With a good product, everything will take care of itself: Global Marketing Head, OnePlus

Kyle Kiang, the Global marketing head announced plans to open five new experience centres and 10 service centres across India.

The OnePlus 6 launch event in Mumbai saw the arrival of not just the latest smartphone, but also the Avengers limited edition One and OnePlus Bullet Wireless headphones among much fanfare.

The ticketed-event, attended by celebrities such as actor Amitabh Bachchan and actress Aditi Rao Hydari, was sold out in a day.

The huge turnout and the excitement surrounding the launch was a testimony of the extensive fan-base and brand recall that OnePlus enjoys on the back of the success of its earlier models, the most recent being OnePlus 5t. And Kyle Kiang, Global Head of Marketing, OnePlus, is surely aware of the smartphone’s popularity in India.

“The awareness for OnePlus is higher in India than any other country,” said Kiang.

Kiang insists that despite being a digital-first brand, OnePlus will expand its offline presence so that the consumers get to experience the product.

“We plan to open five new experience centres and 10 service centres across India. Users want services and do like to physically experience the device,” he said.

For OnePlus, the overall strategy is more focused on product development, shared Kiang. As a result their products are “heavily influenced from feedback” given by users, he said.

The Global Marketing Head added, “We continue to engage closely with the user base.” And so, the company still banks on the word-of-mouth publicity. “Users help spread the word if we make a good product. That’s what we believe in,” said Kiang.

The buzz surrounding the phone started earlier this month when Amitabh Bachchan posted on Twitter a photo of himself holding a white model of the phone with OnePlus Founder and CEO Pete Lau. It piqued everyone’s interest. Then came the May cover of Vogue India that featured Aditi Rao Hydari using OnePlus6 smartphone. The picture was clicked by fashion and portrait photographer Errikos Andreou.

Prior to the launch, the Chinese handset company had rolled out a Snapchat campaign, one of the first in the category in India, to cash in on the popularity of the social media platform among the youth. Through vertical video ads on the platform, OnePlus communicated the cutting edge features of the latest handset to the millennial audience.

When asked if marketing in India is any different from overseas, Kang replied, “Some things are similar like the social media content. There is some regionalization, but at the end of the day what makes OnePlus different are brand tone and approach, which are consistent across all markets. The point of everything we do comes back to product.”
The brand’s strategy has changed, right from its entry in 2014 when phones were available on invite-only to taking the traditional route of signing on Bachchan as its brand ambassador in 2017.

In no time, the brand gained popularity and earned a reputation as a leading mid-range smartphone. In fact, the demand for the first smartphone was so high that traffic to the website hit 25.6mn visits in December 2014, within one year of the launch of the site.

Kang, however, said that their strategy has not changed much.

“We believe if we make a good product everything will take care of itself. Our success has been based on making good products consistently. We are not driven by business strategy of segmentation,” he said.

“We believe if we make good product more people will find out,” said the Global Marketing signing off.

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