Oppo and Vivo: New Kids On The Block

July 28, 2017 Oppo and Vivo New Kids On The Block @TheRoyaleIndia 1342 0 0

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Cover image credits – gadgetmatch.com

A Chinese Invasion of the Indian market is well underway! But there’s no need to panic. This invasion has only benefits for the Indian consumer. Recent years have seen an influx of several brands with their design and production processes centered in China. Cheap labour and material costs coupled with the debt-light capital structure of China has enabled them to offer quality products at very reasonable costs. Latest Chinese entrants to the smartphone game exude class and style and have captured both user’s imagination and market share. Boasting the very latest developments in mobile computing and connectivity, along with incisive and immensely effective marketing techniques, several Chinese enterprises have burst on to the scene and immediately gone about their business with ruthless efficiency.

Games of Phones for the Thrones

A cursory glance over latest market shares exactly how dominant Chinese enterprises are in the smartphone segment. Chinese companies now boast 51% market share in the smartphone segment, most of which has been captured in recent years. Xaiomi, Lenovo, LeEco, Gionee are but a few of the companies churning out one product after the other, all of which have been embraced by the Indian consumer with open arms. Shrewd positioning of products and revolutionary market tactics have supplemented already overflowing goodwill towards these brands, and their sales figures have rocketed skyward. Indian enterprises such as Micromax, Karbonn and Lava which had more than held their own in the Indian market have been literally blown away!

These companies have consistently been able to offer premium features at competitive prices, which have changed consumer expectations to a large extent. Enterprises such as Samsung and Apple have had to rethink their entire pricing model to contend with the sudden rise in competition, and have even lost ground in the market to these companies.

But the most meteoric rise in recent years has been that of BBK Electronics. While this name might not register immediately on the minds of the average consumer that of their individual brands definitely will be Oppo and Vivo!

For the past several months, these entities have been on what can only be described as a marketing blitzkrieg. Drive in any city, in any direction, and you are bound to come across an Oppo or Vivo hoarding before you can finish counting to ten! BBK Electronics is on a war footing, and if rumours are to be believed, their outlay purely on marketing for the year 2017 is believed to be in the region of 2200 crore!

Revolutionary Marketing and Its Impact

This marketing plan isn’t thoughtless pumping in of money but calculated and precise capturing of consumer attention. They have gone to great lengths to understand the Indian psyche, and this is evident in the nature of their spending.

Vivo is the official title sponsor of the Indian Premier League, the largest sporting event in India. This has guaranteed visibility to the brand, and the effectiveness of this move is stressed by the fact that Vivo is now the third most popular brand in India. Its market share of 10.5% is phenomenal considering how little time it has needed to achieve this.

Oppo has also played the cricket card, but it has taken it one step further. It is now the title sponsor of the Indian cricket team! The representatives of more than 1.3 Billion cricket-crazy Indians walk on to the field with the words “Oppo” emblazoned on their chests. What a marketing masterstroke! Whatever costs incurred to make this happen have no doubt been recovered with the consequent upswing in sales. The unveiling of the Indian team jersey along with the launch of the Oppo F3 ensured that absolutely no one went unaware of this new sponsorship deal, generating publicity for the brand simultaneously.

Oppo and Vivo: New Kids On The Block

Image credits – deccanchronicle.com

Vivo has also chosen to sponsor the Pro Kabaddi League. By choosing to associate itself with such an earthy and exclusively Indian sport, it has enabled people from even remote corners of the country to identify with the brand. This is proof of the extensiveness of their marketing campaign!

Social media home pages are now dominated by images of people smiling at their own screens. Recently, several apps such as Snapchat and Instagram have taken it to the next level, with their dog filters and innovative animations. The fact that sticking your tongue out for a photo is now socially acceptable behaviour is testament to the universal nature of the “Selfie phenomenon”!

Every smartphone in the present market boasts of a good selfie camera, but only Oppo and Vivo have identified the Selfie for the cultural phenomenon it is! Their ads promise a perfect selfie anytime, and they are the only companies among the top few mobile enterprises to offer dual selfie cameras on their models. Oppo and Vivo models now offer a different camera for both single and group selfie, and this has been a huge hit among users. Both these brands have milked the latest global wave of narcissism to their benefit.

