Exploring the Brand Marketing Strategy of Xiaomi Inc.

Abstract

A brand marketing strategy is a vital element of the overall marketing strategy of a company. This is because it determines to what extent a company is able to become a market leader. For this reason, much effort must be placed in its development in a way that will ensure that the strategy can result in an effective competitive advantage. The purpose of this study is to comprehensively analyse the brand marketing strategy for the Chinese mobile phone company Xiaomi in a bid to determine how to improve the brand influence of this company in the market.

This is important given that the company’s current brand has been found to be lacking and is ineffective in its role of providing a competitive advantage to the company. This is best confirmed by its slipping position in the market and the growth of its competitors such as Apple, Huawei, and Samsung. The study revealed that most of the problems the company is currently facing with regard to reduced market share are due to its ignorance of the trends in the market. Integrating these trends and adopting measures aimed at improving the current brand marketing strategy is one way that the company will re-emerge as a market leader once again.

Keywords: Brand, Marketing Strategy, Market Leader, Xiaomi, Competitive Advantage.

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Introduction

The mobile phone industry is increasingly finding itself in a highly competitive business environment. The competition in this industry is not only fierce but intense. This can be attributed to the evolving nature of technology which has led to increased innovation among companies and attracted new business into the industry (Ahrens & Zhou, 2013). For this reason, pressure has mounted on the leading companies to work on enhancing their brands so as to retain their market share and position. The Chinese mobile phone industry has emerged as one of the most competitive in the world (Andonov, 2006). Consequently, it is not surprising that some of the companies operating in this market are constantly struggling to keep up.

One marketing concept that has remained at the centre of this competitive environment is the brand marketing strategy. A brand marketing strategy plays a significant role in determining the success of a company (Zhihong, Hongting, Rui, & Jiawei, 2016). This is because of its ability to influence consumers’ buying decisions. In order to gain an increased understanding of the significance of this marketing concept and its impact on the success of a business, this research will carry out a case of study of Beijing-based Xiaomi Technology Ltd, commonly shortened to Xiaomi in the business world (Xiaomi Global, 2016). This company is of interest to this study due to the recent struggles that have seen to it losing a significant part of its market share. This has mainly been caused by the company’s inadequate brand marketing strategy.

Background of the Study

The problem of poor branding among many Chinese based mobile company is proving to be detrimental to the industry as foreign-based companies are increasingly grabbing a larger share of the market. According to Jin and Zedtwitz (2008), before 2004 the majority of Chinese mobile manufacturers controlled over half of the market share. The rise of the multi-media function in mobile phones brought change that led to many of these companies losing their relevancy in the market. Ultimately, most of these mobile phone companies were lagging behind in technology and lacked the talent to develop the right branding that would enhance the position of these companies in the market despite the changes (Arthur, 2016).

During this period of decline, a considerable number of state-owned phone brands such as Bird and Panda withdrew from the competition. This paved the way for foreign-based brands such as Nokia and Motorola to dominate China’s mobile phone market. Consequently, from 2007 to the present many Chinese smartphone brands have sprung up including Huawei, OPPO and Lenovo (Bieliński, 2016). These brands have seized both the middle and low-end market by virtue of high-cost performance (Liang, Ma & Qi, 2013). It is this current characteristic of the Chinese mobile market that has warranted the need to explore the brand marketing strategy of Xiaomi. Understanding this strategy and the problems associated with it makes it possible to find a way for these companies to overcome the threat of foreign competition.

Problem Statement

Despite remaining one of the leading Chinese mobile phone companies, the truth of the matter is Xiaomi is currently struggling to hold onto its market share. Furthermore, the company is also having difficulty with regard to protecting its position as one of the leading Chinese mobile phone companies in China (Horwiz, 2016). The fierce competition presented by foreign-based companies such as Apple and Samsung is proving to be a challenge for the company. At the same time, Xiaomi is also facing competition from Chinese brands such as Huawei and Oppo which are further reducing its market share and reducing its influence in the market. It, therefore, can be concluded that the market identity of this company is being overshadowed by the intense competition offered by rival mobile companies (Bhagat, 2015). This to a large extent can be blamed on the company’s current brand marketing strategy. The inadequacies it has made it difficult for customers to identify with certainty the benefits the company is offering them with their product thus weakening its reputation. All these issues and challenges are hindering the future growth and survival of the company. The table below illustrates the competition Xiaomi has to face for its market share in China.

Rationale and Significance of the Study

Xiaomi has adopted a single brand marketing strategy which entails communicating its brand through the internet. The company expects that by using the internet to promote its brand to the millions of potential online Chinese consumers, it can be able to improve its influence in the market as asserted by the development history of the company (Yip & McKern, 2016). Despite the company succeeding in the promotion of its brand through the internet, its influence has slowed down and ultimately becoming limited with time. This is critical given that pure network propaganda, promotion and retailing cannot meet the demand for development.

Therefore, research on how to improve the brand influence of Xiaomi mobile phones plays a vital role in the development of the company (Bradley, Loucks, Macaulay, Noronha, & Wade, 2015). Consequently, the purpose of this study is to explore the brand marketing strategy of this company with the intent of establishing the specific point of failure of the company. Further, the significance of this study is this will be essential in providing a framework for all other failing companies.

Research Aim and Objectives

This research study is conducted with the aim of making recommendations to Xiaomi’s brand marketing strategy while carrying out its comprehensive analysis in order to improve the brand influence of this company. This is done based on the following objectives:

  1. To determine the exact sources of inefficiency in the current brand marketing strategy of Xiaomi in order to adequately identify the resulting problems
  2. To provide the most beneficial and long term solutions to the identified problems
  3. To suggest ways that the identified solutions can be implemented to enhance the position of the company in the Chinese mobile phone market

Research Questions

This research study will be guided by the following research questions formulated from the above aim and objectives:

  1. What existing weaknesses can be identified from the brand marketing strategy of Xiaomi?
  2. What evidence is there that Xiaomi’s current brand marketing strategy is detrimental to the success of the company?
  3. What measures can be taken to ensure the success of Xiaomi’s brand marketing strategy in future?

Overview of the Research Study

This research study will be organized into six chapters.

  1. Introduction. This is the first chapter of the research and will introduce the problem to be explored in the study, its significance, relevance, and research questions to be explored.
  2. Analysis of Factors Influencing the Mobile Phone Brand. This chapter will look into the best way of improving mobile phone brand recognition. It will be based on a clear understanding of the factors that influence the brand.
  3. Analysis of the Current Status and Problems Facing the Xiaomi Brand. This chapter will analyse the status of the company. Xiaomi’ brand marketing strategy cannot be prepared blindly and its current status and existing problems must be analysed before the brand marketing strategy is made.
  4. Discussion on Practical and Feasible Brand Marketing Strategy. This chapter will encompass a discussion on the practical and feasible brand marketing strategies that Xiaomi could consider. This will be essential in solving the mobile company’s problems as identified.
  5. Measure to Guarantee the Success of Xiaomi’s Brand Marketing. This chapter will identify the measures needed to guarantee the success of the newly suggested brand marketing strategy.
  6. Conclusion and Recommendations. This is the final chapter of the study. It will reiterate the most essential points discussed and offer suggestions for future recommendations.

