In an attempt to make inroads into the competitive washing machine market, LG Electronics India Limited (LGEIL) has launched a new range of fully automatic washing machines. The introduction of these products not only widens the company’s product portfolio but is also a step towards reiterating its leadership position in this segment.
Pricing the products in the range of Rs 12,990--42,000, LGEIL believes that consumers are more willing to loosen their purse strings if a product’s cutting-edge technology gives them “that extra bit.” Accordingly, some models feature Seven-Sensor technology, unlike other Fuzzy logic machines in the market, which have only four sensors for checking water level, laundry load, unbalance and lid open. “The new fully automatic washing machines will provide customers with a wider range in terms of the advanced features being offered. It is designed to suit Indian needs and is part of our constant focus on ‘consumer relevant innovation.’ We are targeting a sales volume of 2,000-3,000 units per month,” says Anil Arora, Head, Marketing, LGEIL.
The washing machine industry has grown by 14% and LGEIL has shown a remarkable 113% growth in the category. Additionally, LGEIL has been declared as the leader in the overall category of washing machines with a market share of 32%. (Source: ORG-GFK Report – Dec ‘03). “The key to our achievement lies in introducing products specifically designed to suit Indian needs,” says Rajeev Jain, Product Group Head, Washing Machines, LGEIL.
LGEIL has discarded the technology positioning for its washing machines. The company has made a conscious effort not to throw perplexing techno-jargon at the consumer, and has instead concentrated on positioning the benefit proposition in lucid terms. The communication strategy seeks to address families directly with messages that appeal to their sensibilities. Accordingly, the decibel levels have been dropped, the cluttering of information abandoned, and there is an air of subtlety about the new messages. The campaign has children taking pleasure in washing their own clothes, with the baseline: ‘Dil chahe ki saaf rahein.’
Meanwhile, Samsung India is targeting washing machine sales of 70,000 units during the first two months of 2004 and has launched a promotion scheme with an investment of Rs 3 crore. During the promotion period, every purchase will entitle the customer to a sealed game card, which will then lead him to a puzzle. Gifts include a frost-free refrigerator, microwave oven, Singer hand blender, a gift hamper and the mega prize – Santro Xing car. The company invested Rs 12 crore last year in boosting its washing machines lineup and strengthened it further by launching new fully automatic models with the ‘i control’ feature.