Oppo is leveraging two of India’s biggest attractions, Cricket and Bollywood, in a bid to fend off the competition and engage the nations’ youth.
The Chinese-owned smartphone brand has intensified its push into the Indian market, recently signing a 5-year sponsorship deal with the Indian cricket team.
Will Yang, brand director at Oppo India told The Drum, the company has focused on entertainment and sports as part of a 360-degree marketing & branding strategy.
"As a brand, we believe in being present across all channels and reaching out to our target consumers - the Youth. We have explored categories that touch base with the hearts of Indian consumers like Bollywood, cricket, and entertainment. We will continue with the same with a strong focus on entertainment and sports platforms.”
"The whole country connects with entertainment and cricket, especially the youth. Hence, all our activities are focused towards them, whether it be our brand ambassador being Deepika Padukone or being sponsors of the Indian cricket team."
"We are present on all platforms that the youth would be interested in. We are closely knit with two of the most followed platforms in India – entertainment and cricket. The idea is to connect with the youth and offer experiences that go beyond the product experience," he further added.
Yang said leveraging the huge popularity of cricket in India has been key to help build widespread awareness of the brand.
"Cricket is a big entity in India with fans across the nation. With youth oriented brands like ours, associating with sports like cricket gives brands a plethora of opportunities to connect with consumers and create top of the mind recall. It is a brand building opportunity that helps one go beyond the usual feature/benefit led communication to more relationship driven communication."
While Bollywood and cricket remain key to Oppo’s marketing strategy, the company is also investing in other entertainment vehicles to ensure it reaches “the masses” and creates widespread awareness.
Oppo has sponsored a number of popular television shows and movies such as Baahubali, Marvel’s Spider-man, Doctor Strange, The Voice India, Koffee with Karan, Nach Baliye 8, Super Dancer, Big Boss season 10, 24 and Comedy Nights Bachao, Dance +3 in a bid to share the brand’s “vision and passion of being the best with the audience,” said Yang.
Driving product innovation
The Indian smartphone market has become even more competitive with the arrival of Chinese smartphone brands, such as Oppo, Vivo and Huawei, which have used strategic innovation and marketing to steal market share.
While Yang would not comment on where the Indian smartphone makers are lacking, he did discuss how Oppo’s focus on product innovation – particularly around its camera - was helping to differentiate the brand in the crowded market.
"We are focusing on giving our consumers the best camera experience which has been our biggest differentiator for several years. As a camera phone brand, Oppo has been investing a lot of efforts to ensure that consumers get an unforgettable camera experience and we have made many breakthroughs in mobile photography, like the first built-in beautify function in 2012, first rotating camera in 2013, etc. We were also the first to create the selfie-focused series, which has led the trend in this industry and received an overwhelming response from our consumers. Now with F3 series, we have kick-started the group selfie trend."
"Oppo has been investing a lot to ensure that we give users an unforgettable camera experience which makes us the leaders and innovators in selfie technology," Yang added.
While Oppo has invested in cutting-edge technology for its devices, such as its VOOC flash charge technology, it currently has no plans to launch wearables technology or devices in the market.
Yang said the brand is currently focused on investing in customer service to ensure it is providing customers with an excellent brand experience.
Customer service focus
"This year, we aim to create 550 services centres to cover all regions in India. All these will be operated by Oppo team directly to provide consumers quick and reliable services," he said.
He said, "In India, we constantly conduct surveys to dig out what is consumers’ real need. We believe that our products speak for themselves. Secondly, we have both online and offline channels but currently focus more on offline channels to provide best purchase experience."