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Analysis of Factors Influencing the Mobile Phone Brand

Introduction

While researching the brand marketing strategy of Xiaomi Inc. this study discovered a number of factors that influence the mobile phone company’s brand. Williams and Page (2011) describe these factors as both internal and external in nature. In this regard, they emanate from inside the company and outside it as well. The influence of these factors on the brand of the company has to a large extent controlled its ability to popularize its brand and increase its awareness to the market. Further, a significant number of these factors have also played a role in setting the background of the current problem that the company is facing with regard to its brand losing its position in the market and consequently causing the company to lose its market share (Alrasheedi & Capretz, 2015).

This can thus be blamed on the failure of Xiaomi to respond adequately and timely to the impact these factors have had on its brand. This is one of the main reasons as to why the rivals of this company have been able to edge it out of the market with time. This chapter, therefore, carries out an analysis of these factors with the aim of using them to gain a deeper understanding of the particular issues that Xiaomi is facing with regard to its brand marketing strategy (Carew & Osawa, 2014). In addition, the chapter will provide an analysis of the most relevant theories related to these factors in a bid to formulate a theoretical framework of these factors.

Theoretical Approach/Background to the Factors Influencing the Mobile Phone Brand

The theory of planned behaviour (TPB) is one of the main theories that can be used to understand the factors influencing the mobile phone brand of Xiaomi Inc. Based on the study by Sommer (2011), one reason supporting the relevance of this theory in relation to these factors is it plays a large role in influencing the behaviour of consumers. In fulfilling this role, this theory holds subjective norms as the main factors that are overseeing this influence behaviour inclination. The concept of subjective norms refers to the pressure that stems from society impacting the ability of an individual to take a certain action. It is found that the higher the subjective norm, the more willing one is to take a certain action (Hein, 2015).

When it comes to the mobile phone market, when the pressure exerted on an individual or an organization is higher during the process of deciding whether to make a change with regard to the most preferred mobile phone brand this will demonstrate a much stronger customer inclination. Therefore, this further goes to show that the aspect of the subjective norm has the capacity to influence customer’s judgement and brand choice (Lei, 2013). In this sense, when choosing an alternative brand, subjective will have a negative influence on customers’ inclination to change through various forms of obstacles.

These obstacles when it comes to the mobile phone market has a negative impact on a company’s ability to retain its customers. This, therefore, means that Xiaomi’s current brand marketing strategy is bombarded with a number of obstacles that are preventing the company from being able to sufficiently retain its customer base. As illustrated in the chart below, the company only lies fourth in terms of the market share with 9.5% because of the inability to retain its previous customer base (Horwiz, 2016).

Another theory that offers an explanation to some of the factors influencing the Xiaomi mobile phone brand is the economic theory based on the neoclassical school that places focus on the utility function of consumption. As Lee and Iyengar (2013) established, this theory states that economic value highly depends on the evaluation that subjects give to their marginal units. In this regard, total utility is a cardinal function of the number of goods consumed and marginal utility which acts as the function that is found by carrying out a differentiation of the total utility (Zhang, 2015).

Further, it is assumed that marginal utility is a positive and decreasing function in this sense. It is essential to note that the marginal utility of a commodity is independent of the quantities that are consumed of all others. In this sense, the smartphone features such as touchscreen functionality, Wi-Fi, and various software applications are essential in determining the fulfilment of the satisfaction of the consumer (Bieliński, 2016). In this regard, the functionality of the consumer will play a critical role in influencing consumer choice (Rambi, 2015). This is because the consumer will carry out a comparison of the features of the mobile brand when they are making the choice for their smartphone.

The social learning theory also offers a theoretical explanation of the factors that are influencing the mobile phone brand of Xiaomi Inc. Lee and Iyengar (2013) explain that this theory postulates on how both cognitive and environmental factors act to interact with a bid to influence human behaviour and learning. The theory places focus on the learning that takes place within a social context. According to this theory, the learning process usually takes place within a social context and it tends to occur through observation or direct instruction (Yannopoulos, 2011).

In addition, it is also possible for learning to occur through the observation of rewards and punishments. In addition, this theory goes on to extend to behavioural theories which make reference to theories that are solely through reinforcements. Therefore, this theory considers the fact that people tend to learn from each other. Accordingly, this theory can be linked to the various factors impacting Xiaomi by looking into consumer behaviour and the factors that influence their purchasing decisions (Wang & He, 2014).

For innovative products such as smartphones developed by Xiaomi, aspects like past experiences, family and friends suggestions and opinions will heavily impact their purchasing decisions (Drahokoupil, Andrijasevic, & Sacchetto, 2016). In this regard, most people buy products after seeing what their friends and families have bought or after soliciting their opinions with regard to what they want to buy (Rani, 2014). In addition, it is found that the primary adoption of mobile phones tends to have significant advantages to not only the developer but the entire community.

Factors Influencing the Mobile Phone Brand

Competition attraction represents one of the main factors influencing the mobile phone brand of Xiaomi. This refers to the extent to which consumers of a given brand (in our case Xiaomi) are attracted to the products of other companies in comparison to that of a given company. (Dave, 2015). This is primarily brought about by a lack of satisfaction by consumers of the services provided by the given company. In this sense, this implies that many mobile phone customers are no longer satisfied with the mobile brand of Xiaomi (Wang, 2016).

This reduction in satisfaction further means that these customers will give strong consideration to changing their mobile phone brands. The result is that many of them will choose to switch to other brands. Accordingly, this offers an explanation for why Xiaomi is losing a large segment of its customer base who are choosing smartphones its competitors such as Samsung, Huawei, and Apple (Qiu, 2013). This factor thus illustrates that when customers are satisfied with services provided by their current mobile phone brand they see no need to change their brand.

Further, as a factor influencing this mobile brand, it is essential to note that competitor attraction has an essential positive influence on customer’s inclination in the research of incentive and obstructive factors of the inclination in the Chinese mobile phone market (Dou, 2015). Consequently, this factor has emerged as one of the main influencers of the brand of Xiaomi’s mobile phones following its impact on the ability of customers to be satisfied with the mobile phone brand of the company. Therefore, in order to prevent customers from switching to other brands, Xiaomi as a company should work on enhancing this customer satisfaction by working on its brand through an effective brand marketing strategy (Meyer & Peng, 2011). The extreme level of competition comes from Apple and Samsung as illustrated below.

