How OnePlus Came To Enter The Top 5 Premium Smartphone Brands 

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Growth Story is a weekly podcast that breaks down the strategy and tactics utilized by high growth companies, in a short case study format hosted by Scott D. Clary (@scottdclary)

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Welcome to success story, the mostuseful podcast in the world, I'm your host Scott de Clary, the success Tordpodcast is part of the hub spot podcast network. The hop spot podcast networkis the audio destination for business professionals, who seek the besteducation and inspiration on how to grow a business house. Spot podcastnetwork hosts actors on demand, mentors the entrepreneurs startups and scaleups through practical tips and inspirational stories, listen, learnand grow with a hub spot podcast network at hub spot S, podcast network.Today I am going to break down the story of one plus how, in just a fewshort years with a dream and three hundred dollars, they became a premiumsmartphone brand that compete with the likes of Apple and Sam Sung. Globally,I'm going to walk through their origin story, I'm going to speak about thefounders where they came from, as well as some of the strategies that they'veused to become a top premium, smartphone brand and now compete withApple and Sam Sung on a global scale.

This is a business case study. This isone plus growth story. So, let's be honest, you don't have tobe big to make a big splash. This has been a common theme and startups. Thestory of one plus is no different. This one plus is an electronics company thatstarted in two thousand and thirteen with three hundred dollars and a dream,and it sounds like the typical startup story, but one plus took it a stepfurther and is now one of the most notable premium smartphone brands inthe world. One plus saw an enormous opportunity in the high priced premiumsmartphone market, they created a high and smartphone with no compromises andstarted by offering their device at half the price of other premiumsmartphones. They adopted the slogan,...

...never settle, which is still used today,by all the hand, sets that they produced indicating that they wouldnever settle for less when it came to the quality of their product. So justtake a second and think about that they were putting out the premium productstop gray top shelf. Never settle is their slogan, yet they're selling themat half price. They went from zero to hero in a matter of a year and becamethe fastest growing android device company, but let's pause there. Let'stake it back to the early days early years. Let's talk about the founders.Where do they come from? So the story of one plus starts in two thousand andeight and two thousand and eight the founder Pete Low, who was the COfounder of one plus left his job in Google's engineering department toSTART APO electronics. It began as an OM or original design manufacturingthat primarily made devices for other brands in China and eventually foundedits own company. One Plus One plus was also co, founded by Carl pay and is asubsidiary of B B K, electronics along...

...with Vivo real me, and I Q, o o thefirst ever product they brought to market was dubbed the flag ship killer,meaning that it was the killer of all other brands flagship premium top ofthe line phone. They called it the one the company wanted to make a statement.They wanted to attract the attention of tech, buffs and professionals lookingto buy smartphones in high and markets like North America and Europe, andobviously, if we fast forward to today the strategy work, because now they areone of the premium smartphone brands, but how do they actually get there? Sohow did one plus become who they are today? They had a great concept: theyput it a great product, but even though the phone was not available worldwidepeople still took notice. So what made them different? Let's break down thecomponents of the one plus strategy that truly contributed to the company'ssuccess. So first was the affordability of the phone I touched on this briefly,but one of the main features that made...

...one plus so unique was its ability tooffer high end specs at a much lower price point than any other smart phonesout there, especially with the feature set that these phones had yushes wereimpressed with the quality of the photos it could produce and its sleepdesign, as well as the fact that it was just a well built world manufacture. Itfelt good in your hand, device and besides it had all of the features ofall the other premium flag. Ship model smartphones. It was being offered athalf the price compared to all other of smartphones, and that became a centralselling point for potential customers, so they hit the market with a greatproduct. They didn't just try and win on price, but then they also won onprice. To remember, you'll never went market over by introducing a shittyproduct at a shitty price or a lower price. People will eventually stillwant a premium offering, but if you can find a way to navigate the margin, thatis the other company's profit margin by introducing a premium product and thenreducing that price. Maybe you take less profit margin on that sale, butthat is an opportunitty for you to win...

