What’s in the Marketing (of a phone)?

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What’s in the Marketing (of a phone)?

Xiaomi’s Mi3 is touted as the “Apple of China”, and rightly so, considering the publicity it is been getting in almost every city in India. The world’s biggest smart phone market, China, saw Mi3 comfortably outshining Samsung to be the No.1, holding a 14 per cent market share in the second quarter of 2014 and selling about 1.5 crore smart phones in China as against 1.32 crore of Samsung smart phones.

Soon after the phone brand decided to launch their smart looking, fully-featured Mi3 in the price-sensitive market in India, the phone got sold like hot cakes. To start with, they launched in India one of their premier phones, Mi3, at a much cheaper price than its counterparts with, well, almost identical specs. With Flipkart being its only online sales partner, it opened sales of the phones for four weeks until now, releasing about 55 thousands handsets for sale. Although the figure might not seem to be exciting right now, the demand is already crossed a couple of hundred thousand buyers. The process was simple, if you had to buy a phone, register yourself online before waiting for the day the sale opened and making the big purchase. The last time I logged in to the Flipkart website, it showed as many as 1,00,000 registrations for a total of 20 thousand phones which were to be released on August 12, 2014. When the day came, as it has happened on previous three occasions, the phone got sold off in less than 10 seconds.

Isn’t it a great marketing tactic? I believe it is. It has created a solid demand for sales with over a hundred thousand people registering for as less as 20 thousand handsets. Who would have hoped for a brand launch like that? And with specs equivalent to its counterparts priced twice as much, it could well be a win-win situation for both the company and the customers. In addition, it is also helping Flipkart increase their shoppers’ traffic. The whole deal of going through a three-tier process before buying a “phone” has only helped the company have an awesome brand recall and also to have its item written about in various online portals and newspapers.

People are telling each other how they are the first buyers of the “exclusive” phone, friends are betting upon who will grab it first and the word-of-mouth is working in the most amazing way. The best part is that the Chinese smart phone market has opened up in the country like never before, without spending lakhs of rupees on the traditional marketing channels. Smart company, smart phone and smart marketing – this phrase here sums up the Mi3 story in India.


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