What’s in a name? Breaking into the market

Even after 10 years in the industry I still wonder about how clients make choices on phones. I mean, for instance, what makes one choose a mid-range phone from a “Premier Brand” (read “popular”) phone rather that a similar priced premier rated phone produced by a newcomer?

It was recently pointed out to me by someone older and wiser (wink, nudge) that trust, quality and previous experience are part of that decision. As a major driver, this makes sense, however people make the change from one popular brand to another on a daily basis. I do believe that in some way the flavor of the month is also a key driver.

So, my next question is how do “newbies” break into the market where so many have gone before and failed? Diving into a sea of Titans is no easy feat!

I looked to a current major player, “Huawei”, for inspiration. Virtually unknown in the South African market only a few years ago it has now broken free to grab a huge portion of the market and has become one of Cellucity’s top selling brands – constantly featuring on our Top 10. How did they do it? I can’t say for certain, but based on my experience of the brand here are my thoughts.

My first experience with these devices was the G6. One main model to focus on. From here they started building a reputation launching next the P7, P8 and now a much wider range of alternatives. Rather than saturating the market with an onslaught of options Huawei kept their range small but offered a high standard and quality and a competitive price. Huawei focused on building a good reputation and customer base.

Secondly, and cleverly, their focus was neither on entry-level phones nor on the super expensive top shelf range. Instead Huawei focused on the middle-tier smartphone market. By making their high specked flagship devices available to a larger market segment without looking or feeling cheap, Huawei won over customers looking for high value but with limited budgets.

Lastly, being approved and endorsed by a network helps. Providing the option to pay monthly rather than laying down cash upfront certainly does help. Offering great support in terms of marketing and repairs along with the exclusive offers and “Hero Deals” goes a long way in increasing awareness and interest in a new brand.

Are these the Golden Rules? Perhaps not. Are they a good stepping stone to building an empire in the cellular industry? I would like to think so.