OnePlus Focusing on Expanding Brand Awareness and Educating Users

The OnePlus Experience Store doubles up as a community hub where engagement initiatives are hosted regularly

It all started in the winter of 2014 for OnePlus with a simple, bold idea: make a better phone. And, not just a better phone – a better way of doing things!

OnePlus is a new kind of technology company, which works hand in hand with users to do something amazing, something meaningful. In 2016, it brought the OnePlus experience to India through strategic partner Mobitech Creations Pvt Ltd.

Vikas Agarwal, GM of OnePlus India, speaks more about the company and its strategy.

BW: What is OnePlus’ strategy to change the smartphone game in India?

Vikas Agarwal:  India is a strategically important and a key growth market for OnePlus due to the huge untapped market potential, and due to favorable demographics and rising affordability.

Within a short span of time, OnePlus has already became among top three brands in the premium handset segment despite the limited availability of its products. Our strategy is to offer a beautifully designed and future ready smartphone equipped with latest technology to our users every year.

Our community is a key enabler in designing the flagship products as we closely listen to their feedback to prioritize the features and specifications to better meet our users’ requirements. Our fans appreciate this! Testimony to this is the rating we have received on as the highest rated smartphone in India, as validated by Nielsen.

Our strong belief is that: if you create the best products and deliver superior service experience, it’s hard not to be successful in the long run.

BW: What are the growth and expansion plans in India?

Vikas Agarwal: Our key focus area this year is to expand the brand awareness and educate users about OnePlus community and our unique value proposition that has made us one of the most successful smartphone brand in the country today.

Being a digital first brand, we also wanted to provide our users an outlet to experience our offerings. We opened the OnePlus Experience Store in Bangalore to provide our users an open channel to physically come and experience our products.

The OnePlus Experience Store also doubles up as a community hub for us where we regularly host engagement initiatives, ex; Ted Talks, Popup events, etc., and activities at the Store to deepen our engagement with the community.

Now, we are extending the experience store concept to other cities through mini-experience zones that are conveniently located inside premium malls in metro cities.

We have recently launched our own e-commerce store to offer a more personalized and convenient shopping experience to our users. We are also strengthening our exclusive service network to offer 1-hour service guarantee to users beyond metro cities as well.

With OnePlus 3T, we have also completed full transition to local production (excluding limited launches). We are closely monitoring the Government policies and local market demand to decide on future capacity expansion and level of localization at our production facilities.

BW: What is the marketing strategy of OnePlus?

Vikas Agarwal: The core of our marketing strategy is word of mouth and it has remained the same over the years. When we entered India in 2014, as a new brand, we weren’t sure how well received our products would be in the market.

We used the referral system at the beginning to accurately match our supply with fluctuating demand. The system worked well for us as it helped us in keeping inventory in check, while creating a positive recommendation chain that quickly went viral. The invite system made our products look exclusive and generated a lot of positive buzz.

Our recently concluded ‘Best Smartphone Contest’ campaign was a scaled up version of referral marketing. As the brand has grown to become the third biggest brand in premium segment ($400 or above) in India, and we wanted to create awareness about the positive feedback shared by actual end users.

The Best Smartphone Contest communicates this core message in a very direct yet engaging manner.

For the campaign, we also formally on-boarded Amitabh Bachchan as the first OnePlus Star. OnePlus Star is a select community of our distinguished fans.

It is an initiative to introduce some of our prominent users to wider community and grow our fan base in the country.

The OnePlus Star resonates well with our brand ethos and truly embodies the ‘Never Settle’ attitude. We will soon be introducing few other celebrity OnePlus stars to our community.

BW: What is the OS used? Is it different than Android?

Vikas Agarwal: Our phones run on Oxygen OS, which has been developed by us. Oxygen OS is made from Android 7.0 and it not just looks different in terms of UI theme/ icons, but even the navigation and the customization of look and feel are part of the OS.

There are several nifty enhancements like gesture controls, shelf, alert slider, etc., that greatly enhances the user efficiency and device performance.

The Oxygen OS is clearly one of the most loved aspect of OnePlus devices as it offers a smooth, customizable and stable performance. It is fully open source, with the source codes available for developers to experiment, we welcome our community to customize their device experience as per their comfort.

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