In the very competitive world of Smartphones where every brand is competing with the other based on hardware specifications and discounts, OPPO is doing something that has caught our attention. I have been trying to understand what’s going on with OPPO that has been spending a lot of money on the conventional marketing & pricing their phones very high when compared to what’s available on the market.
To get started first we take a look at the recently announced two phones in the F Series Smartphones lineup, ie.. the OPPO F1 & OPPO F1 Plus. Both of these devices were being promoted as Selfie Centric devices keeping the conventional benchmarks & hardware related marketing. The F1 came with a 294 PPI display that’s considered pretty low these days along with a normal 2500 mAh battery, nothing that’s really special out of the box.
With all these standard specifications how is OPPO able to crack the market and get massive sales? Well, the answer lies in the title itself. The brand has opted for conventional marketing with the majority of the push being through offline campaigns. According to Economic Times, they have seen a 30% monthly sales that are huge when compared to the other brands that have been racing neck and neck. The Chinese Smartphone maker is planning to spend 10 times more in the coming year seeing the success while they had already spent Rs 100 Crore during the World T20 championship.
The brand has also invested Rs 100 crore in the new Noida Facility to manufacture phones in India, where they are expected to produce a million 4G Smartphones every month that could be a big number considering their sales in 2015 amounted to around a million in the whole year. It is guessed that around 20% of the total Smartphone sales are made online while the 80% is still controlled by the offline stores, which is where OPPO is focusing. Gionee has been a leader in promoting their devices offline that were primarily the reason why they have been successful with slow growth in the country & now OPPO is also following this strategy.
A month back when I had tweeted questioning the brand’s strategy of promoting the highly priced F1, I was under the delusion that people spend their money on devices based on the specifications & prices but I was wrong, based on the feedback received from a few offline retailers.
— Amit Bhawani (@amitbhawani) March 20, 2016
According to Shrutam Vijay Desai:
OPPO does have a different strategy but I don’t think it’s working out.
- Pure offline play – more efforts and time require to build a brand. No more than 20K activations a month and this massive manpower and marketing investment doesn’t make sense.
- Controlling prices (known as MOP) but I ensure that retailers push Oppo brand because of certain margin but without J series of Samsung is killing Oppo in more than 10k segment.
- No sustainable model in sub 10k segment which is exploding.
According to ITNet
OPPO is strictly maintaining the MOP (Maximum Offering Price), So the dealers are supporting them. The campaigns have bought them credibility. When we first started selling we had to explain to customers what Oppo is, and Now people come asking for OPPO.
The above mentioned line is a big deal for any brand because it has brought in demand for their products and people have found it a credible brand considering the major activities they have run. The brand has also clearly stopped online e-tailers from selling their devices that have been having a history of selling products at a loss to gain customers & showcase volumes.
Above is a copy of the Official Statement OPPO had released when Infibeam, an online eCommerce site had run a full-page advertisement around the F1 devices. OPPO has not authorized any online platform or dealer for online selling and based on the above ad, the brand had taken legal action against Infibeam. This was shared with all the dealers around the country informing them about the steps taken to control the MOP and also to show them the interest they have on the Brick & Mortar retailers.
The learnings from this story is that any brand shouldn’t just focus on online marketing because the majoring of the markets are still offline. The flash sales & other online sales are not 100% done by consumers because there’s again a major share held by offline retailers who purchase these online exclusive phones & sell them at a premium, ultimately proving that the online purchases are still are a far away and brands should be focusing more on making their products available in the offline markets.
When we asked OPPO about Online Vs Offline, here’s the answer.
We are making our offline/ retail presence strong as customers should have access to know and experience the device before they invest their money in it. We don’t deny the importance of online sales but right now it’s offline.
Note: We could not find the exact number of sales of the F1 in the country & have reached out to the brand on sharing some information on the same that could help us in comparing it with the other devices in the same price bracket. If you have purchased an OPPO Phone do comment below on what was the reason behind the decision, was it the features or the brand?