...over the market. This is the samestrategy that Amazon did by the way Jeff Bezos is famous for quoting, and Imay misquote slightly, but it's along the lines of your profit margin is myopportunity. So Jeff Bezos took a quality premium product to market AKA,the same product that other people were selling with the same features or tothe same standard and what he was doing was he was taking less profit margin.Okay, fine you're, not going to make as much money on every single sale, butyou dominate the market that way. The second thing that really pushed oneplus to the top, along with the great value they lowered the price point theystill offered a premium product is social media. Well, actually, let'sbring back the had a ton of really creative marketing strategies. They arevery well known for unique advertising tactics such as social media viralguerrilla marketing. They created a lot of word of mouth buzz around theproduct and that's also, of course, helped with their success. So let'stalk about some of their marketing strategy, so social media was one theywere very active on social media from the get co they constantly should newsabout upcoming products features...

...releases. They created contests withgiveaways for fans like free tickets of concerts. They did things that maybesome smartphone companies were doing, but they doubled down on these thingsand they were really generous to their customers. They created a community andan incredibly loyal fan base. They also kept launching marketing campaign, soone of the campaigns they launched was called smash. The past, where selectedparticipants were asked to destroy their existing phones while beingrecorded to buy a one plus smartphone for only a dollar. No other company didthis. This was viral. This was shock value and this was highly sharableentertaining content. On top of that, it got people to convert to the oneplus fum earlier on in their business life cycle. They also created aninvitation system where someone would need to have an invitation to thecreated. I've spoken about Fomo a lot, but the someone had to have aninvitation to buy one of their phones. This helped them manage a massivedemand for their phones and gave their...

...brand an exclusive vibe. You see thiswith a lot of luxury retailers. Another thing that they did another campaignthat they ran was VR or virtual reality events, so they opted for a virtualreality launch event, and this also place them on the map, as the world'sfirst virtual reality shopping experience. So, let's just break. Let'sJUST RECAP: quickly: they had a viral social campaign. They had a smash thepast, where it's a shock value they built in Fomo and exclusivity, and thenthey also leverage emerging trends and technologies with virtual reality,another marketing strategy they used and you've seen this a lot of spokenabout these types of programs, a lot where brand ambassadors andpartnerships, so India is one of the countries that contributed to themajority of one plus sales. The company collaborated with well known singersand actors in India to endorse their smartphone, so this is influence ormarketing one and one. They also worked with famous ambassadors, such as Robertdown a junior and brands like hassle blot. This further help boot sales forthe company. So if you can find an...

...influencer that really has a connectionwith your target market, it definitely helps and keep in mind. I want to pointout something so they used influencer marketing plus, you know all the otherthings they just mentioned, but they didn't just use one of these thingsthey tried and tested, and they used a multitude of different strategies tobring a product to market. So one thing that I'm not a huge fan of is whensomebody says Oh influence or marketing works or oh, creating Fomo or excusivey around a product works or oh, let's do some sort of viral ad campaign orsomething along those lines. All of those work, Marin, marketing a lot ofstuff works. It's about finding the right mix, it's about trying differentthings and testing and then just doubling down on the things that havethe best result and that's. They did very well now beyond marketing,something that they did well as a company, not marketing related, butstill very important, was to focus on user feedback. They any company that issuccessful, you'll notice, a common threat. Again, I feel like I'm justputting myself on on repeat with some...

...of these past case studies, but anycompany. That's truly successful, you'll notice that they have anobsession with customer feedback and they find a way to build customerfeedback into their communication cadence with customers or into theirproduct updates or into the product itself. I've spoken about some productsthat actually have customer feedback built into the software, but one plushad an excellent track record of listening to customer feedback. Oneplus was always looking for ways to improve their smartphones. Theyregularly sent it updates that fixed various bugs on their smartphones andimprove the overall experience based on direct feedback from their customers.They did not wait for a major release. If there was a problem, they fixed it asap. They were response, they were proactive; rather they were notreactive. They want their devices to be known as a premium quality phone beingon par with iphones or Sam Sung, but at a much lore price point, and theyachieve that by making sure that if there was anything that couldpotentially go wrong with their phones, they were on it. They also focused onthe continuous upgrading of their phone...

