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Retail & digital push for Lenovo’s smartphone foray

02-November-2012
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Retail & digital push for Lenovo’s smartphone foray

To grab a share of the pie, PC maker Lenovo has entered the growing smartphone market of India. This move is a step forward in the brand’s overall four-screen strategy, which comprises PC, tablets, smartphones, and smart TVs.

This launch primarily targets the youth segment. The brand is launching in five markets in the first phase, namely, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat.

“The reason for choosing these markets is that they are very significant in terms of the size of the Indian smartphone market. By covering these five states, we have covered 25 per cent to 30 per cent of the market share,” said Shailendra Katyal, Director Marketing, Lenovo India.

“Our brand and retail presence is also very strong in these markets through our Lenovo stores. For e.g., in Gujarat we already have 100 Lenovo stores, through which we are selling computers now. But, it is very easy to extend this to another category,” he added.

According to Amar Babu, Managing Director, Lenovo India, the brand plans to adopt the strategy of learning and growing in these markets in the first phase. It will then adapt those learning to other markets moving forward.

“Having witnessed success in the PC space, our entry into the smartphones category is a strategic move that reinforces our commitment to lead technology and innovation across the four screens. The number of consumers adopting smarter, wireless technology in the country is on the rise and we anticipate a huge increase in smartphone users. Lenovo smartphones offer a compelling value proposition for the Indian consumer and we are confident that our audiences will strongly consider our product portfolio,” added Babu.

The brand’s marketing and communication plan will focus on retail and digital in the first phase; television is not included in the phase. The brand will leverage its overall 1000 retail touch-points and also create content around the digital medium via campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, etc. The brand’s consumer engagements activities will also include mall activations.

“We will create and build excitement for youngsters and ensure our presence at all youth hangouts,” added Katyal.

With the smartphone category getting increasingly competitive, what is the differentiator that Lenovo will provide? 

“We listen to our consumers very intently and design products according to their needs. We will leverage our strengths of product, distribution and brand in India, which gives us an edge over other brands,” said JD Howard, Vice President, Lenovo MIDH. 

“Lenovo has built a solid and successful mobile phone business in China, reaching the number two position in the smartphone category in less than 18 months. We have reached a critical expansion point where we can use the solid platform we have established to expand to other countries and bring our leading technology to many more users. Moreover, we have a long-term plan and strategy; we want to become a household name,” concluded Howard.

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