Another factor that has strongly influenced this mobile phone brand is the status of the economy. Economic stability has significantly influenced the mobile brand of Xiaomi. Recent times have proven very difficult for the company as the economy has begun to falter while at the same time the unemployment rate has risen (Lee, Yang, Mizerski, & Lambert, 2015). This has made many consumers apprehensive about spending disposable income. Consequently, consumer spending has dropped and many consumers have become more sensitive with regard to the type or brand of phone they want to purchase. In this regard, many consumers want to be certain that they are purchasing something that is worth their money. This has brought about a significant amount of pressure on many mobile phone companies including Xiaomi.

For instance, Xiaomi has been forced to pay close attention to the needs and wants of the consumers if they are to survive the harsh economic conditions (Li, n.d.). This may explain why the company has placed more emphasis on reaching out to the consumer and developing apps and a user interface that is according to the specifications of the users. That is, Xiaomi mobile phones as a brand offer consumers custom made features on their devices. Furthermore, the company’s online presence is very strong (Pon, Seppälä, & Kenney, 2014).

This strength can be demonstrated by its ability to quickly respond to reviewers’ criticism and respond to consumers’ opinions and suggestions. This evidenced in the changes that they have made to most of their smartphone products. Therefore, as consumers continue to be increasingly sensitized about their spending behaviour as a result of the poor economic conditions they are facing, Xiaomi as a mobile phone company continues to be impacted by this (Pon, Seppälä, & Kenney, 2014).

A number of legal factors have also influenced the mobile brand for Xiaomi. This is as a consequence of the fact that the smartphone industry is increasingly being governed by an array of regulations, consumer protection, and various safety laws (Mariniello, Neven, & Padilla, 2015). As a result, the Chinese mobile phone company has been placed in a position where it must develop policies that put it in compliance with the regulations established if it wants to continue operating. This is more of a challenge when a company needs to operate in a foreign market (Wang, Chu, Chen, & Ching, n.d.).

This is because it is not easy to gain approval to operate in these markets. In addition, the rules, regulations, and policies that are in place in many of these foreign markets tend to be stricter and even confusing to these companies. This has been one of the main factors that has prevented the Xiaomi mobile brand from successfully entering into many foreign markets, leaving it in a position where it cannot expand its customer base beyond its domestic market (Shirky, 2015).

Technological advancement has also been an additional factor that has greatly influenced the Xiaomi mobile phone brand. The smartphone industry is richly characterized by constant technological advances (Lee, 2016). This has impacted Xiaomi as a brand as it has obligated the company to increase its investment in suppliers who are able to provide it with multiple technologies. This advancement has led to mobile phone companies discovering that there is so much more than phones can do beyond calls and messages. Further, in an attempt to ensure that it is able to keep up with the latest trends in the tech world, Xiaomi as a company has strived to invest more in R&D.

Compared to Oppo, the low levels of R&D at Xiaomi led to the drop of its market share to 11.2% from 13.3% in the second quarter of 2014 while Oppo's grew from 2.7% to 18% at the same time because of increased R&D into the smartphone market (Kharpal, 2016). In particular, the company has sought to improve its brand by investing in R&D that can be used in the development of devices that are able to handle faster network speed. This pressure is further increased by the fact that many smartphone users are quickly switching over to handsets that have better network capabilities such as 4G.

An additional factor that has also been influential to the mobile phone brand of Xiaomi is the aspect of product features. Many mobile phone consumers continue to develop a thirst for sophisticated devices and features. This thirst has grown right into the market (Ren, Zhang, Xue, Wei, & Liu, 2015). The synergies that are found among mobile phone operators, the internet, media and also entertainment have further provided the necessary support in increasing this interest in advanced features and applications (Pon, Seppälä, & Kenney, 2015).

This has influenced the Xiaomi mobile brand since product features have the capacity to impact the quantity demanded for the product. In this case, the product features with differing functions result in differences in satisfaction to many consumers (Lee & Iyengar, 2013). Product features further influences this mobile brand by impacting consumers’ purchasing of goods for an expected satisfaction of their needs.

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Summary

In this chapter, much has been discussed with regard to factors that are impacting Xiaomi’s mobile brand. Understanding these factors has clearly illustrated that this is the best and most effective way for this Chinese company to regain its position in the mobile phone market. Further, these factors have also served to show the source of the various problems the company is facing that has threatened to bring it to the end. Some of these factors discussed in this chapter included: competition attraction, legal factors, economic status, technological advances, and product features.

These factors can further be discussed from a theoretical approach. Some of the most relevant theories that have been discussed in this chapter have included the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), the theory from the neoclassical school that places focus on the utility function of consumption, and the social learning theory.

Analysis of Current Status and Problems of the Xiaomi Brand

Introduction

This chapter will provide an extensive analysis of the current status and problems of the Xiaomi mobile brand. In order to be able to explore the brand marketing strategy of Xiaomi and to find ways to enhance it so that the company can regain its brand lustre, it is critical to gain perspective of the current status and problems of the Chinese mobile phone company (Bradley, Loucks, Macaulay, Noronha, & Wade, 2015).

This will act as a guiding system that can be used to determine the best course of action in relation to finding the best solutions to these problems and consequently make improvements to the company’s current position in the mobile phone market. Analysing these problems will entail identifying the specific aspects of the company’s branding strategy that are causing it to lose its competitive advantage as well as position in the market. Many of these problems have been brought about by the company’s laxity in keeping abreast with its external environment (Lee, 2014).

In particular, the company has adopted an attitude that does not pay attention to the current market trends and the activities of its competitors. It is this extent of ignorance that has been the greatest source of most of these problems and therefore has resulted in the current poor status of the company’s performance. Accordingly, the company’s current status and problems contributing to it as it relates to its brand are discussed below.

Current Status of the Xiaomi Brand

The current status of the Xiaomi brand reveals a brand that is highly beaten up and subsequently failing. Following Xiaomi’s results from its last quarter, it is evident that the company’s brand is characterised by poor performance (Chen & Wen, n.d.). The company is among China’s bottom ranking companies in terms of sales. Despite the company putting up a good fight in relation to protecting its market share by focusing on the image of its brand, the fact remains there is still a lot of improvement to be made. This is more so when it comes to the company’s long term branding. Many investors of the company are becoming concerned with the company’s current status. It has been found that a significant number of them have begun questioning the company’s $46 billion valuations (Karam, 2016).

This is due to the fact that this valuation is based on yet to be realized plans formulated towards the generation of considerable revenue from the company’s internet sales and services. This concern by investors could further worsen the current status of the company. This is because many of these investors are starting to threaten to leave the company while others are asserting that they will continue to invest only if the company is able to improve its brand performance. This has thus left the current status of the company stuck between a rock and a hard place. Consequently, the opportunity available to the company in terms of making improvements to its brand through an improved branding strategy is limited in nature (Raj, 2012).

