In a span of four years since its launch in India, OnePlus-a smartphone brand based in China has taken over the likes of Apple and Samsung in the region. The Shenzhen based, OnePlus, made its debut in India in December 2014 and by this February, the company held a 48 percent share of the Indian premium smartphone segment according to sources in the International Data Corporation (IDC). Amitabh Bachchan is the brand ambassador of the brand although this is just one of the reasons for the brand’s bigger growth driver.
“The feedback on their products have been really good and they’ve built up brand equity over the last two to three years by not scattering across different price brands and instead focussing on one,” said Tarun Pathak, associate director at Counterpoint Research.
The brand aims to build the reputation of the product through “Community-building” which isn’t new to India but has been implemented well in the South Asian markets. European countries like Italy and Germany have OnePlus pop-up monthly events and there was a global launch event in London for the OnePlus 6 with over 1500 attendees. The company has likewise engaged its Indian audience with the same tactics.
Apart from large- and small-scale offline meets and giveaways, these community building efforts work on the back of social media channels—a far more cost-effective strategy than traditional media.
“TV ads and billboards are quite an expensive affair in India. Just prime time ad rates must be really out of budget for a lot of brands looking to be profitable and struggling for margins,” Rushabh Doshi, an analyst at Singapore-based market research firm Canalys, said. “In a world where social media is everything, (community-building) is a different kind of placement marketing.”
OnePlus got a boost in the Indian market when there weren’t many option available in the market-with the likes of just Samsung, LG and Apple existing. The models of the phone are also priced competitively than the expensive Apple ones for example, OnePlus 6 is priced 65 percent cheaper than the iPhone X which costs far more in India
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