People call Xiaomi the ‘Apple of China’. That’s an ironic statement, don’t you think? Why? Oh, because most of the production of parts for Apple takes place in China. Xiaomi has bright coloured retail outlets – like Apple. Their staff wears solid coloured t-shirts – like Apple. Their products are sleek in design – like Apple.
But is there more to this similarity? Or the ‘Apple of China’ parts way from Apple on these notes only? Let us understand and see how they disrupted the entire smartphone segment in India.
Apple is at the forefront of technological innovation. At least they were for many years. That’s what made them such a great company. But the model of Xiaomi is different but they are doing the same thing, to a great extent.
What made Xiaomi a great success in China? They are building premium smartphones but selling them at a very low price. They used the same strategy to enter the Indian smartphone market and establish themselves. And not going to lie, their marketing tactic was 100% on point.
2010, Beijing. Xiaomi is born.
The first international voyage to Singapore in 2014 marked the beginning of something extraordinary. Because since then, Xiaomi is now present in more than 80 different markets. Now, it is the #1 smartphone company in India. Also, Xiaomi is the world’s youngest company on Fortune Global 500.
Did you know that almost 40% of their total revenue comes from outside China? That’s quite a great number for a company dubbed ‘Apple of China’. I think they are not ‘anything of China’ now, right?
If I remember correctly, July 2014 is the time of Xiaomi’s entry in India. Before that, the smartphone market in India shows two extremes. In the ring, on the right, we have premium smartphones like Xperia, Samsung Galaxy, etc. Packed with Snapdragon SOC, water resistance features, powerful cameras, HD and AMOLED screens.
In the left, the other extreme, we have companies like Lava, Karbonn, and Micromax. What do they offer? Poor processors, low battery backup, limited RAM, and really bad cameras. And their audacity? They still want to charge you 10-12k.
Enters wildcard. Xiaomi Mi3. Their offering:
For only ₹12,999 on Flipkart. Their server crashed during sales. The stock number that should last one week got sold out in minutes. Why? Because Indians want great features for a cheap price. Exactly what this company offered.
Xiaomi operates on the Kano Model. Now, what on earth is a Kano Model? Well, if you want to understand that on a deep level, read it here. But I’ll show you a quick example of how Xiaomi used this in their marketing technique.
The premise of the Kano Model is ‘Always delight the customer with your product.’ There are 4 types of product categories:
Your product excites the customer but does not solve their needs.
Your product excites the customer and solves their needs.
Your product neither excites the customers nor solves their needs.
Your product does not excite the customers but solves their needs.
Most indigenous mobile manufacturers were operating in the quadrant 4 of the matrix. Xiaomi offered them products from quadrant 1 – the golden area. Not only Indian manufacturers, but Xiaomi also outshone several foreign brands as well.
They always offered something more to the customer for the same price as their competition. Why? Because they were going one step more to fulfil the needs of the customer and get them excited. What does the Indian customer want? To get as many features and specifications as possible for their investment. And I am sure most of the mobile shoppers look for the same thing.
Another successful marketing strategy for Xiaomi is their flash sale. They hold flash sales every few days for their latest product lines. This creates a fear of missing out in the mind of their buyers. Hence, Xiaomi can attract more potential buyers to their sale and ensure that all their units are sold in the sale.
Another marketing strategy that proved beneficial for Xiaomi India was riding the “Made in India” bandwagon. Though these phones were only being assembled in India, consumers immediately felt a connection with the brand.
If you are looking to establish yourself in a foreign market, align with the local sentiment. Londonlenders UK For example, if you want to establish yourself in China, learning the mandarin language will be a bonus. Any foreign market that you want to expand, market yourself by knowing the consumer behaviour and preference there just like how Xiaomi identified the gap in the Indian smartphone market.
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