Further, it also shows that the company is not doing enough to enhance its brand marketing strategy given the extent of deterioration of its brand. Although the company continues to generate sales in the mobile market, this is not adequate to illustrate any significant growth that will restore back investors faith in the company’s brand.

In further analysing the current status of the Xiaomi mobile brand, a look into the expectations of the company during its glory days as one of China’s leading mobile brands would also be beneficial in this regard. It was during this time that the company's long term strategy focused on aiming higher to emerge the market leader. This is asserted in the company’s announcement that it was planning to journey into the constellations to reach to places that others had yet to dream (Roll, 2016).

The point being brought forth from this declaration is the company's goal was to go beyond what its competitors had reached and set a new standard among mobile phone companies. When it was performing well, it had higher sales and revenues up to the first quarter of 2014 before experiencing a drop. This trend is illustrated below (Xiaomi Global, 2016).

However, the current status of the company shows that living up to these expectations and goals has proven to be much more difficult than anticipated. In 2015 for instance, the company missed its sales target of 80 million phones.

Problems facing the Xiaomi Brand

The first critical problem that the Xiaomi brand faces are fierce competition. Most of this competition comes from foreign brands that have threatened the brand’s current position in the market. In recent times the Chinese mobile phone market has come to be dominated by the Apple iPhone and Samsung brand. Apple through its iPhone brand has been aggressive in entering the Chinese mobile phone market. To begin with, the company has made the decision to sell its iPhone to its Chinese customers through China Mobile which is the world largest mobile phone carrier. This agreement will serve to increase the tech company’s addressable market (Toh, 2016).

Furthermore, the company’s marketing strategy of enhancing its iPhone brand by launching a larger screen has also made it a stronger threat to the Xiaomi brand. Consequently, it is clear that the increased activities by foreign brands have caused the Xiaomi brand to slowly lose its significance (Osborne, 2016). This has become especially true as most of these brands continue to curve out the larger market share for themselves leaving the Xiaomi brand in a poor position to defend itself from this competition. In this regard, the competitors have reduced the brand to scrapping off what remains of the market share.

In addition, while the smartphone market in China continues to grow, competition continues to intensify. This is more so in the emerging markets where most of the growth is expected to come from. Even some of the smaller brands such as Huawei and Lenovo have embarked on a mission to introduce products with high-end specifications with significantly low prices. (Menzel, 2014) This has further caused the Xiaomi mobile brand to lose its market as these brands have been able to gain favour among the more budget-conscious customers. Below is an illustration of the competitive aspects it has to face in a market where stronger companies such as Apple exist.

Another relevant problem that the Xiaomi brand currently faces is in regard to its inability to effectively differentiate itself. This brand has failed to find a way to successfully offer itself to the consumer in a manner that will set it apart from the other smartphone companies. Further, this has the implication that the company has failed to find its personal characteristics that can be used as its company signature (Tse, 2015). This has led to it losing a substantial amount of its customer base since most customers have a difficult time detecting the differences between the Xiaomi brand and other brands in the market. For instance, a report by IDC indicated that Xiaomi’s brand had been pushed out of the top five vendors club across the world by Vivo and Oppo because of its weak marketing (Jingli, 2016).

Similarly, this has also made it difficult for customers to select this brand as their preference. This inability to differentiate means that the Xiaomi brand is unable to position itself against its competitors in any meaningful way. This explains why the brand does not have its own place in the minds of consumers in a way that really matters to them. In addition, this also implies that this company is missing the point in developing a differentiation strategy that can propel it to the front of the market. For Xiaomi, its use of easy differentiators such as price and service have served to only limit its success. It has now been reduced to the position of category placeholder as opposed to being a true leader. The extent to which things are going for the Xiaomi brand, it is slowly approaching the point at which its brand will now be reduced to a worse position of being a mere commodity.

At this point, the company is slowly falling into a commodity trap. A commodity trap is, in reality, an essential subtle trap. In this trap, the market leader position of a company is not guaranteed. Companies that strive to differentiate their brand by making them better tend to find that with time their competitors are able to imitate them (Manu, 2015). In this sense, the length of time that a brand remains attractive in the market slowly begins to decline as better brands are introduced in the market. This is further worsened by the globalization of the manufacturing process and R&D.

These have led to skills such as supply chain management as well as resource management to become widespread. This has had an adverse impact on Xiaomi as a mobile phone brand. Consequently, in this kind of trap, it is no longer sufficient for the company to accelerate its innovation process. Furthermore, it is no longer enough for the company to increase its number of new products in the market. Instead, it is critical that Xiaomi as a company work on rethinking the nature of its business. This is the only way that it will be able to get out of the commodity trap.

This failure of Xiaomi to differentiate itself was witnessed in its early business strategy where the company had attempted to copy Apple Inc. For example, its devices like Mi 4 and Mi Pad have similar aesthetics to the iPhone 5S and iPad Mini respectively. In this regard, despite Xiaomi adapting a differing attitude to the design and other facets of its mobile device it has nonetheless copied Apple Inc. marketing in a manner that has been described as shameless (Paik & Zhu, 2013). In this regard, the Xiaomi brand has lost a significant size of its customer base due to a lack of originality of its brand.

Xiaomi as a brand has an insufficient marketing strategy which has further weakened its brand. This is due to its high dependence on the internet as its only marketing strategy. Xiaomi has had the marketing strategy of selling its products directly to consumers through its online platform. While this has worked well for the company in the Chinese market, this will not work well for the company in its ambitious plan to enter the international market (Prange, 2016).

While this model of marketing is strongly accepted in its domestic market, a significant size of the US and Europe is still dominated by the use of carriers and various long term contract deals. While it can be understood that the company has adopted this marketing strategy for the distribution of its products, the truth is this will end up being a very costly a factor that will further impact negatively on the revenue of the company. This further demonstrates that the online approach has many limitations.

Another vital problem that this brand face is the poor resonance with its target market values which has further brought out its low-end image. Xiaomi and its phone brand have made it difficult for the company to establish an efficient rapport with its customers. This has worked to weaken the company. This is essential given that the market value of a brand determines how it is perceived by customers.

In addition, the fact that it represents what the company stands for only serves to show how the company explicitly and implicitly does. An explanation for why this has emerged as one of the main problems impacting negatively for the company is the insistence of wanting the same kinds of values to be associated with the business. In this sense, the Xiaomi brand has ended up adopting the same marketing values as most companies and worse off the same marketing values as most mobile phone companies operating in China. Further, the difficulty associated with communicating values has also heavily contributed to this problem.

In regards to Xiaomi, the company has failed to communicate its values to customers and other related stakeholders in a way that can help them clearly understand what the company stands for. In this sense, it is essential that the company find a way to develop its graphic designs, language, advertising so that it clearly brings out the intentions of the company and what it exactly stands for.

