Over the weekend LG officially unveiled the LG G5, completely taking the G Series in a new direction in terms of design and software. LG isn’t stopping there though, as it hopes to also take marketing to new heights as well.
While certainly not having the same kind of financial crisis as the likes of Blackberry, HTC, Sony Mobile, and Nokia, LG has struggled over the last few years to really stand out against its core competitors in the mobile market, namely Apple and Samsung.
Last year LG had hoped to win over fans by sticking to its removable battery/back and microSD guns, while Samsung wowed the world with a major departure in design that came at the sacrifice of these features. The LG G4 remains a great handset but it’s hard to deny that the phone failed to make a big splash in the market, and while the V10 saw some renewed excitement, LG is hoping for a much bigger reception with the LG G5. And that’s where strong marketing will come into play.
LG believes that the unique design and philosophies offered by the LG G5 will ring true with consumers, but understands that without marketing, no one will ever notice. LG isn’t disclosing its spending figures, but it does say they are “setting aside more budget for marketing than we could probably afford”, which is a pretty vague statement, but drives the point across that LG isn’t going to sit around and let this phone fall into the background – at least not without a fight.
LG’s mobile chief, Juno Cho, concedes that this aggressive budget could result in a toll on the company’s revenues in the short-term, but believes that LG’s future vision is worth the gamble.
So what steps are they taking to help the LG G5 shine? First, LG is working with over 200 carrier partners to launch the phone simultaneously in the US, Europe, and South Korea when it arrives this April. Second, they are already being bolder than we’ve seen from LG in the past. Not only did they confidentially launch the phone hours ahead of the Galaxy S7, instead of taking a wait-and-see approach, they also went from their typical low key hotel conferences to a massive hillside hall “the size of an airplane hangar”.
These are good steps, but now LG needs to hit things hard with marketing. This is an area where LG has struggled with some in the past, with its strangest marketing moment no doubt being when they thought it was a good idea to represent the LG G Flex as a living hand… yah.
That said, more recent commercials with Joseph Gordon-Levitt haven’t been too bad, so here’s to hoping they continue that direction, instead of going back to living hand madness. Even if they can’t steal the thunder from Apple or Samsung, if they are able to bite away sales from struggling companies like HTC and Sony, LG could find itself further rising forward.
Of course, marketing only gets you so far. You need a good product. Does the LG G5 fit that bill? Depends on who you ask.
The controversial decision to remove the app drawer has some Android purists up in arms, though others are more understanding, or are fine with simply installing a 3rd party launcher. And it’s pretty likely “the average Joe consumer” won’t really care either way, leaving this to be a debate only for those of us techies. As for the design, the reception here seems to range from “I love it, so sexy” to “eww… that’s hideous, get it away from me”. Personally, my thoughts on the LG G5 originally fell into that second category, but I have slowly started to change my mind. This is similar to my reaction when I first got my hands on the Nexus 6P. Of course it could be one of those things where it’s so ugly it’s endearing – like that puppy that’s so awkward looking, it somehow manages to be ‘cute’ (see: chinese crested).
What it really will come down to for many of us is performance, something we can’t really speak on until we have the opportunity to perform a full review. Not everyone loves the Nexus 6P’s design, but most agree its performance is amazing and worth picking up for that alone. If LG G5 hits the same mark, and combines it with massive marketing and a decent price tag, things could certainly go well for LG. Only time will tell for sure, though.
What do you think of the LG G5? If LG markets it heavily, could they provide a more legit challenge to Samsung, Apple, and the growing Chinese giants like Huawei? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.