Xiaomi Case Study | How Xiaomi Became #1 Brand in India

Just take a look around yourself. I bet there must be at least one Xiaomi phone user around you. Or probably, you are the one. To become the top brand in India, Xiaomi has an interesting case study.

In 2014, when Xiaomi launched its first smartphone in India, I was highly skeptical about this brand. I thought it will be just another Chinese brand that will flatter for a few days and vanish. But boy, I was wrong.

Jul 23, 2014: It was Xiaomi 3 smartphone and price was Rs 13,999 for Indian market. According to Xiaomi, the demand was so high that the product went out of stock within 40 minutes of its launch. For the first time in its history, Flipkart’s website crashed due to high amount of traffic.

[Flipkart crashes temporarily after Xiaomi’s Mi 3 goes on sale: The Economic Times Report]

This is when Xiaomi took up the race to become India’s number one smartphone brand within a span of 3 years. How did Xiaomi make it? Here are the reasons.

Case Study of Xiaomi Includes 5 Powerful Reasons For Exponential Growth

Xiaomi Case Study - How Xiaomi Became #1 Brand in India

1] Most Powerful Yet Affordable Devices

The year was 2013-2014.
Micromax, Karbonn, etc were dominating the Indian smartphone market by rebranding the Chinese smartphones. There was hardly any good smartphone that was playing under the budget range category.

Know More | About Tactics of Micromax

Samsung and Apple were busy with flagship smartphones while Motorola, Micromax, Karbonn, Intex, Asus, and others were competing in the mid-range segment.
Nokia and Blackberry were the distracted kids who were doing… God knows what!

Interesting Read | From Leader To Loser: Why BlackBerry Failed?

In short, nobody was focusing on budget-smartphones. Of course, the products were present in the market but they offered lame specifications.

This is when Xiaomi jumped in 2014. Xiaomi launched the first phone only on Flipkart and people went gaga over its specifications.

For the first time, a brand focused on a processor. Prior to that, smartphone brands would manipulate users on the ‘Made in India’ gimmick or best RAM/ROM/camera gimmick.

Even today, Xiaomi phones prove to be the best performers when it comes to gaming or heavy usage of applications. The main reason is the strong processors that they use.

Xiaomi has always been using the latest Snapdragon processors in their phones. Even today, Xiaomi is known for its powerful processors. Lately they have started using MediaTek processors, but even they are great in performance.

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2] Smartphone Full of Features

When Xiaomi was new in the Indian market, people were not habitual of getting so many features in one device. If you are getting interesting flavor of Android at a cheaper rate then what else do you need?

I remember that one of my friends bought a Xiaomi phone just because he wanted that IR booster. The same IR booster which allows you to control your TV, AC, Set-top box, projector, and every damn remote-controlled device around you!

It is completely true that Xiaomi uses the most powerful processors as compared to its competitors. However, Xiaomi offers too many features and bloatware in its software part.

Right from an in-built screen recorder to a feature that allows rejecting an incoming call after flipping it – Xiaomi phones have everything.

More Info | Why Do Popular Brands Give Pre-Installed Apps On Your Smartphone?

Some people hate Xiaomi’s MIUI. It is a customized version of Android UI. Even I find it cluttered and not so good. But there are some people who love those extra features.

Honestly, I won’t recommend a Xiaomi smartphone for elders or senior citizens due to excessive bloatware and Ads. Avoid it.

3] Too Many Competitive Models

Xiaomi is a brand that has believes in mass production at lower margins. It will give you so many choices that you will get confused about which model exactly to focus on.

Xiaomi is currently offering 19 phones under Redmi Series, 21 phones under MI series and 2 phones under the POCO series.

Mind you, I didn’t even calculate the older versions of these phones which are still available in the market. I merely counted the latest smartphones. It seems as if Xiaomi phones are competing amongst themselves while no other brand is allowed to enter too.

Courtesy: Official website of Xiaomi

India is a price-sensitive market. People care more about the price here. In India, people want the best specifications at the lowest cost irrespective of brand.

