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Want to position Oppo as a tech and innovation brand and not just a selfie phone, says Will Yang

In an interview with BestMediaInfo, Oppo's Brand Director Will Yang shared the company's marketing strategy for the India market and also spoke about the brand's upcoming launches. The brand has launched its premium phone Find X in India at Rs 59,990

Will Yang

Chinese mobile phone manufacturer Oppo, known for its high quality camera phones in India, wants to move the brand's positioning from a mere 'selfie expert' to a technology and innovation brand.

The mobile phone manufacturer has mostly talked about its camera quality in all its brand campaigns, which has made it popular among India's selfie lovers.

Will Yang, Brand Director, Oppo India, said, “We were the first brand to launch an eight-megapixel camera in the world and that actually is an innovation, but we did not highlight the word innovation, we focused on the word ‘Selfie Expert’. All the technology behind such a camera requires innovation.”

“We will now talk about the technology behind being a ‘Selfie Expert’. We would still be talking about selfies but will have to highlight innovation as our brand’s positioning and not only focus on the selfies,” he added.

Representing Oppo’s innovative spirit, the brand announced the launch of its flagship smartphone Find X in India. Find X’s features include a Panoramic arc design – 6.42-inch screen with a screen ratio of 93.8% and stealth 3D cameras. The phone falls under the premium category and is priced at Rs 59,990. Find X will go on sale from August 3, 2018, on Flipkart and all offline stores and the pre-order will begin on July 25, 2018, on Flipkart.

Commenting on the marketing strategy of Find X, Yang said, “We will limit focus on the PR activities for this phone. We don’t have very high expectation on the sales volumes because the price is premium.”

The brand will now also talk about the phone’s speed and battery-related technology in its communication.

The company's marketing investment is divided into two main streams in India as it focuses on sports marketing and entertainment. The brand has been associated with prime TV properties such as Big Boss and Dance Plus in the past. The brand also used celebrities rigorously in its communication and has associated with Sonam Kapoor in the past and currently with Deepika Padukone and Siddharth Malhotra. On the sports front, Oppo has been one of the major sponsors for ICC, the Indian cricket team and other sports events in India.

Oppo allocates most of its marketing spend on TV and then on the digital front as Yang believes, “Traditional media helps to occupy the consumers' mindshare well in the Indian market.”

The company has never had a permanent creative partner in India and has worked with various creative agencies on each project. Giving the rationale behind working with different agencies over the years and not having a single agency for a long term, Yang said, “People will lose the curiosity of the brand if the advertising looks similar each time. The brand might not find a problem in a particular pattern of creatives, but the customers would get tired of it.”

According to the IDC (International Data Corporation) data, Oppo has a 7.4% market share, maintaining its position at no. 3 followed by Vivo at no. 4 with a 6.7% market share. The no.1 position is held by Xiaomi with 30.3% market share and at no.2 is Samsung with a market share of 25.1% in India.

Last year, Oppo reported a massive 750% jump in sales. The brand receives most of its demand from the tier 1 and 2 cities.

The (IDC) Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report also states that the India smartphone market saw a shipment of 30.0 million units in 2018 Q1, making it the strongest start to a year and maintaining a healthy year on year growth of 11%. However, the market remained almost flat compared to the previous quarter 2017 Q4.

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