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By Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net MANILA, Philip pines -- Despite tightening budgets, Filipino buyers are becoming more selectiv e when buying electronic appliances. They want both a mix of function and desig n rolled into their equipment and some are willing to pay some extra. This was the principle behind Korean appliance maker LG's rebranding strategy i n the Philippines. The company launched its new set of "lifestyle appliances" a imed at choosy buyers. LG Electronics Philippines Head of Brand Marketing Raymond Hernandez said the c ompany has studied the Philippines market for electronics and noted a growing m arket of younger generation of users who want a balance of aesthetics and perfo rmance. "These are the 'premium seekers'. They are a new market that we're expecting to generate more income from for the company," Hernandez said. Nevertheless, Hernandez said the company is still sticking to their bread and b utter business, which is the mass market, commodity segment that is also cost c onscious. In the Philippines, the most popular gadgets for all market segments are LCD TV s, mobile phones, refrigerators and air conditioning units, he added. "We're not alienating the commodity segment because they are our biggest market . But we're seeing a shift from commodity to the new premium seekers in terms o f revenues and this will happen starting this year," Hernandez said. LG manufactures over a dozen product types from LCD TVs, home theater equipment , to vacuum cleaners, air conditioners, washing machines, microwaves, and refri gerators. The Korean firm has a division that makes mobile phones.

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