It was early 2013 when there was a sudden surge of ‘Flash sales’ in the country. Back then, the general diaspora was not aware what it was all about. The only exception were a few techies who would sit in dingy cyber cafes, logging into their profiles at multiple computer systems and waiting patiently to buy a smart phone which goes by the name ‘Xiaomi’. The potential of this brand was only known by a collective group of smart phone enthusiasts for whom the specifications mattered more than the brand name. Cut to 2018, and the same brand now sells 6 lakh units in a matter of 3 seconds. Now that it is a flash sale! When it comes to mid-range smart phones, Xiaomi India is currently an unprecedented market leader. The specs that the mid-range phones offer are superior when compared the mid rangers that Samsung and Nokia phones are known for.
What is the secret to the success of a brand that is hardly 5 years old? Specifications are just one side of the story. Aggressive branding is a crucial signatory to the success of the brand. Following the specs and branding wagon, other Chinese brands have now started to follow the same track into the Indian market. Oppo and Vivo are creating a huge surge in the ‘off line ‘market with almost every 3rd phone being sold ‘off line’ or at conventional store being an Oppo or a Vivo. Thanks again to an aggressive marketing campaign.
We need to understand the model that these Chinese brands have adopted here. They went after the big fishes like sponsoring the game that our country considers a religion. By sponsoring the IPL in 2018, Vivo boosted its sales by a huge margin. The right investment sometimes beats the brand centric ideology that consumers in our country possess. There is a reason that a mainstream brand like Samsung with the best of celebrities promoting their products are finding it difficult to penetrate into the mid-range smart phone market which is booming at a very healthy rate. Thanks to cheap 4G services, people across all sections of society are waiting to get their hands on these mini computers. For a middle class man in India, his Vivo or Oppo is as good as any flagship because everyone is aware about the brand and after all, that’s what matters to the consumer. Using a product that is well known!
There sure are some hits and misses when it comes to smart phones like in the case of the Poco phone F1 by Xiaomi which is called the killer of the ‘flagship killer’ for all the right reasons. With the specs of a high-end smart phone i.e. Snapdragon 845, 6 GB of Ram and 64 GB of memory at a price of 21,000 INR is a complete steal. The same specs are in the One plus 6! The price for that? 37,000 INR! But again, the buyers for the Poco phone were sitting logged into different computers, ready to buy it the moment it was launched. The only difference? They were not sitting in dingy cyber cafes anymore but on their couches at home and most importantly, they aren’t nerds and techies anymore.