Q] Xiaomi has released the ‘Note kiya jaye’ campaign for its recently launched Redmi Note 7 Pro phone. Can you take us through the insight and the research that you had done before bringing out this campaign and your brief to the agency? Redmi Note 7 Pro is one of our key products and the entire Redmi Note line has always stood for getting cutting edge new innovation for our end consumers. This year with Redmi Note 7 Pro, we are actually bringing in a 48 megapixel camera and that too at a price-point that everyone can afford. When you bring in latest technology to the masses, the key challenge is explaining why they need it. And if you look at camera advertising on TV for phones, it has traditionally been very generic. People really didn’t get any benefit out of it. Every brand says they have a great camera and gets great pictures. And that is where we wanted to differentiate, by talking to them about the benefit they would get by using this camera. We wanted to connect to the masses with this.
And hence we took this joke of ‘dur se dekha’ and the second line would be ‘jab pass jaake dekha’ where the scene would change completely. And we used that insight to talk about the fact that with this 48 megapixel camera you can really zoom into your pictures and see those details. So, it is a product-focused campaign but with the connected insight which almost all of us during our childhood days would have heard.
Q] As you mentioned, every phone company today is talking about great quality pictures. Aren’t you talking about the same thing? The question was always saying how do we get the benefit of having this 48 megapixel camera conveyed to the consumers, and would people get it? Of course, with a camera like that, you do get the detailing, and you get a lot more vibrant images, but is that the key benefit that the consumer is looking at? The other marketing insight behind our campaign was that, in electronic shops and showrooms or even airports, when people see a phone on display, the first thing they do is test the camera, which is obviously becoming more and more important for phones. And once they have taken pictures, they always try and zoom in to see the detailing on that image. And that is something that a 48 megapixel camera really brings in, and that connects it back to the whole ‘Duur se dekha’ concept that is there on this campaign.
Q] What would be your target audience? For the Redmi line of phones, it has always been a young, tech-savvy audience. Our TG would be the college-goers, the early job-goers, more interested in tech and more interested in trying out new features. And with this campaign, you give them a reason to try out something like the Note 7 Pro.
Q] What is your campaign objective? At Xiaomi, for the first three years, we were entirely advertising online. The online consumer knows us fairly well. They are familiar with our products. And now we are at almost 50% of online smartphone sales. Over the last two years, we have been trying to get into retail. So, it’s both organized and unorganized retail. And there the consumers are still getting to know our brand. With this and a couple of other campaigns that we have had over the last couple of quarters, our idea is to increase awareness and get people interested in the brand. Of course, the hero for the brand is always the product, and hence you see the product out, front and centre.
Q] Are consumers getting confused with your company name Xiaomi and the product line Redmi in terms of branding? How is it affecting your brand? Xiaomi is the overall company. And all the other sub-brands fall into it. We have got Redmi as one line. And Redmi is something that started in India. Our phones started with the Note and there was another normal Redmi series which is Redmi 1. And that has stayed. We have a lot of other categories as well where we have been using the Mi branding. So, for example we have got the Mi TV, or the Mi air purifier, or Mi headset, so the entire smart ecosystem is there. Most consumers who are part of the Xiaomi family are able to differentiate between these two. They are able to look at these as separate product lines, but not necessarily able to figure out that this is part of the same family.
Q] What’s your biggest challenge right now? Our presence in retail is less than two years old and we are going up against companies or brands that have been in this space of technology and retail for more than 20 years. So, getting as close as possible to who should be our consumer and who could benefit from our technology is the greatest challenge. And at this moment, from a marketing perspective, it all comes down to ‘do people know us there’ and ‘do people know us for what Xiaomi stands for’, which is innovation for all. And getting that word out is the key focus right now.
Q] Do you plan to come out with big campaigns for your consumer goods category as well? For our consumer goods categories, stage one is that we need to get to enough places and as close as possible to the consumers. So, we are expanding on those points. In fact our TV started in India only last February and we went into retail only around September. Once we have a decent amount of placement and enough reach in all the towns we want to be in, we will look at getting that awareness up. In India, because we have largely been so dominant on the phones, people do mistake Xiaomi to be a smartphone company. That’s something that we will obviously slowly debunk.
Q] You’ve been an online brand for a very long time; how did you arrive at the decision to go into retail, and how has it worked for the brand? That’s purely a business decision. In the smartphones category, online sales account for about 35% of the overall market. In this 35%, we were dominant and we were almost half of the entire market. But we could not completely ignore the remaining 65%. We had the means of serving a lot more consumers. And because we did have a target of being No.1 brand in the country, it made sense to start looking at this remaining retail market. In less than two years, it’s worked out pretty well.
No matter what the region, the basic consumer ask of looking for high quality products with latest technology does not change. With Xiaomi’s whole pricing factor coming in, the entire balance changes. So, in retail also, we have been quite successful. In less than two years, we have grown to about 20% of the overall retail share. Xiaomi phones have a market-share of 30%+ as per IDC. So, we are in a good place. Of course, we still have a long way to go, but so far the response from both the channel as well as consumers and retailers has been pretty good.