Can Chinese Smartphone OPPO Break Apple/Galaxy’s Australian Stranglehold?

Can Chinese Smartphone OPPO Break Apple/Galaxy’s Australian Stranglehold?
SHARE
THIS



Chinese smartphone operator OPPO has been in Australia for a mere 12 months. But now, with a new deal to sell their handsets through Dick Smith and a telco deal with Optus the brand is out to give the two incumbents – Apple and Android – a real shake (particularly at half the price). Here, its Australian marketing manager Michael Tran tells B&T about OPPO’s plans for the Aussie market…

A lot of people probably have no idea about OPPO. Can you tell us a little about the brand?
It’s from China and started in 2004 making MP3 players, then DVD players and then headsets. It released its first smartphone in 2008. In 2014 we released the world’s first rotating camera phone and had the world’s fastest charging technology.

2b897f5

You had problems getting a teclo provider when you first arrived in Australia. Why was that?
We were new to the market and we were looking to get people familiar with our devices and it hasn’t been easy coming to Australia and get in with a telco and, now, Optus has come onboard. From there we are leveraging the relationship and over the coming months we are looking at launching more devices in Australia.

And the handsets are half the price of a Galaxy or iPhone?
We want to provide consumers with a premium device at an affordable price. We design and manufacturer everything ourselves; we market the phones ourselves.

I’m assuming you’re going after the Millennials at that price?
We’re a young brand at heart. We’re a young company, we want the consumer who wants a great device at an affordable price and the way we market is using things like music and fashion. We’re partnering with Melbourne Fashion Week and the fashion festivals. We’re all about design and style.

Chinese tech products can be deemed as a bit cheap and nasty. How do you overcome that perception?
We’ve done our research and Australian consumers are quite savvy, they know what they want. For OPPO we’re all about quality to customers and we’re already building a big fan base around the world. We wouldn’t enter the Australian market if we didn’t think consumers didn’t want an alternative device.

And the expectations for the brand in Australia?
Look, we’ll grow slowly. But now that Dick Smith and Optus have come onboard it’s going to take time, it’s not going to happen straight away. Any marketer will tell you you have to lay those foundations down and let the consumer know it’s a quality product.

How do you even begin to tell the brand story in Australia without spending a fortune?
We have a partnership through FC Barcelona and that’s a three-year partnership…

…they’re not exactly a hugely popular sporting team in Australia, however?
In Australia we’re rolling out in Dick Smith stores OPPO tables where you can go into the store and actually touch and feel the phones. We’ve recently partnered up with Melbourne Fashion Week and we’re setting ourselves up to tell our story that we are a premium brand and it’s all about building our identity.

Do you think you might be simply too late to market in Australia? After all, people can be very, very loyal to their phone brand.
That competition only drives us to make us more competitive in the marketplace. We make high-end smartphones that don’t cost a fortune and we promise our customers access to high-end technology and world’s best technology. We know we have the right product; if we didn’t think that then we wouldn’t have come into the Australian marketplace.

From a marketers’ perspective, what have been the challenges launching the brand in Australia?Definitely getting in-store has been the biggest challenge. Consumers won’t take-up your product if they can’t touch and play with it.  And from this month we’ll be in shopping centres where consumers can come up and touch and play with the phone. It’s all about getting people to experience the brand.

How do you even begin to convert a loyal Apple fan?
It’s education, it’s about telling consumers that there are alternatives out there and giving another brand a go. It comes down to innovation, price-point and design. You can charge an OPPO phone for five minutes and it gives you two hours’ talk time. We’ve got our own interface based on Android where customers get all types of gestures and customers can actually activate on the phone. It’s got one of the world’s best cameras and many of the apps are already on the device.

There has been some issues in Australia with Chinese electronics companies and privacy. How would you respond to that?
We take privacy very seriously and with the data, the devices, there’s no way we would leak out any data, we think we are at the forefront of things around privacy.

Android has about 56 per cent of the Aussie market and Apple about 37 per cent. What share can OPPO grab?
At the moment I don’t have that answer for you. We’re still working on building the brand and getting the foundations right. It’s just too early for us to define where we want to be. We know what we want to be, we know we want to give those other brands in the market a run for their money and that’s why we’re in Australia.

OPPO’s chasing that Millennial market. What’s the best way to market to those under 30s?
It’s about partnerships. Again we’ve partnered with FC Barcelona, we’re doing stuff with Melbourne Fashion Week, we’re partnering with MTV, we’re doing all these things that Gen Ys are interested in and it’s about telling our story through those channels.

What’s the brand’s success been like in other territories?
The brand is huge in south-east Asia. In Indonesia we’re number two, in Taiwan we’re number three, in the Philippines we’re number three; we’re pretty much in the top four in any country in south-east Asia. We’re not in America or Europe yet but – with FC Barcelona in Europe and (with a sponsorship of) America’s Top Model – we’re heading in the right direction. In China, in the 4G mobile space, we’re ranked number two and we’re ahead of Samsung and just behind Apple.

