The smartphone market has undergone a 360-degree transformation within a year in India. Until recently, the market was dominated by established brands, leaving little scope or space for new players.
It all changed after Xiaomi, OnePlus and Lenovo entered the market and achieved success without unleashing an advertisement blitzkrieg across media platforms. They made big smartphone makers wonder how these companies could achieve groundbreaking success, despite intense competition.
Here, we bring you the six success mantras of the three companies that enabled them to achieve success in a short time.
Before Xiaomi Mi 3 was launched last August, nobody ever imagined that a unibody Snapdragon800 powered smartphone with FHD display could be bought for just ₹15,000.
Did anyone dare dream about buying a mid-budget smartphone with S801 processor, 3GB RAM and 64GB stoage at such a price before OnePlus One appeared in the market? Unlikely.
Did any optimist ever imagine a smartphone with 4G connectivity, 720p display with a decent configuration at an affordable price until Lenovo launched A6000? Probably not.
Yes, these three companies made it possible by launching smartphones with a shocking price-to-performance ratio, enabling them to sell their devices easily to price-conscious Indian consumers.
Respect the power of Community
It was Cyanogen, which showed the strength of having a community full of enthusiasts and developers. The process can actually bring out the best out of a company with minimum expenditure. Yes, it makes everything very open, but being part of the community and wishing to be a geek among friends is a cool thing, isn't it?
Both Xiaomi and OnePlus were serious and sincere in co-opting such communities from the beginning; Lenovo joined the bandwagon later to derive similar advantage.
Engage consumers directly
For these conmpanies, a product launch is much more than inviting the media, as was seen during the Xiaomi Mi 4i event. There were about 1,500 fans, apart from journalists and other invitees, who attended the event.
Engaging fans directly during a product launch makes sense, for it gives them an adrenalin rush that transforms them into brand evangelists. The exercise does not cost much, just strategic thinking and smart execution.
These evangelists become brand ambassadors, so to speak, influencing buying decisions of consumers.
Hogging the limelight
In a fiercely competitive business, sustained visibility is very important. The three companies deploy a range of methods to achieve that: announcing price reduction, offering refurbished phones for a lesser price and releasing teasers on upcoming launches. This way, they ensure brand recall is high among onsumers.
Xiaomi, OnePlus and Lenovo focus hard to dispel the notion that a product that is offered at a lesser price would be low on quality as well.
They also make sure to pick everything properly, even if it the packaging box, to make their devices look as good as any reputed brand would.
Create artificial demand
It was Xiaomi which started the flash sales process in India through its partner Flipkart. Later, Lenovo adopted it to sell its budget smartphones A6000, A6000 Plus and A7000.
In flash sales, consumers register to buy gadgets on a particular day of a week, on first- come-first-served basis. Many wannabe consumers fail, as the stocks are limited. The failure makes them crave to buy the handset even more, which gives the brands a huge number of followers who keep following every news about the brand.
OnePlus had a different strategy of selling its phone through invitation basis. Though the company put its OnePlus One on open sale subsequently, it might resort to the invitation mode for OnePlus 2.