...feature, so not just fixing theproblems or just being very engaged and building a feedback loop with theircommunity. They were always upgrading features to day at top of the lineeverything so they continue perfecting their products, adding new featureslike finger print, readers or US BC, ports and later models, in addition andtwo thousand and sixteen one plus started producing phones, design,specifically for virtual reality, something that nobody else was doing.Building on top of existing technology found in the most high and devices suchas Google, cardboard or Sam Sung Gear, VR head sets the latest model from oneplus. This was released in two thousand and twenty one is called the Nord twoand it has a unique feature called a smart skin that automatically adjustthe phone settings to suit your current needs. They also have pioneered nextgeneration, five G in countries such as UK and Finland, so they are trying tobe the market leaders in new features. They are not trying to copy what thenext I phone puts out into the market or the next SAM son device puts out tothe market they're trying to lead the way and come up with features thatother companies haven't even explored...

...yet so enclosing. What can we learnfrom one pluses rise to fame, incredible success in such a shortperiod of time? Well, number one build a solid customer base. It takes timeand patience to build up your loyal customers who will help you stay afloateven if something goes wrong. The company has been through multiplecontroversies over the past few years. They could have brought them down.However, they could resolve these issues quickly because of that customerthat loyal customer base and that feedback loop, that they created toconstantly communicate with customers, and that's why they continue on anupward slope today. That's why they continue on an upper upward trend, andthat is why they're still competing as one of the top premium smartphonebrands. Second will be listen to your customers, so, of course, to build aloyal customer base. You have to listen to your customers, so companies alwayshave to be open about their development, their product road map, listen tofeedback of those who have purchased the product, one plus engages with itsconsumers through social media they're highly active. It helps them build astrong community around the brand itself, even before they launch otherinitiatives and again because there was...

...some controversies and there was someproblems with the phones having that loyal community plus having that feedBo feedback loop built into your company, so you're always listening toyour customers does nothing but help you rectify problems quickly and then,of course, that leads to long term success and, of course, loyalty andcommunity that you need to have with with your customers. If you want to, ifyou want to succeed as a company in two thousand and twenty one buildrelationships with influential people and companies, so work together,collaborate. This is something that one plus did as well, so they workedtogether with a lot of partner companies. They were also working withinfluencers on social media partnering up for events or marketing strategies,sharing sales channels by joining forces. As a startup, you give yourselfaccess to a bigger audience that will bring more value to your business, soyou don't have to go at it alone. You can find lots of partners, vendorsthrough business development, influencer channels, there's a millionand one types of partnerships, so you can strike up as brand as a start up soleverage those so that you don't have to reinvent the wheel and then the lastlesson would be be unique, but not too...

...weird. So the key here is balanced totry and stand out from the crowd without going too far. So one plus hassuccessfully developed a unique brand, but it is not seen as too much of anoutlier by most of its customers. It is easy to attract new customers becausethey have some unique features, but it's also easy to retain those thathave bought previous versions of their device because they don't look outwardsand they don't see one plus as something that is too far from what theother options. Other smartphone options are so they're unique, but they're notso unique that they're going to turn somebody off if they've only ever usedan iphone or a Sam song or any other smartphone device. So conclusion, oneplus started from the bottom built its way up very quickly. The company is nowa top competitor in a very short period of time, in comparison to the otherplayers in smartphones and phones, and they are selling premium smartphonesaround the globe. One plus is a prime example of how brand should pay closeattention to what their customers...

...actually want, and if they do that,then they can massively expedite their growth by observing what the marketneeds and drawing ideas from the customers. One plus became one of thecompanies to beat they have accomplished something spectacular inan extremely short period of time, and it will be exciting to see how tocompete with the behemoths of the smart phone industry in the next few years. I.

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