Ultimately, as a marketer, will you have to spend a lot of money to get noticed in the small and saturated Australian market?
Yes, you do have to spend a lot of money to create that brand awareness and what we’re doing is investing heavily in POS in Dick Smith to give customers that experience and promoting the brand through Optus. It’s all about driving consumers into the stores and get them to experience our brand. Get them asking, “Do I really want an Apple or a Samsung or do I want to try an OPPO?”

No offence, but Dick Smith’s hardly cutting-edge Millennial cool though, is it? It’s not like people sleep out the front of Dick’s stores like they do Apple?
Ha! Dick Smith is an iconic Australian brand and we felt that they mirrored our values and they stock high quality products and they’re the “Tech Experts”. They’re about bringing state of the art technology to consumers and we couldn’t be happier about partnering up with Dick Smith.

 

Please login with linkedin to comment

Advertising Standards Bureau Luke Starr Nancy Ganz

Latest News

Zeno Group Expands Asia-Pacific Leadership
  • Media

Zeno Group Expands Asia-Pacific Leadership

Zeno Group has appointed Ekta Thomas as Head of Client Services for the Asia Pacific Region. She is succeeded by Sarah Littlefair [pictured], the new General Manager for Zeno Australia. In her role, Ekta Thomas is charged with maximizing standards of client service and creativity across the network. She will serve as a regional advocate […]

Tastemade Launches “Tastemade Me Do It” On Snapchat
  • Media

Tastemade Launches “Tastemade Me Do It” On Snapchat

Tastemade, launched the Snap Mini “Tastemade Me Do It” – a bite-sized, third-party experience that lives in Snapchat and does not require extra installation. With “Tastemade Me Do It,” Snapchatters can test their at-home cooking and DIY skills with weekly challenges, and can answer polls about their taste preferences to earn personalised stickers that they […]

WPP’s Dan Forman Joins Stink Group As COO
  • Media

WPP’s Dan Forman Joins Stink Group As COO

Global creative network the Stink Group has appointed Dan Forman as its new chief operating officer. In the position, Forman will drive global growth and commercial strategy across Stink Films and Stink Studios, with the objective of expanding both companies’ offerings to more global clients. Forman, who leaves WPP, will work closely with leads across […]

Altman Solon Acquires Venture Consulting
  • Media

Altman Solon Acquires Venture Consulting

Telecommunications, Media, and Technology (TMT) strategy consulting firm Altman Solon today announces its acquisition of Venture Consulting, the largest TMT specialist consulting firm in Australia and New Zealand. Venture Consulting will start operating as part of Altman Solon in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) today under the leadership of two of the region’s most experienced and well-respected […]

Empathy Drives Innovation For Online Florist LVLY
  • Advertising

Empathy Drives Innovation For Online Florist LVLY

National online flower business, LVLY, is leading the way with a thoughtful marketing movement designed to put customers first by allowing them to opt-out from potentially sensitive marketing messages around big calendar events.

Ogden, Utah USA-July16,2016:Oxycontin bottle on shelf. Oxycontin in a drug known for it's addiction and theft potential.
  • Marketing

Massachusetts Sues Publicis Health For Role In Opioid Epidemic

Massachusetts state attorney Maura Healey has sued Publicis Health, a subsidiary of Publicis Groupe SA, over allegations of deceptive marketing. Healey argued that Publicis Health used unfair, deceptive marketing tactics to sell a powerful, addictive prescription painkiller called OxyContin on behalf of Purdue Pharma. According to the suit, “dangerous opioid drugs continue to kill hundreds […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
????????????????????????????????????
  • Uncategorised

Strategic Insights Agency Nature Takes Four Gongs At Research Society Awards

B&T’s Research Agency Of The Year, strategic insights consultancy Nature, was a big winner at the Research Society Awards last night, taking home four prestigious honours. Nature won the Research Effectiveness Award for Technology and Innovation for its work for Don KRC; Managing Partner Chris Crook (main photo) was accepted into the Research Society’s Fellowship; […]

Special Group Named Global Creative & Independent Agency of the Year
  • Advertising

Special Group Named Global Creative & Independent Agency of the Year

Australasia’s leading independent creative company, Special Group, has been named the world’s best Creative and Independent Agency of the Year by one of the world’s most prestigious advertising titles – the United Kingdom’s Campaign. Special Group – which has offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland and Los Angeles – was named Global Agency of the Year […]

Clemenger BBDO Sydney, Saatchi & Saatchi And Thinkerbell Awarded In Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards
  • Media

Clemenger BBDO Sydney, Saatchi & Saatchi And Thinkerbell Awarded In Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards

The winners of Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards have just been announced, honoring the businesses, policies, projects, and concepts that are actively engaged and deeply committed to pursuing innovation when it comes to solving health and climate crises, social injustice, or economic inequality. Losing Lena by Clemenger BBDO Sydney was a finalist in […]