The Xiaomi mobile brand also faces the problem of poor reputation following its patent dispute as the company seeks to replicate its domestic mobile phone sales abroad. For instance, the company has been caught up in legal problems in India as it strives to replicate itself in the Indian mobile market (Philips & Kim, 2016). The High Court of Delhi issued a temporary injunction against the company related to the sale and import of its handsets in the Indian market. This was following the Swedish company Ericsson alleging that Xiaomi had refused to pay royalties for use of its technology.

This problem further illustrates how the company is far from emerging as a global leader since the company is currently just surviving on its domestic sales. In the same way, the current problem that Xiaomi is facing in India further highlights the problem of poor innovation by the company. It is this poor innovation that has led to the company violating the rights of others’ intellectual property like that of Ericson (Sidak, 2015). This is due to the lack of creativity of the team working at Xiaomi which has seen the company fail to introduce any new trends in the smartphone market or rather do so on their own.

Summary

This chapter has attempted to adequately capture the situation with regard to Xiaomi’s mobile brand. The analysis of the current status of Xiaomi illustrates the extent to which the company has lagged behind in terms of attracting and retaining its customer base. The company’s performance in the mobile market has been characterised with a significantly poor performance that has seen to it lagging behind its competitors. Despite the company performing relatively well in the Chinese domestic market, the truth is that much more must be done in the long term. It is apparent that this poor performance by the company is causing many of its investors to grow increasingly worried about their stakes in the company.

Consequently, this has posed the threat of many of them pulling out in the event that the company fails to demonstrate any meaningful improvement. Many of the problems that the company faces include increased competition, difficulty in differentiating, a weak and insufficient marketing strategy, poor resonance with the target market, lack of an innovative spirit, and legal problems related to patents. Therefore, this status of the company which is characterised by these problems has revealed that the company’s brand marketing strategy is insufficient.

Discussion on Practical and Feasible Brand Marketing Strategy

Introduction

Practical and feasible branding marketing strategies are critical for the success of any company. Practical in this context means that these strategies can be effectively acted on in the easiest way while feasible suggests that the strategies can be actualised easily with the view of addressing the current problems of stiff competition, differentiation, negative publicity, ineffective marketing strategies, and ineffective resonance with the target market (Chan, Haan, Nordbrand, & Torstensson, 2008). Practical and feasible marketing strategies are undeniably vital for Xiaomi to ensure it attains a competitive advantage and edge over companies such as Apple, especially in its original Chinese market.

This chapter brings out the view that the company needs to adhere to better and more sound strategies especially those associated with online marketing to strike a stronger position in the market and attain its profitability levels at any given time. With the expanding level of competition, intensified social media marketing would be instrumental in boosting Xiaomi’s current standing in the market relative to both Apple and Samsung, who are the major competitors of the company. The following section explicates the key practical and feasible brand marketing strategies that would be vital in addressing Xiaomi’s current problems in the market.

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Brand Marketing Strategies to Address Xiaomi’s Problems

Effective and clear brand marketing strategies will set the groundwork for Xiaomi’s competitiveness in the mobile manufacturing market. As much as there is an urgent need to address the current problems the company faces in the market, it is also critical to come up with strategies that are sensible and attainable in both the short-term and long-term operations of the company. Again, each of the listed problems will have to be approached differently to ensure that they are addressed on an individual level that is satisfactory and focused in its nature in respect to attaining the company’s goals. This section details the brand marketing strategies for each of the problems that Xiaomi is currently facing in the market.

Stiff Competition

It is evident that Xiaomi faces stiff competition from both Apple and Samsung and this tends to affect the level of its success and profitability in the market. Thus, the most practical and feasible brand marketing strategy that would give the company the opportunity to deal with its rivals will be the expansion of its social media marketing avenues. Currently, Xiaomi presents itself as a strong company when it comes to e-commerce and this has played in a major role in its efforts to deal with the high level of competition, especially from Apple (Richter, 2015). To curb competition, this has been mainly done through the company’s e-store and its storefront on the Alibaba-operated Tmall.

However, the company has to understand that the competitive outlook is always changing and could be effectively handled through a well-defined and strategic marketing approach. The best brand marketing approach in terms of dealing with the current level of competition would be to establish a strong presence on social media avenues acceptable in China. The company needs to strengthen its position in the use of a wide range of social media to make consumers understand its presence in the market and the kinds of mobile phones it offers.

This will go a long way into popularising it by ensuring more individuals on these platforms are able to purchase its products easily even without having to physically visit its shops (Han, 2014). As much as it is doing well on Weibo microblog as illustrated below, social media avenues such as Baidu Teiba, RenRen, and Wechat will be great additions to the social media presence of the company.

With the current technological transformation, social media has become a fundamental element of the marketing process and this will offer Xiaomi a great opportunity to deal with the high level of competition that threatens its success and operations in the market (So, 2015). The success of social media marketing is a bridge to even more success in the market because of the level of customers it is able to attract. Nevertheless, the strength of the company in the market will not come automatically with its presence on social media avenues, but with the investment, it puts into attracting more customers to like its pages where products on the market are advertised and even sold to customers (Wu, Zhu, Yuan, Chen, Xie, & Rui, 2015).

Building a competitive advantage is not an easy process, and it takes a deeper investment in the marketing process to ensure that everything is successful in the market. Otherwise, it becomes quite challenging to rule the market. In the overall sense, better use of social media avenues to interact with customers will ensure that they are closely drawn to the company’s products hence giving them the opportunity to consume appropriately. This will subsequently see the Xiaomi deal with the threats of competition in the market.

The Differentiation Problem

Product differentiation is vital for any given company because it helps to distinguish its products from similar offerings in the market. Apart from just distinguishing the company’s products, product differentiation plays an instrumental role in ensuring the company attains a competitive advantage in a market dominated by other innovative companies. Thus, the most practical and feasible brand marketing strategy that Xiaomi could adopt to facilitate smooth differentiation among its mobile phone products is the appropriate positioning of its mobile products in the market as those that exhibit key characteristics such as superiority, adherence to quality, and with affordable prices (Mi, 2016).

It should borrow this positioning approach from Huawei and make it even more illustrative in its marketing environment to ensure that consumers are able to understand its products differently as the ones that exhibit the required value and the level of satisfaction that they deserve as loyal customers to its products. Currently, its differentiation strategy makes it tough for it to be at the top of the market.

For effective differentiation into the competitive mobile manufacturing industry, the company should clearly position itself as a market leader committed to offering products with impeccable quality at the most affordable prices that would ensure competitors are not given the opportunity to dominate the market, especially in its home market in China where there is a good number of consumers. Another important aspect to put in its positioning statement that will facilitate the differentiation process would be the emphasis that its products exhibit advanced technology and would come with key benefits for its consumer base. The evolution of the smartphone technology that gives customers the opportunity to access high-tech phones means that any company would be left behind in instances where it does not adhere to the required level of technology.

