Escalate

‘You can only market quality products’

- ALISHA SIJAPATI

Gionee mobile phones, founded in 2002, has already established itself as one of the top mobile manufacturers in the world. Since making a foray into the Nepali market three years ago, the brand has already sold over 100,000 phones and has emerged as one of the most popular brands in the burgeoning cell phone market in the country. In this interview with The Post’s Alisha Sijapati, Gionee Nepal’s country manager Qi Shengchuan (Wynn) talks about the branding and marketing strategy the manufacturer has adopted in Nepal and shares a few tips on becoming a better brand. Excerpts:

Today customers have ample variety of mobile brands to choose from. How does Gionee retain its customers in such a competitive market?

To be out there in the market, the first thing you need is an outstanding product that people trust and believe in. You can only market your product if it is outstanding; otherwise, what’s point of being part of something that promises but fails to deliver? 
Gionee is visible in the market because of not just the varieties of models we offer to our customers but also their high-quality build. We have three series—M, F, and S—which have become very popular in the Nepali market. Our products unique selling points are its efficient battery life and the selfie expert camera. 

The M series is for professionals and gamers, S series offers high performing selfies, and the F series provides high specifications at a reasonable price. If one looks at it, we have mobile phones in a wide variety of price points. Today, there are many international models in the market such as Huawei, Samsung, Mi, Vivo, and Lenovo that offer phones with similar specifications in competitive prices and it is hard to survive in the market if you don’t push yourself to continually innovate and gain visibility.  

In Nepal, Gionee is already one of the most visible and recognised mobile brands. Can you tell us about some of Gionee’s marketing strategies?

When Gionee came to the Nepali market three years ago, Samsung had a lion’s share of the market. Today, however, there are so many good international brands such as Mi, Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, and others which have increased the competition by many folds. But we have a clear strategy—out of sight, out of mind. While it is true that marketing and visibility are important, we also want to shift our focus onto providing excellent customer services. Over the years, mobile brands have invested massively in promoting their products through retailers and advertisements, but the investment in consumer care has been negligible. This year, we want to improve on our shortcomings and be there for our consumers. This is how Gionee plans to stand out. 

How important is it to maintain your brand image in such a competitive market?

It is highly crucial to maintain your brand image if you want to remain competitive.  At our company, we follow and truly believe in the concept of six sigmas. Six sigmas seek to improve the quality of the output of a process by identifying and removing the causes of defects and minimising variability in manufacturing and business processes. To create a brand out of the product, we have hand-picked our team and conducted surveys with people from all walks of life. Moving on, we want to incorporate this research with consumer feedback, so that we can move forward in a holistic way. 

How challenging was it for Gionee to establish its brand when it was initially launched in the market?

For any new international company to come and market their product is a daunting task. So, when we decided to launch Gionee in Nepal, we created a strong sales team, who visited retailers and shops to make them believe in the products. Our team had to sit them down for hours, give them a short presentation, and make them understand the specifications and quality of the products. Thankfully, retailers believed in Gionee after using the phones. Gionee is a good quality product that comes with a reasonable price tag, so, I think it was bound to do well in the market. If it wasn’t for our 600 promoters, it wouldn’t have been possible for Gionee to become such a big brand name. 

How does Gionee value its customer services?

At Gionee worldwide, we understand and value our customers. Customer 
service is not only about-after-sales services. You always have to be on your toes. To be out there for our customers, Gionee has over seven Area Service Centres all across the country. Our city service centre has over 50 members who not only repair mobile phones but are also available for any other queries. To offer a valued service, we don’t compromise on our quality and we give the best service attitude. At Gionee, we try to offer the best and the fastest services. 

Can you give us few tips on how to maintain brand image?

To maintain a brand, you need to have a quality product. Without quality, you’re wasting your time trying to sell the product. You also need to take criticism constructively and work on your shortcomings with a positive attitude. There is a lot the market can teach you and you need to continue to evolve and grow your brand by soaking in the feedback. 

Published: 2018-01-01 08:32:34