This is where Xiaomi won the hearts. It offered the highest specifications in the budget segment of the Indian market. When too many people buy a large number of your products, you naturally become the number one brand.

4] MI Community & Social Media

MI community is a very strong community with over 1 Million monthly users. This is actually a huge number for a smartphone brand while most brands don’t even have a community. Some brands have started building communities nowadays.

If you have a Xiaomi device then you know that MI Community App comes inbuilt and people often start using it too. It offers solutions and value for its users. Contributors even get some rewards.

There was a time when top contributors on the MI community were given a brand new phone before its launch date.
Xiaomi even invites its fans for a phone’s launch event while other brands simply invite people from media.

Xiaomi is not limited to this community. This brand is always interacting with its fans on social media. The team actively replies to the comments.

Now just the team but the Xiaomi’s Vice President, Manu Kumar Jain, actively engages with his fans and followers. This kind gesture from a high-profile person gives a sense of trust. That’s where Xiaomi won, again!

5] Flash Sales

This is the most hated part about Xiaomi. For those who don’t know how flash sales work, I will explain a bit.

Whenever a new phone is going to be launched, it is kept in limited numbers. For instance, Redmi Note 7 Pro had a flash sale recently where they kept merely 50,000 models for sale. As soon as the models went out of stock, it was not available till the next date of the flash sale.

This thing might be hated much but Flash sales have benefited Xiaomi in 2 ways.

A) Limited Manufacturing of Devices Helps in Managing Costs

Xiaomi gets a quick idea about the demand of their smartphone models beforehand. Other brands manufacture millions of products for their launch events. This takes a lot of revenue right from the beginning. But if a model fails then that brand is bound to sell on large discounts. Otherwise bear the losses.

On the other hand, Xiaomi just manufactures a few thousand products for flash sales. Once they get an idea, they start manufacturing another set of models. In this way, they keep using the same revenue which they earned in the last flash sales.

This is the reason why Xiaomi never goes into losses. As a result, they are not bound to provide discounts and attractive offers. They just manufacture in limits.

B) The Attention it Gets Due to the Flash Sales

The second benefit of Flash sale is the word of mouth publicity being done.

Xiaomi is proud of its models getting out of stock within seconds. I mean, isn’t it a huge success for a brand if its 50k devices are getting out of stock within 15 seconds?

This a great way to seek all the eyeballs and remain in media. People get the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and eventually end up discussing or reading about Xiaomi phones out of curiosity. This is a huge free publicity.

Xiaomi is an expert in Hunger Marketing. While teasing and playing with the potential customers, Xiaomi phones just sell. These flash sales even create a huge black market.

[Xiaomi’s flash sale creates a black market: Gizmochina Report]

Such black markets and unavailability of devices leave dissatisfied customers hating the Flash sales and diverting to some other brands.

For this reason, the One Plus brand has a different strategy. However, this is another case study. Want to know about it? Here you go.

Check out | BBK Electronics Case Study

The Downfall of Xiaomi

No doubt that multiple reasons led Xiaomi to become top brand of India but we already seeing it losing its charm.

According to the Business Today Report, Xiaomi’s shipments fall by 48% from April to June 2020. Although it is mainly due to the Covid19 lockdown but we cannot ignore the anti-Chinese sentiments. People are boycotting Chinese brands and this might hit Xiaomi adversely.

Adding spices to the heat, Xiaomi faced severe allegations regarding the data leaks. Then again, India banned several Chinese apps where Xiaomi’s apps were present as well.

Read More | Xiaomi Browser Incognito Mode Controversy Explained

I would rather say that Xiaomi is going through tough times are bad right now.

Most importantly, we saw Xiaomi started feeling the warmth of competition in budget and mid-range market. It no longer enjoys the monopoly.
We have some brands like Realme and Samsung which are giving a tough competition to Xiaomi in terms of everything.

What do you think about Xiaomi now? Let me know.

Looking for some gadget recommendations?
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