Most companies have one or a maximum of two brand ambassadors for a specific market. BBK has put paid to this trend by hiring an entire roster of celebrities to endorse their products. Roping in celebrities like Hrithik Roshan, Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Amy Jackson has further enhanced their credibility, with images of these gorgeous individuals beaming at phone screens and clicking picture perfect selfies making the phones appear very desirable. Oppo and Vivo models are recording never-before-seen sales figures for a company so new to the Indian market.

Market projections show that if BBK Electronics continues this level of spending for marketing, its objective of replacing Samsung as the single largest entity in the Indian market will be achieved sometime in the near future!

BBK’s Modus Operandi

In recent years, several companies have gone the unconventional route and released their phones exclusively on online portals such as Flipkart and Amazon. The rationale behind such a move is to eliminate all the middlemen. A large amount needs to be paid to retailers and everyone in between for their services, which often leads to the phone price being jacked up to compensate for these very expenses. Phones such as Xiaomi and Lenovo (through their daughter brand Motorola) have identified online portals as their avenue of choice. This allows them to provide more features for the same price, by dealing directly with the consumer.

Oppo and Vivo: New Kids On The Block

Image credits – Linkedin

Vivo and Oppo’s initial forays into the Indian market were through the online route. But due to a lack of visibility, coupled with tough competition from a plethora of companies offering smartphones with huge processing power at reduced prices, BBK Electronics struggled to get noticed and stay afloat. This necessitated a huge change in mentality and priority. And their think tank delivered big time!

By restricting themselves to the online market, BBK Electronics were, in fact, tying their hands behind their backs. They were missing out on a whole market of consumers who were not accustomed to shopping on the Internet. In spite of a thousand-fold increase in Internet literacy and penetration, a large majority of Indian consumers preferred to do all their shopping after physical interaction with the product. Being able to see the product, feel it in their hands and admire its aesthetic qualities in anytime much more effective than 10 photos of a phone from various angles!

Another major touchpoint was availability! The logistical nightmares associated with ordering a phone online are too numerous to list out! Several companies followed the practice of organizing flash sales, which in all honesty is a bit of a hassle. The average Indian consumer does not want to set aside an hour of his day to stay online and bid for a phone along with several thousand others! In several cases, such as that of the phones were often sold out within seconds, leading to great frustration for prospective buyers. It is the pure quality of the phone that has made it such a success in spite of these availability issues.

For all the Indian government efforts, digitalization is still quite a distant dream. People do not entirely trust paying with debit and credit cards, let alone online wallets!

Game-Changing Strategy

All these challenged to online retail were duly recognized by the powers that be at BBK Electronics, and a plethora of changes were implemented. The most prominent among these was the expansion of offline sales. Great efforts were taken to ensure that Oppo and Vivo phones were stocked at all major mobile phone retailers. These retailers were also given large margins and sale related benefits.

The sales network of Oppo and Vivo phones has now extended beyond normal retail stores to avenues such as phone service centres, individual shops etc. They are aiming to capture market share in even remote areas by introducing them to smartphones through Oppo and Vivo. This attention to detail and virtual mushrooming of places selling BBK products has made them the most easily accessible brand in India.

BBK Electronics banked on the fact that, when a person makes a phone purchase, the first person they are likely to ask for advice is the person selling it! A person who deals with mobile phones on a daily basis has huge credibility in the eyes of the consumer. And with such performance related bonuses, BBK has ensured that such retailers will actively promote the product. These retailers also repay this loyalty by displaying BBK products very prominently. All these factors have supplemented BBK’s already burgeoning sales numbers.

The Jio Effect

Call it coincidence or a marriage of convenience, but the truth is BBK has benefitted greatly from the Reliance Jio revolution. With the release of Jio sims, India has now overtaken USA and China in terms of daily data usage. But during the time of release, there was a shortage of VoLTE enabled smartphones which could handle Jio’s HD calls. This shortage was promptly addressed by BBK products.

Being the most readily available VoLTE smartphones, Oppo and Vivo models were gobbled up by the 4G hungry masses. Jio has continued to astound, BBK has continued to sell and India has continued to consume both 4G data, with everyone but the latter laughing all the way to the bank!

New Heirs to the Throne?

If current market trends continue, Samsung’s reign as king of the smartphones looks to be coming to an end. But with the launch of the Note 8 and also several other new smartphones from various enterprises in the pipeline, it isn’t going to be a stroll in the park for BBK. All that’s left to do is to wait, and watch!

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