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Designed to Sell

I went to IFA expecting a technology trade show, but the first day all anyone wants to talk about is design. Not that I’m complaining, it’s a nice break from codecs.

Two press conferences – LG and Philips – really keyed in on the design theme.

Executives from both companies preferred to downplay technology in favor of what James Kim, LG Europe CEO called the WAF or “wife acceptability factor.”

“Design is the differentiator,” said Philips CEO Rudy Provost. Stefano Marzano, Philips Design CEO went further, claiming that properly designed electronics create “empathy” and “provoke emotions.”

When discussing the new line of Aurea TVs, Provost described them as “a smoother and more feminine approach” to television.

“Design can improve profits and growth,” asserted Elmar Schuller of Red Dot, whose firm awarded LG its Design Team of the year award in 2006. In CE “you can fight a price war or a quality war,” he added.

“Design is an integral part of product development and its role is being expanded,” said Matt Ryan, LG Design Manager. “The goal is to establish a unique LG style,” he said.