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LG’s David VanderWaal Breaks Down The Luxury Majap Market

The luxury major appliances market has become the bread and butter for many retailers that are choosing margin over market share. TWICE caught up with LG Electronics USA’s marketing VP David VanderWaal to discuss the current state of the majaps space, and clarify the importance of the top end at retail.

TWICE: Why is a mass-premium manufacturer like LG targeting the luxury segment? Does the higher margins it affords off set slimmer unit volume?
David VanderWaal: LG has served the mass consumer worldwide for about 60 years — and more than a decade here in the United States. Our core LG products demonstrate that we are innovation leaders. Examples include our OLED TVs, which experts have called the ‘best picture ever,’ and the industry’s first two-in-one washing machine.

But innovation is about both technology and design.

We have heard from consumers directly, and particularly consumers in the luxury market, about how important the marriage of technology and design is to them. LG Signature reflects how we’re elevating the LG brand in terms of technology and design.

LG Signature combines the very best of everything LG has to offer — cutting-edge technology and world-class design for today’s most discerning consumers.

Our pricing strategy is more than just having a higher price point in the market. Each product in the LG Signature lineup has been created with the very best LG technologies, designs and materials.

The LG Signature lineup was created by a special team of experts, extending from its earliest concepts to idea generation, design and materials. This rigorous process was completely distinct from LG’s normal appliance creation process.

TWICE: Is the luxury category immune from economic downturns? How did it fare during the recession?
The luxury category is a unique outlier in an economic downturn because you find that there are consumers who still prioritize the luxury experience and are still willing to pay a premium to maintain a certain lifestyle.

It seems counterintuitive, but in fact, continued spending in the luxury sector can help expedite an economic recovery. Those that are able to afford luxury products want to make the best purchasing decision and therefore continue to seek out high quality, trusted products, like LG Signature. Their focus is on the quality and look of the product, and they are willing to pay more for a brand that is consistent with the refined image they want to convey.

TWICE: Is there a distinction between LG Signature and Signature?
The biggest distinction is that the Signature Kitchen Suite is a line of custom-built in appliances that ensure innovation in the kitchen, while the LG Signature line is created for the luxury-seeking consumer looking for modern, high-end Products throughout the home.

With LG Signature we’re bringing state-of-the-art living to the most discerning individuals across a variety of product categories — from freestanding refrigerators, to ranges, dishwashers, washer/dryers, purifiers and TVs – meant to create a full home experience. The products are artfully designed with best-in-class technology that evokes the essence of luxury.

As LG continues to add super-premium features to its core mass-premium LG line, how do you distinguish that brand from your luxury Signature products?

LG Signature products have been designed and developed independently of LG’s core Home Appliances and Home Entertainment lines to ensure the brand’s exclusivity and uniqueness.

Additionally, LG Signature includes products from multiple LG business units — home appliance products as well as a TV and air purifier — to bring users the perfect premium lifestyle.

LG will continuously develop and invest in selected lineups staying true to the essence of its products to maintain the consistency of the brand.

TWICE: Does retail distribution for Signature differ from LG brand products?
LG focuses on presenting an exceptional, unique brand through not only marketing but also choosing selective distribution channel and sales. We have a varied distribution process for both LG Signature and LG Electronics core product lines as they target a different type of consumer seeking different appliances.