Take 2: LG Finally Enters U.S. Market With Observint Partnership

By Ashley Willis

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. — Following a turbulent distribution agreement with now defunct GVI Security more than a year ago, LG Electronics has finally launched a suite of surveillance cameras and DVRs for the U.S. market.

This time around, LG enlisted the help of Observint Technologies, which owns security products distributors Supercircuits and Security Cameras Direct; as well as Digiop and SC Technologies, to help the company reach the masses. The company has initially released 14 products, including analog and IP cameras, and hybrid DVRs.

Because its first venture into the U.S. market didn’t pan out well, LG researched various distributors to help it launch into the marketplace, LG Electronics USA Vice President John Taylor tells SSI.

“As a new player in the U.S. market, we really sought to find a reliable partner who could join us in this official launch,” he says. “We looked at a lot of people, and Observint was clearly the right fit for us. They have tremendous contacts, a great reputation and a keen understanding of the technology.”

Of course, both companies have their work cut out for them. Although LG has offered its security products in Asia, Europe and Latin America for years, the U.S. market is saturated with CCTV providers. One way LG plans to differentiate itself from the pack is through an attractive value proposition to dealers, Observint Chief Marketing Officer George Farley tells SSI.

“Obviously, the product has got to be reliable and high quality,” he says. “We worked closely with LG to vet that out.”

Six months prior to the product launch, Observint reached out to its dealer networks to test the new LG products, which helped the distributor gather feedback to assist LG improve its offerings.

“With Observint owning distribution companies, we’re very privy to the ongoing feedback from dealers and end users every day,” Farley says. “We immediately incorporate that feedback into the development of our products, and we’re doing that with LG as well. The products we tested have evolved over the course of the last six months based on the relationship we have with our customers, and it will continue to evolve.”

Another way the companies plan to set LG apart from competitors is by regulating product distribution. Farley notes that flooding the market prevents resellers from making a profit. LG and Observint also worked diligently to ensure that the line is competitively priced.

“Being new to the market, we have a unique opportunity to protect the pricing for our dealers,” Farley explains. “We have built a very aggressive discount structure for dealers, so they have the opportunity to make a healthy margin on reselling LG products. We are also strictly enforcing a MAP [minimized advertised price] policy to make sure that margin opportunity is protected ongoing.”

LG will roll out its complete ONVIF- and PSIA-compliant video surveillance product line by the end of the year. When asked if LG has any plans to enter into the access control and intrusion detection markets, Taylor remained tight-lipped.

“It’s really premature to discuss future products, since we just launched the first 14,” he explains. “You’ll learn a lot more in the next couple of months. Stay tuned.”

Ashley Willis is associate editor for SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION. She can be reached at (310) 533-2419.

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