The Chinese millionaire Lei Jun, founder of Xiaomi, is trying to step on Apple’s toes. Focus on a marketing & communication strategy which can lead him to the top.

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From now on Lei Jun is a leading figure in China. He is one the most talented person of his generation, often compared to Steve Jobs. Those last two years his popularity didn’t stop increasing. At the beginning he wasn’t really popular in China: indeed no one knew UCWEB, a browser for mobile phone, or even Kingsoft the biggest company in China for office software.  But he built a reputation by founding Xiaomi, his own mobile phone business.

Xiaomi is a growing start-up in China that offers smartphones. The company aims to follow Apple’s business model. To create a smartphone of good quality he hunts down the same suppliers and same components than Cuppertino firm. Then he decided to sell his product Mi 1s for the half price as an IPhone.  It should be noted that in China people purchase phones without any subscription: it means that they pay full price for their smartphone.

When Xiaomi launches his first version the result was surprising: 200 000 Xiaomi phones has been sold in one day !

Let’s study together Xiaomi’s strategy.

1. Create the  withdrawal symptom

Xiaomi uses the strategy as Apple did creating a withdrawal symptom. The demand is outpacing supply. This first step attracted attention of the media.

2. The good reputation

Lei Jun understood that reputation of smartphone is very important. So he decided to take care of the reputation launching a big campaign about the good quality and the low prices of his Product. They claim that Xiaomi made normal profit. They also use the KOL’s to  talk about the product. It was a success, he received really good critical. China is the market of low price,  the low purchasing power of population add to lower labour costs made competition by price always attractive.

3. The social media

This young brand succeed to integrate the young community of geek Chinese who are dreaming to see Chinese company make shadow to the bigger one.

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4.Running down stocks

Thanks to a wide distribution network and the good  partnerships that he succeed to make with China mobile et China Telecom, Xiaomi sold 3,5 millions smartphone on Chinese market.

The brand is positioning as low cost and have a really aggressive position. Indeed, the smartphone is sell as 1500 RMB, 170 euros one of the cheapest of the market. In only 2 years, Xiaomi had become the fifth company most well known after, Apple, Samsung, HTC and Nokia.

Who is Lei Jun, the one we call the Chinese Steve Jobs.

Lei jun might just be the china Steve Jobs. he feels a real admiration for Steve Jobs. He is using the best practice that he learn from him. Lei Jun has a strong personality, he is working hard, paying attention to his personal branding. Indeed, his Weibo count 3,3 millions fans and he gives a lot of interview to local or international magazine. Same as the brand famous Apple brand, Lei Jun organize big show to present his new products.

Do you think we can compare this two people ?

In china, you will heard yes. They have a lot in common, dynamism, ambition, even the mimics. However, they have different vision.

First, the main quality of Steve Jobs was creativity and his desire to innovate. While Lei Jun prefer to get inspiration from  other product and bring amelioration.

Second, Steve Jobs has always positionate his product like a High Tech product, a luxury position. And it is not the position of Xiaomi.

So Steve Jobs don’t get inspire by someone or something, he is just him. Lei Jun is not like that, he is more opportunist and he likes being compared at the famous Steve Jobs, it’s a way to increase his notoriety.

Xiaomi is certainly very famous is China but it didn’t conquer the telephony word. Even with low price positioning.

However, this smartphone could arrived in Europe and in USA, and interfere with the BIG company like Apple, Samsung…because on this market, there will always have a place for a company which allow a product with a good quality at a lower price.

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