Though LG Corp. (Seoul, South Korea) is one of the biggest electronics manufacturers in the world, its products are sold almost exclusively in big-box formats – consumer electronics stores, home improvement warehouses, etc. – where they’re often positioned as “good value” purchases.
Recently, the company took steps to try to change that. Through its Southeast Asian subsidiary in Singapore, it developed LG Live, a new concept that positions the company and its products as innovative and cutting-edge.
It wasn’t a coincidence that LG launched the new concept in Singapore’s prestigious Shoppes at Marina Bay, where its neighbors include the likes of Hermès and Tiffany & Co. It’s Singapore’s new must-have residential address and also a center for international travelers.
“The idea was to show, by association, that LG is a premium brand,” says Jason Steere, partner and co-founder of Storeage, the Amsterdam design firm that created the concept. “But, of course, the store itself had to fulfill that promise.”
It does, in a way that’s both sleek and interactive. Rather than densely stacked shelves of TVs, washers and dryers, ranges, microwave ovens and mobile communications devices, it’s an uncluttered pathway through LG product development.
“The products are presented like objects of art in a gallery space,” says Steere, “but everything's interactive, so shoppers can explore product benefits and discover the LG brand.”
It starts with an overhead ribbon of light at the entryway aimed at pulling people into and through the store. “We know people don’t come to this mall to take home a washing machine,” says Steere. “We have to give them a reason, as they pass by our door, to say, ‘Hey, that’s cool, what’s going on inside?’ ”
Smoked-glass pillars along the pathway contain screens with promotional information. Merchandise is displayed in lifestyle areas – a living room, a live kitchen – so visitors can envision products in their own homes, use them, test them and play with them.
LG dispensed with those p-o-s product-benefit stickers and tent cards because, says Steere, “people just don’t read them.” Instead, clever informational drawings on the wall suggest product benefits. One, for example, shows the enlarged capacity of a washing machine load.
And the retailer made use of its technology through interactivity. For example, a touchscreen at the store’s entrance helps visitors navigate the store by product or department. And an “electronic postcard” allows customers to take pictures of themselves against a variety of backgrounds and email it to friends.
“We’re selling LG here, as a family of brands that can work together to make a home more fun or energy-efficient or luxurious,” says Steere. “We hope they buy an LG product, somewhere else if not here. But we also hope they go away saying, ‘I didn’t know LG did that.’ ”
Retailer: LG Singapore, Seoul, South Korea (Arthur Huang, vp sales and marketing; Benjamin Ang, display marketing; Mark Ng, retail operations manager)
Design: Storeage, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Jason Steere, co-founder and partner; Ian Clarke, designer; John van Dorst, project manager)
Outside Design Consultants: Saatchi & Saatchi X, Shanghai, China (Strategy); Parsons, Singapore (M&E)
General Contractor: Kingsmen Intl., Singapore