The Pakistani smartphone market is in quite an interesting place right now. With the introduction of 3G/4G, smartphone adoption has exploded and multiple new manufacturers are entering the market to get a slice of the pie. Not only that, existing manufacturers have also upped their game and are offering better value for money smartphones.
Now, the competition is cutthroat between smartphone manufacturers in the local market. Given this situation, new entrants like Vivo face a huge challenge to make serious inroads in this hyper-competitive market, a challenge that are facing head-on.
So how did Vivo accomplish this? And more importantly, how does it intend to solidify its brand appeal in Pakistan?
We spoke to the company’s Chief Brand Officer and came away with a clearer picture behind the up-and-coming smartphone brand and its plans for growth in Pakistan.
Q: A lot of people are not familiar with Vivo as a household name, though this is changing bit by bit. What does your company stand for?
A. Vivo is about letting the youth of the country better express themselves. Be it with their energetic personality, innovative and inventive mindset, these are aspects that Brand Vivo also happens to highlight prominently in its marketing as well.
As for what the company’s core philosophy continues to be, Vivo believes in individual responsibility – doing right by its customers by way of accountability and delivering the right experiences for the right market. The company continues to significantly invest in R&D to bring the most sought after features for tomorrow’s customers today.
It is this reason why Vivo has differentiated itself as a unique brand in Pakistan. It has packaged itself as a lifestyle brand for the youth of the country, and not just as a mere provider of technological products. Vivo’s phones come with innovative camera tech and Hi-Fi audio, but those features are designed keeping in mind the demands of today’s youth and that’s what the company has proven adept at capitalizing on.
Q: You speak about innovative hardware & software features that can better serve the needs of today’s young generation. What might these be?
A. Vivo’s significant investment in its 7 R&D facilities worldwide (with over 3000 engineers and 20,000 personnel), the company can boast of these accomplishments that make life easier for its consumers:
- Vivo Hi-Fi audio lab: high fidelity audio quality and playback with Vivo phones.
- Vivo Under Display Fingerprint Scanning Solution (“Vivo Under Display”), which allows users to unlock their phone without having a physical fingerprint sensor, enabling a true full-screen display and an integrated unibody and mechanical waterproof design.
- FullView Display & 24MP industry’s first front-facing camera with its flagship Vivo V7 & V7+ phones.
Q: How does Vivo intend to go head to head with well-established brands?
A. Vivo believes that where others point to their feature-rich hardware capabilities, the company intends to reach out to Pakistani consumers by understanding their mindset and behavior. Taking advantage of consumer insights to deliver an enhanced user experience is Vivo’s specialty.
Vivo’s phones are renowned for their camera tech and displays, and the company intends to drive more innovation forward in those areas to drive consumer appetite for Vivo’s products.
The smartphone and technology brand also ensure that it adheres to all compliance and regulatory frameworks in its target market.
Q: How is Vivo doing in terms of its growth and how can it sustain its future momentum?
A. Vivo’s growth is largely due to:
- Delivering superb and localized consumer experiences
- Sustaining its success as one of the top 5 smartphone players in the international market with 6% of market share and a 23.6% Y-O-Y growth in Q1 2017 (according to Gartner).
- Even as smartphone sales slow down in developed markets, emerging markets continue to hold a lot of potential for the company.
- Its global partnership with FIFA as a sponsor of the upcoming World Cup 2018. Vivo is poised to take its brand appeal to an international audience of billions of football fans.
- An extensive global network of distributors and retailers, with offline retail stores in 373 overseas cities.
- Fruitful local partnerships.
- Plans to launch in 6 or more new markets by the end of 2017.
Vivo will continue to develop in-house smartphone technologies that appeal to customers including 5G, powerful mobile cameras and Hi-Fi music technologies.