Thus, it would be quite challenging for Xiaomi to succeed in the market especially in terms of differentiation in instances where it is not able to demonstrate its own value in the market. The show of value not only enhances its brand image, but it also builds customer loyalty as many customers appreciate the in-depth value of the company's products Xiaomi needs to work consistently in line with the positioning theory, as it would have an easier opportunity of occupying the minds of its existing customers and potential customers as a differentiated product with unique characteristics. However, it would be quite easy to lose the loyalty of customers without a specifically stated differentiation strategy.

This is especially true because it leaves them guessing the value they are able to receive from the products that are offered, as the company does not give them the definite value that they expect from the products offered. In the overall sense, to build a unique position in the market as a brand relative to competitors such as Apple, Xiaomi will need to continuously emphasise its features of quality, value, and technology as they define its products (Xu, 2015).

Weakening Brand Because Of Ineffective Marketing

The perception that customers develop toward a brand is anchored on the level of impression it builds on them to motivate them to engage in the purchase (Zamir, Sahar, & Zafar, 2014). In regards to strengthening the brand that is gradually weakening because of ineffective marketing strategies, the symbolic interactionism theory would play an instrumental role in guiding the decisions made by Xiaomi. The theory posits that there is an interplay between the essential self and the self that is socially constructed (Pride & Ferrell, 2016).

From a marketing perspective, brands play a vital role in mediating between the essential self and the socially constructed self by working as carriers of identity and meaning. A brand tends to weaken in instances where marketing efforts toward it are reduced while it strengthens with continued dedication to making it a reliable company identity at all instances. Customers are bound to react to products based on the brands are well established in the market, and most of them would prefer buying from the strongest brands that would give them some level of class and admiration relative to others. Again, they are moved by what others consume to purchase a particular brand.

The most practical and feasible solution when it comes to the weakening brand image at Xiaomi would be the adoption of guerrilla marketing, which is an effective brand marketing strategy. Guerrilla marketing is a new element of marketing that aims at using unique, extreme, and eye-catching elements to attract more customers to the product of the company (Higashiguchi, 2013). It sets the pace for the improvement in the brand of the product because it essentially goes beyond traditional marketing to a more modern approach of marketing that aims at informing customers about the available products with a high level of emphasis. Guerrilla marketing will provide an opportunity for a more elaborative emphasis of the company’s brand hence subsequently improving its position in the minds of consumers (Lun & Yazdanifard, 2014).

This is what contemporary marketing requires since there are many similar products in the market and there is a tendency among customers to confuse the brand they would like to consume at any given moment. Thus, guerrilla marketing would go above the traditional forms of advertising and would significantly set the ground for a better level of awareness to the company’s offerings. The most important thing for the company to understand while using guerrilla marketing is that it is not about making customers aware of the products, but ensuring that they are able to blend with the brand of the company. Blending with the brand gives them the opportunity to think about it while at the same time building a strong perception of the product in their minds (Lun & Yazdanifard, 2014).

Guerrilla marketing is not costly and would effectively ensure that Xiaomi uses the lowest possible marketing budget to ensure consumers are more interested in the brand offered to them (Isoherranen & Kess, 2011). Consumers also tend to enjoy the new experience of having a newer and more modern advertising approach that satisfies their needs in terms of communicating the brand significance to consumers at any given moment.

Issues in public relations.

On most occasions, it is always emphasised that a company should do everything to avoid negative publicity. However, when the company does not meet the expectations that the society expects of it, then negative publicity results. In the case of Xiaomi, the patent case with the Swedish company Ericsson led to the negative public image that played an instrumental role in denting its own image in the market where it has always anticipated to be a leader.

With a negative public image, consumers tend to avert being associated with the company and do their best to ensure that they are able to stay away from its dealings and operations. Public relations issues hinder the benefits that the company is able to derive from the public in terms of support for its business operations, profitability, and general goodwill (Singh & Duhan, 2016). This is a big risk to the overall success of Xiaomi as it shifts the attention of consumers to competitors.

Thus the solution of the public relations issue lies in the hands of the company and it could be effectively sold through a strong public relations campaign on various media platforms Xiaomi is left with no options but to ensure that it conducts an extensive public relations campaign that would go a long way towards clearing its name and ensuring that consumers are still attracted to it as an original company (Mcdonald, 2015).

For example, on social media, the company could market itself as an organisation that upholds the dignity and respects the operations of other companies in the best ways possible. Amidst the scandals it faced in relation to patent issues, there should be proper explanations of what might have led to this to ensure that the confidence of the public is effectively restored. Apart from social media, the company could publicly apologise to the public for its actions hence vindicating itself from the wrath of consumers. Consumers are primary stakeholders in the company because of their purchases and any little form of disrespect tends to lead consumers to stop buying the products offered by the company (Ying, 2016).

As much as the public relations campaign would be deemed ineffective from the beginning, it would go a long way into solving the company’s negative perception in the market. It could also drop its prices to regain the confidence of the public as illustrated below.

Summary

In conclusion, Xiaomi faces issues related to stiff competition, ineffective differentiation, weakening brand, and even diminishing public trust. These issues are negative and they affect its operations in terms of goal attainment in the market. This chapter has elucidated the most practical and feasible measures that Xiaomi could adopt to ensure that it is safe in terms of surviving in this competitive technological market. For example, it would be vital for the company to ensure that it engages in wider social media campaigns to appeal to its potential consumers appropriately by emphasising its product features and their location. It could also give them the opportunity to purchase these products. Xiaomi could totally change the differentiation of its abilities in the market by portraying itself as a market leader focused on the provision of quality products that would satisfy the needs of its customers in the perfect way possible. Since brands are built through effective marketing strategies, and guerrilla marketing would be suitable in terms of helping Xiaomi restore the strength of its brand by giving consumers the opportunity to readily blend with it.

Measure to Guarantee the Success of Xiaomi’s Brand Marketing

Introduction

The success of any brand in the market is anchored on sound measures put in place by the company. For Xiaomi to redeem its brand image, it needs to ensure that the best possible measures are being put in place that will guarantee that the company is consistent with the required marketing standards. A brand is bound to fail in instances where the company is not considerate enough to understand the market and the changing tastes and preferences of consumers in the market (Holt, 2010). More so, it is always critical to understand what the competitors are doing and how these rivals could be overcome in the most effective way possible.

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Even as Xiaomi looks forward to improving its own position in the market by strengthening its brand, competitors such as Huawei, Apple, and Samsung are on the lookout to ensure they are continuing to take advantage of Xiaomi's weaknesses. A sound marketing plan will be a key measure to guarantee the success of Xiaomi’s brand marketing. This should also be backed up by technology, customer involvement, and adoption of consistency, simplicity, authenticity, aesthetics, and consideration of strategy before tactic (Schaffmeister, 2015).

