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News Customers Are Taking Control Engage with connected consumers, says Electrolux President Ken McLoughlin’s President and CEO of Electrolux by Max Leonard The next generation of world-beating companies will be those that engage the connected consumer. This was Electrolux President and CEO Ken McLoughlin’s message in his highly dynamic keynote speech on Friday at IFA Berlin. It was McLoughlin’s first visit to IFA as President and CEO of Electrolux. He painted a picture of dizzying change, in a world where the number of urban, affluent, and ageing consumers is increasing, and yet household sizes are falling. Even more significant is the new generation of consumers who take the Internet and social media for granted. “ W h e r e h a v e t h e s e developments brought us today and what are the implications of that going forward?”, said McLoughlin, pondering over the fact that by 2050, 74% of the world’s populations will live in urban areas. He added, “The traditional stages of life are breaking down. The size and structures of families are changing. These changes impact consumers demands and requirements in daily life.” “Companies used to drive change. Today, consumers are in the driving seat,” said McLoughlin, adding: “The ideas, lifestyles, demands and behaviours of people will always triumph over political agendas or business plans.” In particular he cited the increased pressures placed on a company’s reputation by social networks. “By their behaviour and interaction with each other, consumers have a direct power to redraw entire markets and product categories and brands,” he said. But this was no bad thing: “That’s positive, and that’s fair.” It would, however, place h i g h e r d e m a n d s o n companies in terms of quality, service, transparency and functionality. “Only manufacturers keeping their promises will survive,” he said. His company was “Only manufacturers keeping their promises will survive” engaging with consumers more than ever, inviting them to help shape and design its products. It was becoming more adaptable, he said, without losing the strong heritage of its Electrolux and AEG brands. He ended on a hopeful note: “We believe that consumers will always need and always appreciate relevant, innovative, sustainable and beautiful products that will make their lives easier and more enjoyable. As long as we continue to deliver what they really need, producing and selling appliances will remain a vibrant, growing and successful industry.” Hall 4.1 Stand 101 Earthquake Spurs Toshiba To Think Smarter by Neil Crossley Sombre images of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami provided a poignant introduction to yesterday’s keynote speech by Masaaki Osumi, Executive Officer, Corporate Senior Vice President, President and CEO of Digital Products and Services Company, Toshiba Corporation. The tragedy of Tohoku has informed and defined Toshiba’s intention to create Toshiba’s Masaaki Osumi: creating “a symbiotic relationship between the digital home and energy” a symbiotic relationship between the digital home and energy. Japan has been forced to relearn the value of energy, Osumi said, adding that the energy of the future must be flexible, renewable and local. Osumi spoke of the changing values in Japan, citing the emergence of a ‘Kizuna society’, in which sympathy and bonding among communities is paramount. Such a society will drive urban planning, he said, and create a huge opportunity for creative reconstruction and a sustainable society. Smart communities will be integral to such a future, he added. In a bid to help create such a future, Toshiba is developing a diverse range of digital solutions for smart communities. These include the Zero Watt semi-conductor and the Smart Building Energy Management System (BEMS), which detects people’s movements around their homes, and controls the air-conditioning and heating accordingly. Energy management is pivotal to Toshiba’s new products, Osumi said, showcasing the AT200, hailed as “the worlds’ thinnest tablet”, which will shut down if power consumption exceeds a certain level. He also demonstrated the Peak Power Shift Function TV, which offers three hours viewing with built-in battery. Osumi observed that this TV, which was launched in Japan three months after the Tohoku disaster, has helped cater to a country crippled by an ailing national grid. “Japan has been forced to relearn the value of energy” Toshiba will continue to put energy management at the centre of its smart communities, he added. “Toshiba is moving forwards by deepening its engagement in energy management and smart communities. We will continue to foster greater bonds between people and these communities.” Hall 21 Stand 101 www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Saturday 3 rd & Sunday 4 th September 2011 3

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