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5 Point Strategy of the BBK Trio - Oppo, Vivo, Oneplus



How is a little-known Chinese company BBK Electronics with three ...
There were many predictions about 2020 and most of them very glorified to the extent that it was the year which would be used as a benchmark for decades later. I guess that's not almost turning out to be true except in the sense which no one ever expected. One such disastrous incident to happen was the recent border clashes between India and China which led to heavy casualties on both sides. As if the COVID19 calamity scale pandemic wasn't enough, so called "Top" nations of the world are acting immaturely to say the least without being sensitive to the situation at hand. But, one thing that kept people hopes up was the launch of new range of smartphones post 1.3 Billion Lockdown. For the last 5 years, brands like Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, Oneplus have reached new heights after targeting the World's top 2 markets -India and China. Surely, it's not an easy feat to achieve and to maintain the lead, competing the other well established brands is rear achievement in itself. Many people have wondered about the stuff that made them this successful and perhaps they could emulate the same. I have tried to capture the key strategies that these manufacturers have implemented in order to reach this stage. Most of us may not know this - Chinese Multinational Conglomerate BBK has huge stakes in Oppo, Vivo and Oneplus. That would probably imply the exchange of technology and resources among the three to facilitate each other.

It's interesting to see how the 3 companies are majorly owned by one stakeholder and yet have used different strategies to reach the same destination. Sort of like "Divide and Conquer" used by the British when they first invaded India and used the Royal Kings against each other. Let's dive in to these key points : 

1. Starting off with Budget phones : 

Which phones are better: Oppo or Vivo? - Quora
Oppo is a 15 year old company in China and yet launched its first smartphone in India only in 2016. It was the Oppo F1 with Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 and 5 inches HD display.  Vivo is a 11 year old company and launched it's first phone in India in 2016. It was the Vivo Y51 with Qualcomm Snapdragon 410. Oneplus launched it's first phone in India in the year 2014 - the Historical OnePlus One and it was invite only basis with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 and 5.5 inches display. If you see the trend in the launch of these phones , they are all in the bracket of budget prices - Less than Rs.10,000 and Less than Rs.15000. Oppo and Vivo did have their base setup in China , but Oneplus was totally new to the smartphone scene. In India, we have saying " Sasta aur Tikaav" meaning "Cheap and Durable" - these brands took this slogan literally and delivered exactly the same. They were selling Phones for Cheap  and offered pretty decent quality. 



2. Offline Shops Incentives : 

Xiaomi's foreigner: Ov India "step by step" | domeet webmaster

If you go down the memory lane to 5 years back when your eyes were adjusted to seeing Nokia/Samsung Shop One in every 5 shops. And this scene had started to change around that time. Oppo and Vivo had slowly begun to replace the smartphone leaders at that time with their posters and banners. If you're wondering why that shift happened, it's because the shop owners were offered a huge commission on each sale of their product. Naturally, any businessman would prefer such kind of schemes. These brands were well aware of the tight network that these shop owners had and if word spread in the community , it would quickly become wildfire. And wildfire it became ! Within a year, you could hardly find any Samsung or Nokia offline stores on the streets. Even the sellers used techniques wherein they would convince the customer to buy these Oppo/Vivo phones over other brands. This was one of the main reasons why Oppo and Vivo started getting huge returns in offline deals. Within the next couple of years they were able to add brand ambassadors to their marketing gig with famous Bollywood stars making the deal. OnePlus was an exception to this as it was relatively new to the market and didn't have the capacity or logistics to support this strategy. They stuck to online only mode which had its own profit margin set.


3. Introduce Products in Every Price Range : 

BBK Electronics: Meet the company that owns OnePlus, OPPO, Vivo ...

Customers just love options. Even though they hate to make a choice among a ton of options, they just like the fact that the power to choose is with THEM! That's some serious kind of power, don't you think ? ;) After introducing budget smartphones with features of premium smartphones, Oppo and Vivo  started introducing phones in the range of Rs.15,000 to Rs.20,000 with discounts and other offers. This showed to the public that these Brands are here to stay and moreover they are venturing into offering much better quality phones with little increment in the price. They still introduced new models almost every quarter in the less than Rs.10,000 price bracket and promoted the higher priced models along with them. The technique was simple , take a budget phone specs - change either the processor or increase the RAM or increase the battery capacity or increase the resolution of the camera and you have a new model that has better specs and also demands higher price. The consumers were bored with the Nokia and Samsung phones that had a dull design to start with and prices that didn't match the specs. They preferred these new designs and flashy colors in the smartphones as if it was a "style" statement. Oneplus again didn't engage in this strategy and kept its head down and release One Quality Product Per Year.



OxygenOS 10.3.2 for the OnePlus 6 and 6T - OnePlus Community
4. Engage with Audience and Media : 

Vivo Club Indonesia - Events | Facebook
The Smartphone scenes were picking up in India in the 2013-14 time frame wherein the youth wanted better phones as more of them got access to internet. That was the element OnePlus had identified and immediately acted upon it. They created online communities and forums where they could directly interact with their users and fan base. It was a huge hit as people felt their voices and choices were being finally heard by someone. Oppo and Vivo sticked to their initial strategies as they didn't feel the need to actually do it. Oneplus was one of the first companies to do this which was later followed by Apple and other vendors. OnePlus also ensured that the suggestions from their actual fan base was implemented in their next product launch which was showcased in their Event of Launch. OnePlus events became the "much-awaited" event of the year mainly for the youngsters as they would be greeted with goodies and chance to interact with people who make the smartphone. This is probably one of the reasons why the "Brand" loyalty has only been increasing for OnePlus. All the 3 brands - Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus also started sharing demo variants of their flagship products with Social Media Influencers and the tabloids. This started a new wave of section in the News and Media dedicated for technology and the media absolutely loved it. This was the companies's way of improving their Marketing.

OPPO COMMUNITY APP FOR ALL OPPO USERS AND OPPO NEO 7 - YouTube














5. User Experience : 

OnePlus Camera V4 update brings new updated UI | BGR India

You might be wondering why I have kept User Experience in the last , because you always.. save the Best for the Last ! ;)  Here, I would specially highlight OnePlus's prowess and how it managed to finally get it right. OnePlus identified the impeccable merits of customizing Android UI which was readily available with Cyanogen Mod OS. They took that up , smoothened out the bugs , tested heavily , took in user inputs and bam! made a super smooth UI for Android for the first time. 

Vivo V15 Pro UI update - EOTO Tech

Until that, the reason why most people switched over to iOS was the ridiculously slow UI on Android. Now, the people had something to hold on to. The User Experience was the main USP of OnePlus and clicked well with audience throughout the world. Oppo and Vivo also started following this regime and started fine tuning their bloatware (unnecessary stuff that comes pre loaded on your phone). 


I realized when I was researching on how these brands rose to the top, it was more of gauging the consumer's mindset and what they want. It's often said that "Consumer doesn't know what he wants , So you need to tell him what he wants..!" Sometimes we cannot define exactly what we expect from the next iPhone or next Laptop or next Smart TV or Smartwatch, but it's the company that can have a vision in to the future and dictate what will be the new revolution. In this whole discussion , one thing I am sure you would have definitely concluded is BBK is one hell of smart investor!  I hope some of the budding entrepreneurs can identify similar strategies and fine tune it according to the consumer needs and define something unique in their brand. 

Do let me know if you were able to relate to these points. Cheers! Stay Safe 

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