Measures To Be Undertaken

Development of a sound marketing plan is one measure that can be undertaken to guarantee the success of Xiaomi’s branding strategy. A sound marketing plan in this regard needs to reflect all the elements of the products that the company offers consumers. Moreover, the desirable qualities and the specific customers that the plan wants to satisfy in the market also need to be well reflected in the plan (Hudson, Roth, & Madden, 2012).

This kind of marketing plan will also be essential in providing the company in the right direction as it acts to continue strengthening its brand. While all these are essential elements of the marketing plan, it is also critical for the marketing plan to exhibit flexibility. This flexibility is significant in that it allows the company to make use of the developed marketing plan to accommodate the various changing factors in the market. This will act to ensure that the company is able to survive in the face of all these factors (Huang & Kao, 2014). The absence of this flexibility would mean that it would be challenging to actualize this marketing plan and consequently its operations in promoting the brand image of Xiaomi as a company.

Equally important, an additional measure that can be undertaken by the Chinese mobile phone company in order to ensure the success of its branding strategy is the continuous application of technology in the company’s marketing plan. This is essential since, with technology, the company will have an opportunity to capture only the best marketing trends in the market (Saif & Aimin, 2015). This will be consequential in the direction of the company being able to successfully spread the message about its brand. This is especially true in relation to cultivating a much closer relationship with the customer in the market (Yufang, Bin, & Qiaoyi, n.d.).

In this regard, the application of technology in the company’s marketing campaign will be essential in easing and making it more practical to achieve brand success in the market through the creation of much closer interaction with the target customers. It is also essential to note that technology is a feature that will be essential in enhancing the creative nature of the creativity of the company’s marketing campaigns. This is through its ability to facilitate the use of the correct software that will see to outbox marketing campaigns that will propel the company’s brand towards emerging as one of the leading brands in the mobile phone market.

Enhanced customer involvement is an additional measure that can be undertaken to ensure the success of the company’s brand marketing strategy. This is because customer involvement in a company’s marketing process results in them owning the products of the company. This makes it possible for these customers to also consume these products with the highest confidence possible. In addition, increased customer involvement through ongoing dialogue is critical as it acts to inspire customers and protect the brand’s reputation.

This is because feedback from the customers is a helpful source of data on what they expect the brand to mean to them once it is in the market. Further, this feedback provides the company with an opportunity to correct any mistakes it may have committed in its brand marketing strategy enhancing the chances of its success in the market. This customer involvement can take place by constantly providing customers with information about the brand.

This provision of information to the customer can take place through press releases that emphasise on why the brand is different and to what extent it has been revitalized for the benefit of the customer. It can also take place by including the customers in the process of developing the brand strategy of the company. This can be achieved by offering various forms of online surveys that focus on getting a perspective on the customer experience of the brand and making changes accordingly.

An additional measure that can also be taken by Xiaomi to guarantee the success of its brand is to ensure a significant amount of consistency in its messaging. This is critical given the fact that a brand marketing strategy is a concept that entails a significant period of evolution with any given business. The response of the audience to the message they receive with regard to the brand marketing strategy will thus be essential in determining the extent of success of the brand in the market. This is why Xiaomi as a company should make brand marketing decisions that accurately represent its vision for its brand to the customers (Mutlu, Zhan, Peng, & Lin, 2015).

To achieve this, the company should consider aligning its entire brand presence on both online and offline platforms with each other. This is one way of ensuring consistency as well as cultivating customer trust in the brand marketing strategy of the company. Further, following the three Cs of marketing can also be an effective way of ensuring consistency in the brand marketing strategy and thus its success (Pan & Kang, 2016). In this sense, with regard to communication, it is vital that the messaging and offers that consumer receive be clear. It should also be significantly compelling to the consumer regardless of the channel being used in the delivery.

In relation to content developed the chosen video or piece information should be developed in such a way that it can be used in as many places as possible. This will further enhance consistency in the brand of the company. Therefore, throughout the company’s design of branding efforts including naming, logo, colour, social channels, and URLs the element of consistency is key to the success of its brand marketing strategy (Santos & Williamson, 2015).

To further ensure the success of the brand marketing strategy of this mobile phone company, the element of authenticity also must come into play. In this regard, all the efforts placed and focused on the entire branding strategy should be authentic in nature (Hu, Wan, & Zhu, 2011).

The element of authenticity in this regard means that all the activities taken should remain true to the core values of the company. This is connected to the success of the company’s brand marketing strategy in that these core values are one of the key elements that connect the company to its existing stakeholders. In further safeguarding the authenticity of the brand, it is vital that the company place a significant amount of thought on customer experience and how they currently perceive the brand (Li, 2016).

For this reason, it is necessary that the company select a brand design that represents the customer experience to the fullest. This can best be done by being mindful of what the company hopes the brand represents about the business to the customers as well the entire mobile phone market. An additional way that this company can try to retain its authenticity is through maintaining a balance between what the company was and what it wants to be through the revitalization of its brand marketing strategy. Therefore, as the company embraces its revitalized brand marketing strategy it should also embrace the newness that comes with the kind of customer base that comes with it.

In this continued discussion of measures that can be used by Xiaomi to ensure the success of its brand marketing strategy, an additional point of consideration that can be made is that the company should develop a good eye for aesthetics (Li, 2015). This is essential given that a good design tends to cost just as much as a bad design for a company. In this regard, the company can pay a considerable amount of attention to the image of its product by looking into packaging and its brand marketing materials. One reason for this is product packaging and marketing materials that exhibit a reliable, attractive, and exclusive look has the potential to make a difference in success or failure of the product in the market. Another essential reason why this is critical is that consumers are visual in nature (Li-Hua, 2014).

Therefore, it is vital for the company to note that they do not make purchases just on the basis of facts and PowerPoint presentation. Rather, they make purchases based on what is appealing to them. Therefore, for Xiaomi’s brand marketing strategy to be more successful, it must thus apply aesthetics by making their brand good and creative enough to inspire trust in the customers. Further, it will lead to their brand becoming associated with superior quality and functionality a factor that will work to also enhance the success of the company’s brand marketing strategy in both the short and long run. Mastering the use of aesthetics in brand marketing will thus require the mobile phone company to completely step out of its comfort zone and constantly think ahead.

A significant amount of consideration of strategy before tactics is also a vital measure that needs to be taken in order to guarantee the success of the company’s brand marketing strategy. One reason why this is essential is due to the amount of disregard that marketing and in particular branding tends to get in relation to other strategies of a company. The company pursuit of other agendas by other sections of a company tend to be more essential a problem that has been detected in Xiaomi (Maddineni, 2010). Further, the budgeting that is allocated towards branding efforts is also limited in comparison to the rest of the company’s strategies.

