Why is Xiaomi telling people not to buy tech yet?

Anuj Sharma, CMO of Xiaomi India, reveals the tech brand’s plans ahead of the festive season.

As a curtain raiser to its annual holiday campaign, ‘Diwali with Mi’Xiaomi India smartphone and smart TV brand’s advice to its consumers is, “Don’t Buy Tech Yet”. The campaign is attracting attention because contrary to the brand’s usual sentiments of making more profit and getting every last penny out of pocket, Xiaomi wants its consumers to wait a bit to enjoy the best deals and discounts.

Diwali and the festive season lead to increased consumer willingness to purchase new products or update existing ones. Anuj Sharma, CMO, Xiaomi India, says sales expectations start during this period. This is further amplified by the sales expectations set by online gamblers.

Anuj Sharma, Xiaomi India

According to Sharma, Xiaomi consumers mainly include young people. Many students, as well as people who have just started working and newly married couples are part of the brand’s target audience.

What these user segments have in common is that they are individual decision makers and are in control of their purchases. “But while they’re doing that, they can also be prone to making bad choices. Consumers today need to be absolutely sure that what they are buying is right for them,” Sharma shares.

Most of the brand’s advertising throughout the year is based on its products, whether around the launch of a new product or the presentation of its product features. However, the brand’s holiday season campaign is different from these.

“These communications are product-specific and generally not time-limited. The Diwali campaign is one of the brand’s biggest campaigns. It’s mostly time-limited and event-based,” Sharma mentions.

With general consumer sentiment being healthier and more positive this festive season than the past two, Xiaomi is betting its expectations on new technology.

“Smartphones continue to be one of the biggest industries in the country. With networks like Jio, Vi and Airtel getting a 5G network, sales of 5G phones will be encouraging. Xiaomi also recently launched an affordable 5G phone – “ Redmi 11 Prime “which should see a slight increase”, adds Sharma.

The brand expects growth in its smart TV category. This is led by OTT-first content and recently released movies on various (OTT) platforms.

Not just toothbrushes, but during the COVID-induced lockdowns, Xiaomi has also made a foray into categories like hair clippers, vacuum cleaners, and shoes. We cannot link these categories to a brand like Xiaomi.

According to Sharma, with the trend of people buying new homes, products like vacuum cleaners will also see growth during the holiday season. He reveals that all these launches are largely related to what Xiaomi users are asking for. “Some of these products are experimental and the brand is launching them through crowdfunding, while others end up being larger than the size of the community itself and dealing with a category of their own.”

Until about four years ago, Xiaomi only existed online, but now, as the brand accelerates the launch of its experiential products, it has expanded to retail networks. By the end of Diwali, Sharma informs, Xiaomi aims to increase its retail distribution to 50%.

The brand’s retail network is divided into three: the brand’s 3,000 exclusive outlets, the preferred partnership strategy which are multi-brand outlets more focused on Xiaomi’s products, and large-format retailers. . According to Sharma, offline tours usually start during Dussehra and then peak around Dhanteras and Diwali.

While e-commerce partners like Flipkart and Amazon continue to be important to Xiaomi, the brand’s primary focus remains its own “Mi.com” website. It is the third largest e-commerce website in India. This is interesting because only one brand sells on the website.

Xiaomi’s competitors change with each category in which it operates. Sharma mentions that with the multiple product categories that Xiaomi markets, the competitive landscape becomes huge and therefore difficult to map. “The brand continues to build on its strategy, instead of looking outward in other directions. We remain focused on our consumers and being transparent with them,” Sharma says.

Daniel C. Williams