Pitch CMO Summit 2020: Xiaomi believes in putting fans first: Anuj Sharma

Sharma the Head of Marketing at Xiaomi India explains how in just five years, the brand beat competition to become number one in India with its high-quality-yet-honest-pricing & fans-first approach

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Feb 29, 2020 8:48 AM  | 4 min read
Anuj Sharma

The Pitch CMO Summit 2020- Mumbai was held at the Taj Santacruz on February 28, 2020. This year’s theme is ‘The Big Brand Story.’ Among the eminent speakers at the summit was Anuj Sharma, Head of Marketing, Xiaomi India. In his session titled ‘Xiaomi India’s Playbook: Why less is more’,  he discussed Xiaomi's brand journey and the unique marketing techniques that helped the brand reach the number one position.

Sharma started his address with a short ad, showing how Xiaomi become the common man's phone in India. He explained that the handsets have become so ubiquitous,  more than 50% people in a room of 10 own a Mi phone.

While it's the smartphone that Xiaomi is widely known for, it has been leading in the electronic goods and service field too, explained Sharma.

He highlighted that the core value of Xiaomi is to innovate for everyone and for last 5 years, they're extensively working towards the same.

He believes that the latest technology is for not only the super-rich but everyone. And Xiaomi has been leaving no stone unturned to deliver the latest technology to everyone and to uplift the entire demographic. According to him, the actual meaning of economic development is to ensure that technology reaches even at the remotest place on the earth, and that's what Xiaomi was born with and stands for.

Further, he highlighted that the core philosophy of the brand has been best specs, highest quality and honest pricing. While offering the highest quality in the industry, Xiaomi also limits the pricing to 5 per cent of the profit margin. 

Sharma revealed that maintaining the highest quality at limited pricing has always been the biggest challenge for any marketer. But at Xiaomi, they've kept the quality standards same across the world. Be it a phone under 10k or a phone costing 40k, Xiaomi maintains similar quality standards in all their products.

Xiaomi entered the Indian market in 201. In just a short time span, they transformed the Indian Smartphone market.

The Chinese Smartphone giant entered in India with just a Facebook page fan page which then had 10 thousand members. "Initially, we brought only 10 thousands units of Mi 3 in India with a hope that at least those 10 thousand members of our Facebook fan page will buy a Xiaomi phone," said Sharma.

Interestingly, when they launched those 10 thousands units of Mi 3 on Flipkart, the site crashed in two hours because for every Mi 3 unit, more than 100 people were placing orders.

"From there, Xiaomi started its phenomenal journey in India and today in just about five years we have become the number 1 smartphone brand in the country," he said.

However, for initial 2-3 years, Samsung was running ahead of Mi. But for the last two and a half years, Xiaomi has overtaken the Korean electronics giant and maintained the tag of being the number 1 in the smartphone industry.

In 2018, Xiaomi also launched smart TV as an extension of their idea: 'Innovation for Everyone'

"Presently, we are a number one smartphone brand from last 2.5 years; In 2018, we launched smart TVs, and right now, we are almost equal to the brand share of Sony, LG and Samsung all put together," revealed Sharma.

"Why Less Is More?" The phrase might sound like a cliche but that's what Xiaomi believes in. " I don't believe in spending much on advertising but keeping the fans first," said Sharma.

"As a #digitalfirst brand, everything we do is put up on Twitter, Instagram, Youtube," he said. Sharma revealed that Xiaomi has more than 20 fan clubs, where they share each development. Moreover, the brand also believes in eliminating the cluttered marketing channel and connecting directly with their passionate customers.

Xiaomi also has a Mi community app which is Xiaomi Community's official Android APP and a home for Mi fans in India. "The application has more than 11 million registered users. The platform helps you share your ideas and interact with other Mi fans on-the-move. It offers a fast and intuitive interface to post threads, reply, read news and interact with others", elucidated Sharma.

He also went on to explain why the brand chose Ranveer Singh as its ambassador. "Singh gels with Xiaomi's brand image. He has the same wile energy and out-of-the-box thinking," he explained.

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