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Smart Home Devices by LG: Their Struggles, Successes, and
the Value of Consumer Insights

Anna Kupriyanova
Marketer
Home electronics are becoming more and more sophisticated. Robot vacuum cleaners and supersonic hair dryers don't send shivers down the spine of consumers anymore. So, brands like LG are taking the next step and reaching into our most sacred personal spaces — our closets.
Enter LG Styler Smart Steam Closet and LG Styler ShoeCase and Care.

Leaning into lifestyle: LG taps into our domestic obsessions

LG Styler Smart Steam Closet keeps your clothes fresh between washes, sanitizing and deodorizing them without detergent. It combines the functions of a press, a humidifier, a dehumidifier and a fragrance diffuser. Enough to peak the interest of the pickiest shoppers. Or is it?
LG Styler Smart Steam Closet
Before we delve into consumer insights, let's get acquainted with another innovative home appliance: LG Styler ShoeCase and ShoeCare. It was presented at the technology trade show IFA in 2022 but is not yet available for purchase. Created with sneakerheads in mind, the ShoeCase promises to keep its owner's sneakers in pristine condition while serving as an art display for shoe collections.
LG Styler ShoeCase and ShoeCare
METHODOLOGY
Stimuli:
the idea of LG Styler Steam Closet and LG Styler ShoeCase and ShoeCare, with images and description.
Target: United Kingdom, male, female, from 18 to 65 years, 100 respondents per idea sample size, 200 respondents in total.
Research Solution: Concept test — a ready-to-use research solution by Fastuna (online survey).

A niche too small? Consumers love the idea, but hate the price

Consumer evaluation of LG Styler Steam Closet - Fastuna's research results
LG Styler Smart Steam Closet scored high at most metrics, but the lowest one - Purchase at price - signals that consumers are questioning its value for money:
For anyone who has the space and the money to buy one I think this is an absolutely excellent piece of equipment. — Female, 61
It all seems a bit unnecessary and looks like a tall thin fridge. — Male, 60
Although the responses were overwhelmingly positive, with people loving the numerous available functions of the Steam Closet, a few key barriers became apparent: half of the respondents thought it's difficult to set up, and 75% found it convenient, but too expensive for the type of tasks it performs.
To sum up, let's highlight the drivers and barriers to buy based on responses.
Top drivers:
— Gently refreshes, cleans, and dries clothes without the need for dry cleaning.
— Innovative and different.
— Convenient and time-saving.
Top barriers:
— Not necessary for personal needs, perception of excessive features.
— Uncertainty or lack of understanding about the product.
— Price point, uncertainty about value for money.
Does your idea sell? What to improve? With the Concept Test research solution, you can test short text descriptions of ideas, concepts or mock-ups of a product or service. Getting actionable results only requires 15 minutes of your time.

Uniqueness on it's own is unlikely to sell your product

Let's move on to the LG Styler ShoeCase and ShoeCare.
Consumer evaluation of LG Styler ShoeCase and ShoeCare - Fastuna's research results
The ShoeCase received extremely polarizing evaluations. Reminiscent of the famous Marmite slogan "You Either Love It Or Hate It", our respondents were either wowed by this device with an immense desire to buy immediately or expressed a directly opposite opinion:
The drivers and barriers to buy based on responses for LG Styler ShoeCase and Care.
Top drivers:
— Relevant functionality: cleanses, reduces odours, preserves shoes.
— Perception of efficiency and convenience.
— Unique and practical way to organise, store and display shoes.
Top barriers:
— Not necessary for personal needs, perception of excessive features.
— Perception of high effort to set-up and use.
— Space concerns, not enough room.

Conclusion

So much is said about the Unique Selling Point. But when it comes to new product development, the emphasis shouldn't be just on uniqueness. That "U" alone won't drive demand. USP should be augmented with other product features to make it obvious for consumers: this is the product I want to buy. Running a test on your target audience can give you insights into specific features that could make your product irresistible.
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