events like the Covid-19 pandemic posed significant obstacles. If LG chooses to revive its smartphone business, they must learn from past mistakes, focus on customer needs, and execute their strategies with precision. The return of LG would foster healthy competition, benefitting consumers in the long run.