2015 Asia-Pacific Gold Winner - Xiaomi
Company: Xiaomi, Beijing, China
Category: Company of the Year - Electronics
Entry Title: Xiaomi
Xiaomi is a privately owned Chinese electronics company headquartered in Beijing, China. Its founder and CEO is Lei Jun. It started designing and selling flagship smartphone Mi and it has expanded into a wider range of consumer electronics.
Xiaomi, claiming as Apple of China, has been extremely successful after three years of set up. Xiaomi is now the third largest phone manufacturer in the world after Apple and Samsung.
Xiaomi’s success is due in part to its unique marketing and manufacturing strategies:
First, Offer a Hit Product Combined with Strong Peak-Load Capacity.
Xiaomi focuses their resources on online and mobile channels forgoing expensive retail outlets and sells mobile phones directly to consumers in China at great prices. It offers batches of 200,000 to 300,000 phones at a time, and they often sell out in minutes. This approach requires a robust system that can endure the traffic at peak-load. In this year’s Mi Fan Festival, the peak-load page view reached 1.5 million and the backstage system came out safe and sound. On Double 11 shopping day, 110,000 MIUI 3 sold out in 2 minutes. It ranked top in mobile sales and brand awareness.
Second – Deploy a “Just In Time” Logistic System
Xiaomi owns 10 storage/logistic hubs in the country, which served as an infrastructural foundation for its rise as an e-commerce giant.
Third, Develop the Art of Social E-Commerce
Xiaomi spends practically nothing on marketing, less than 4% of sales. Instead Xiaomi is good at social e-commerce marketing on Weibo, Wechat, Baidu Tieba, QQ, and other online forums. Weibo is used for attracting new users, Forum is to make these users to become loyal fans, Wechat is used for customer service. Xiaomi’s Sina Weibo account has over 2 million followers, and its Wechat official account has over 2.5 million subscribers. Recently, Xiaomi opened a Qzone account, and its followers reached 10 million quickly.
When Xiaomi was founded, their staff spent a lot of time on forums, making comments, and posting. And they also searched for senior users in forums and picked out 100 out of 1000 to join their operating system design and feedback. These 100 senior users were the base of MIUI operating system, and they also became the first batch of “me fan”, meaning Xiaomi fans.
Xiaomi made users participants in the creation of MIUI operating system and smartphone and valued their ideas and contribution. This is the secret of Xiaomi’s success. Xiaomi is also great at developing innovative products consumers want at low prices.
Xiaomi fans’ city gatherings covered 31 cities in China, and Xiaomi official city gatherings are held every two weeks. There are about 300 to 400 city gatherings nationwide annually. The company also created “me fan” festivals to share new products with Xiaomi fans. 42% of “mi fan” bought 2-4 MIUI smartphones, they were extremely loyal to Xiaomi.
In 2014, Xiaomi’s website redesigned its website to highlight e-commerce and its seven main products and changed its domain to mi.com to reflect its global ambitions. The company also released the new smartphone Mi4, and a smart bracelet for tracking movement and sleep.
In 2015, Taking direct aim at GoPro , Xiaomi launched the Yi Action Camera for $64, half the price of the entry level GoPro Hero. .
After only a few years in business, Xiaomi was the top smartphone vendor in China by shipments volume in both Q4 2014 and 2014 according to IDC. Xiaomi beat last year’s top smartphone vendor Samsung with 12.5% market share by total shipments and 150% YoY unit growth in 2014. Lenovo, Huawei and Coolpad ranked from the third to the fifth after Xiaomi and Samsung.