China’s leading smartphone brand adapts to Indian market
Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone startup that has rapidly become China’s most popular smartphone brand, recently made its entry into the Indian market with the Mi 3 model.
The company, which is often accused of borrowing visual aspects from the western Apple brand, tailored its strategy to make it more suitable for Indian consumers.
Xiaomi largely relies on social media, rather than advertising, and it used Indian online marketplace Flipkart to launch the Mi 3. Chinese brands often have a bad reputation in India and Xiaomi chose to rebrand itself as Mi, a global name that could also be used during future expansion.
Motorola has previously used Flipkart to sell in India. The nature of the flash sale technique used by Xiaomi means that there is a lot of build-up in the run-up to the product launch, when the products become available they sell out very fast thus creating an even greater demand when the the next sale comes around. Xiaomi has already held three flash sales since it first launched its product in India three weeks ago.
However, although Xiaomi is currently benefitting from the buzz, it needs to consider its long term reputation since its entire brand reputation in India to date is centred on the Mi 3. Criticisms made during Mi 3 flash sales; such as lack of inventory and a confusing registration process, could become associated with the brand and affect its long-term image.