CASE STUDY: Micromax

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Micromax-logoCampaign: Bling, It twinkles

Client: Micromax mobiles

Agency: Lowe Lintas

Background: Micromax, the 12th largest handset manufacturer in the world, started as an IT software company in the year 2000 working on embedded platforms. In 2008, it entered the mobile handset business and by 2010, it became one of the largest Indian domestic mobile handsets company by offering unique yet affordable innovations. Through its emphasis on adapting to the changing market dynamics, introducing feature-rich phones and smartphones that are innovative and unique, Micromax has today 22 per cent market share in the smartphone segment in India. Though the company has many firsts to its credit when it comes to the mobile handset market including the 30-day battery backup, dual SIM, QWERTY Keypad, Universal Remote Control Mobile Phone etc., Micromax had to fight the giant Nokia, who was the market leader at that time in the handset market.

The Challenge: Perceived as a Chinese brand, Micromax was a preferred brand in the rural areas and for the same reasons was not considered desirable in the urban areas. To penetrate the urban markets, an image correction was required and a brand strategy needed to fade the memories of Nokia from the minds of the consumers.

Strategy: Micromax roped in a face that was considered elegant and niche, Twinkle Khanna. Micromax grabbed the insight that GEN next girls are technologically smart and stylish and that the mobile phones have become a new fashion accessory, so girls love to flaunt them. Thus, on the occasion of Mothers’ Day, Micromax announced the launch of its latest android phone – Bling that targeted fashionable and smart women. It had Swarovsky keys that glamorized the phone for the girls to flaunt.

Execution: An eye catching TVC featuring Twinkle Khanna with Akshay Kumar’s voice-over raided the commercial breaks. The tagline ‘it twinkles’, blended well with the brand ambassador and the whole campaign created a stir in the audience. The print ads were designed keeping in mind that the phone was considered to be a high profile fashion accessory by the urban market.

  • Promotion strategy -To increase visibility further, Micromax bombarded the market by advertising through outdoor, online, radio, exchange schemes and promotions via social causes.
  • Place strategy – By placing the product in popular stores like Croma, The mobile store, Reliance Digital etc., high visibility was assured along with the competitive brands. Tie ups with local distributors for easy availability helped to tap the customers who did not visit the popular stores.
  • Distribution strategy – For the B2C model, higher margins up to 15 per cent were offered to the dealers, which was higher than the industry average of 6 per cent to 10 per cent. And distributors were offered higher margins than what Nokia offered. This helped them penetrate the market deeper into the urban markets. In B2B model, where corporate selling was involved, tie ups with major corporate houses saved the margins of the distributors and Micromax could provide the corporate houses a lesser price than the market. Thus, the target market of professionals was reached.
  • Customer acquisition & retention – Provided better after-sales service and an extended warranty of 2 years, thereby gaining the trust of the customer. Exchange offers played a major role in customer retention and created a chain of transactions with the customer.

The strategies helped in increasing the market share of Micromax and it penetrated deeper in the urban markets. It became the third largest GSM mobile phone vendor in India after Nokia and Samsung, with a market share of 6 per cent. It sold about 1 million mobiles every month. Bling was used by most women to flaunt the feminine attitude . By offering product differentiation with every new phone, Micromax became the largest Indian mobile company that almost cannibalized the market leader Nokia.

By Gunjan Verma

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