LG targets “pub geeks” to recapture market share

LG Mobile is to invest heavily in targeting early technology adopters and “pub geeks” as it looks to recapture customers who had “drifted” away from the brand.

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The electronics company is focusing the bulk of its marketing activity around the launch of the Optimus smartphone, the first glasses free 3D phone in the market.

LG hopes the “truly differentiated product”, along with its other smartphones that have been launched and those that are due to launch this year, will help it to regain some of the market share it has lost to Apple, Samsung and Nokia.

Alex Windle, LG Mobile’s head of marketing, says the company is going “back to basics” with its marketing to focus on product – rather than brand messaging – to lay the foundations to increase its currently negligible market share.

LG is the seventh largest smartphone-maker in the UK, with 1.2% of the market share, according to comScore. Its closest rivals are Sony Ericsson (6.3%) and Samsung (7.3%).

The company suffered a tumultuous 2010, posting a loss of £145m in the final quarter and handset sales revenue down 15%.

He says: “People haven’t lost faith in us, they have just drifted for a year. We will always be an alternative choice [to market leaders Apple and Nokia] and we will continue to be that.”

Windle says the company’s challenge this year is to market Optimus as a relevant device, despite the fact that it does not solve an imminent consumer “need”. Marketing around the device will be targeted at early technology adopters and “pub geeks”, who will form “irrational, emotional” bonds with the product by word of mouth will raise interest in the phone..

There are about 1.5 million “pub geeks” in the UK – 70% male, aged between 24 and 40 – Windle claims, with a big sway over their peer groups.

The majority of the year’s marketing strategy is centred around an experiential campaign, that will comprise of 160 days’ worth of activity, under the umbrella strapline “playing by yourself just got better”, to allow consumers to trial the Optimus. The campaign was created by Hotcow.

The launch activity includes “Europe’s largest” in-store 3D screen network to give consumers the opportunity to sample the phone in the retail environment, produced by Inition.

LG is also integrating its 3D televisions into Optimus marketing activity, as the phone can connect to the devices.

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