For this reason, it is vital for the marketing team to reject some of the poor tactics and suggestions that are made with regard to the marketing efforts of the brand. This is more so when these suggestions tend to only have a short-term benefit and result instead in long-term damage to the company’s brand (Mamiit, 2016). To ensure that this does not take place, it is best for the marketing team to solicit the help of the ultimate decision-maker such as the CEO of the organization. This will go a long way in helping the brand marketing strategy to gain precedence in the company and thus enhance its chances of success.

Simplicity is another measure that is vital in enhancing the chances of success of Xiaomi’s brand marketing strategy. This is essential due to the current times when people are rich in information but considerably poor when it comes to time (Johnson & Tellis, 2008). This, therefore, implies that people’s attention spans are quickly shortening. Because of this, brands only have a few seconds to make a good impression to consumers. For this reason, simplicity plays a significant role in determining the extent of success of the brand marketing strategy for Xiaomi (Kauerhof, 2015).

One way that the company can create an air of simplicity in its branding strategy is by better organising its brand message. However, it is essential to note that simplicity is not only applied in communication but rather there are other elements as well that require this concept of simplicity. Therefore, other additional measures the company can take to cultivate this air of simplicity in its marketing brand include placing a considerable amount of focus on what is significant while disregarding the rest (Kleef, Noltes, & Spoel, 2010).

The company can also place more efforts into making it easier for customers to find and purchase its product. Finally, it is essential that the company explain clearly, what its brand stands for in a way that consumers can easily understand. Accordingly, less is more and therefore simplicity is the best approach.

Summary

It is evident from the above discussion the success of Xiaomi’s brand marketing strategy depends on a number of measures. These measures, when taken together, will be essential in enhancing the success of this strategy, especially in the long-term. With regard to the measure involving the development of a sound marketing plan, this is essential as it will ensure that the company provides products that reflect the needs and wants of the consumers. In relation to integrating a technological edge into the branding strategy, this will serve to enhance the ability of the company to attract the latest trends towards its products. The measure related to cultivating an element of consistency in the company’s message will be essential in guaranteeing the success of the company’s branding. This due to the fact that it will be useful in passing the same message to customers despite the channels used in this communication process.

Further, the measure is taken to further enhance the brand success of Xiaomi related to the authenticity places emphasis on the company sticking to its core business objectives. This will serve to enhance customer trust in the company. This consistency must be maintained throughout all platforms of the company’s branding efforts. Another measure that can be used to enhance the chances of success of this company’s brand marketing strategy as discussed above is aesthetics which is useful in guaranteeing excellent designing through good packaging and overall image of the product to be presented in the market.

At the same time, the measure of placing strategy over tactics will be essential in ensuring that branding receives the precedence that it deserves over other elements of the company. This also includes being provided with sufficient budgeting that will be essential in making it successful. The measure regarding adapting simplicity has illustrated in the above discussion is also essential in facilitating the extent of success of Xiaomi’s brand marketing strategy since it prevents any form of confusion among consumers.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Conclusion

In exploring the brand marketing strategy of Xiaomi Inc. a significant amount of information has been gathered. This information has acted to reveal the extent to which the company’s current strategy is failing by identifying the weaknesses related to it. It is these weaknesses that have been the greatest hindrance to the company’s success. This has led to its competitors like Apple Inc. Huawei and Samsung grabbing a considerable size of the market share.

In analysing the factors influencing the mobile phone brand, the factors discussed were found to be emanating both from internal and external sources. These factors play a significant role in detecting the extent to which this mobile phone brand penetrates the market and thus its popularity among consumers. Further, these factors have caused Xiaomi to lose its market leader position. However, this study has asserted that the fault lies with the company itself especially in its failure to respond adequately and timely to the impact of these factors. Further, the analysis of these factors has thus been useful in providing a perceptive to the problems ailing the company with regard to its brand. This analysis also took a theoretical approach that enhanced the understanding of these factors.

In carrying out an analysis of the status and problems facing the Xiaomi brand, it is revealed that the Xiaomi mobile brand is failing. This is emphasised by the company’s financial information from its last quarter which shows it is losing money to its competitors. This is the status of the company which is expected to worsen unless essential steps are taken to turn the situation around. The final blow with regard to the company’s status comes following many investors beginning to pull out as they worry that their investment in the company may lead to a loss for them.

This is a move that has further weaken the company and further illustrates the extent to which this brand is failing. Some of the most notable problems that the company faces include: fierce competition, poor differentiation strategy, insufficient marketing strategy, poor resonance with the target market, and legal problems leading to poor reputation.

The discussion on the practical and feasible brand marketing strategy reveals the following. Given the poor performance of the company in the market, it is essential that it adopts various marketing strategies on which it can act upon in order to revitalize its brand. This is especially important given that that practical nature of these strategies will act to assist the company in overcoming many of the problems that it is facing with regard to gaining a competitive advantage over its rivals.

It is essential to note that this study applied effective and clear brand marketing strategies to set the background for the company’s competitiveness in the market. Some of the brand marketing strategies that this study has taken into consideration include expansion of social media marketing avenues, appropriate positioning, application of the symbolic interactionism theory in decision making, guerrilla marketing, and strong public relations company.

This paper has found that there is a significant amount of measure that can be considered to guarantee the success of Xiaomi’s brand marketing strategy. This will work to strengthen the brand image of the company allowing it to compete effectively with rivals in the market. The measures that have been discussed in this study have included a significantly sound marketing strategy which is backed with the application of technology in the strategy. Additional measures are increased customer involvement, promotion of consistency, simplicity, authenticity, use of aesthetics, and consideration of the use of strategy before tactic.

Recommendations

In light of the above findings, it is clear that the current brand marketing strategy for Xiaomi Inc. is insufficient in propelling the company toward becoming a market leader in the mobile phone market. Accordingly, it is recommended that Xiaomi invest in R&D as a way of helping the company to detect with certainty the extent to which its current brand marketing strategy has failed (O'Regan & Chang, 2015). In the same way, this R&D will also serve to demonstrate the extent to which the company’s market share has shrunk and thus enable it to take up the necessary steps to overcome this.

Additionally, it is also recommended that the company work on adapting better measures towards its differentiation strategy. This inability for the brand of the company to maintain uniqueness in the market has been its greatest weakness. This is because it has prevented consumers from distinguishing it from its competitors especially when it comes to Apple’s iPhone series (Peng, 2011). Effective differentiation will be essential in providing the necessary boost in relation to gaining a competitive advantage.

It is recommended that the company adopt more than a single brand marketing strategy. This is because its current single brand marketing strategy that involves the use of only online platforms to make the sale and reach out to customers is failing miserably for the company (Walker, 2014). Consequently, it is essential for the company to consider integrating traditional marketing strategies such as the use of showrooms to reach out to the customers.

Finally, it is also recommended that the company place a considerable amount of attention to the current trends taking place in marketing. Its slow response to these trends is one of the reasons why its brand is currently in a poor state that it finds itself in.

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