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  • Writer's pictureSamradni

Micromax’s comeback to take on China phones- Yay or Nay?

Updated: Mar 14, 2021

Micromax launched a communication to introduce their new range of phones under the sub-brand ‘In’.

The new ad is extremely simple, with the CEO Rahul Sharma making a clear call to action in the form of a video.

However, a lot of netizens had a difference in opinion in regards to whether this communication is enough to get back in the market.

Micromax phones had almost disappeared from the market, but coming back with communication like this, and also considering the current situation with China, can this ad make a mark?

Will it move consumers to finally consider home-made or rather Indian made products over Chinese brands?

That’s something to look out for!

In this blog post, we analyze the communication by Micromax through multiple parameters and provide a rating for the same.(stay tuned till the end to check out the TME rating)

But before that, you can have a look at the ad below-

Advertising Background:

There was a time not too far back when Micromax had disappeared from the mobile phone segment.

And of course, the reason for that was the ever-increasing growth of Chinese phones.

Let’s look at a broad timeline to understand the context of what led to the failure of the brand in the past.

Did you know, initially Micromax was never into selling phones.

Initially, they were technology suppliers to Nokia, and they only became active mobile phone sellers in 2008.

They were present all over, with their inexpensive range promoting various offerings.

In fact, few of us might be aware that Micromax was responsible for a lot of ‘first’s’ in India.

First dual-sim phone in India.

First Qwerty keypad phone in India.

First Android one device in their Canvas range.

And also, the first universal remote controlled phone in India.

Later there came a point in 2014, where Micromax managed to surpass Samsung in the mobile phone segment, concerning market share.

However, from there, it just went downhill for them.

And while multiple factors led to this, but the major reason was the introduction of Chinese phones that provided way more features, and at extremely competitive prices.

Another reason was the launch of Jio in 2016, consumers could buy a Jio network-enabled phone for just 1500, and this was also refundable.

There was no way for Micromax to keep up with these prices and hence it soon lost the battle.

With the title of #MicromaxIsBack through this campaign, it's highlighting this revamped version of Micromax.

Advertising Objective:

The timing for the re-launch was apt, given the rising tension between China and India on the Line of Actual Control.

This whole feeling of patriotism in India was anyway on a rise.

And more than the feel of patriotism, ‘boycott of Chinese goods’ was at the forefront.

When the Chinese apps were banned, Indians were swift in introducing replacements to serve the same purpose and were completely made in India.

Hence, the timing for the re-launch was perfect, and the brand wanted to capture these same set of emotions to ensure more people to let go of a Chinese phone and buy something that is made in India.

Advertising Strategy:

Now let’s get on to analyzing their advertising strategy.

So let’s first consider the fact, that as mentioned earlier, the timing for the re-launch was perfect.

They were also at an advantage because the brand name is already well-established, so people already know about the brand and have possibly also been customers.

The strategy was to grab the attention with a heartfelt message that people might connect to.

The whole premise was based on the hashtag ‘InForIndia’ ( In being the sub-brand of the phones, launched).

Their strategy was also highlighted in the logo of ‘In’, using the color blue to again push an Indianized feel.

With the strategic re-entry, Micromax plans to invest Rs. 500 crore and build products from scratch to match the needs of the evolved consumers.

Manufacturing wise, they already have their units in Bhiwandi and Hyderabad.

And they also plan on improving their distribution channels to push the sales furthermore.

Advertising Execution:

Now let’s talk about the video, while many have applauded the true to life efforts made by Rahul Sharma, who decided to stay up front throughout the video.

There were others, who considered this to be a low blow, attributing to the assumption that maybe the brand is trying to use the bad situation to their advantage.

Well, I feel my views are stuck somewhere in between both of these.

Let’s start with the positives first.

The entire video seems quite authentic and genuine, the fact the founder is directly taking the efforts to accept his mistakes in front of everyone, speaks volume about what the company stands for.

The appeal is definitely enticing and is bound to create a good impact on consumers.

However, it’s important to know/understand the concept of the ‘Indian evolved Consumer’.

They do not trust brands easily.

And with this, we can talk about the negatives.

Indian consumers always question, what is that hidden ‘something’ that the brand wants to achieve out of this?

And that’s where this communication can backfire, because the moment you start relating Micromax with incorrectly using the given situation, it might not work well.

Also, I feel the launch should’ve been a little sooner, whereby they could capitalize on the festive sales on e-commerce platforms.

Another part that I felt acted as a negative was the lack of focus on the offering.

I get that the whole aim of the communication to talk about the re-launch or why there is a need to switch to Indian made products, but not mentioning anything about your actual offering is kind of disappointing.

Even a single line that would’ve mentioned, affordable rates or best in class features would bring in the excitement of consumers wanting to look forward to the launch.

Advertising Result & Learnings:

With the video, the brand definitely created a lot of Buzz.

You can check out my blog on What is Buzz Marketing? To understand this concept better.

Now, coming to the result, I feel the brand can be rated in the following manner, given below (Let me know your thoughts in the comments section)

Relevance – 8/10

Creativity- 7/10

Strategy- 7/10

TG Focus- 7/10

Impact- 7/10

Overall Rating: 7.2

Let’s look at my top 3 learnings from the campaign

1. Use the current situation to your advantage

The need for Indian products, the boycott of Chinese goods, were all relevant because of the current situation.

Imagine Micromax introducing the new variant when this scenario was not present.

The impact would definitely be far lesser.

So brands need to find that strong connection with the situation and their offering.

2. Social Media is the go-to place

I was a strong believer in the fact that when it comes to a big brand launch, television should be your go to a medium.

But Micromax launched the video primarily on Twitter.

Twitter is the go-to platform for brands to come close to the consumers and connect with them.

This communication is the perfect example of creating that connection on social media.

Look at a few of the tweets around the video below

3. Real and Authentic stands out

When the founder talks to you on a one on basis and also accepts the mistake, the connect is bound to be strong.

It shows that the brand truly cares and wants to show authenticism, creating a layer of trust.

Conclusion: While the communication may have served its initial purpose of talking about the comeback. We still need to see the impact of this communication with respect to the sale of Micromax phones

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Ateeb Jawwad Pathan
Ateeb Jawwad Pathan
02. nov. 2020

A well written article...

I think they should talk more about their product specifications not just about how Chinese companies have thrown indian brands out of the market and trying to milk this whole situation, this will not work for long .

The smartphone market is highly competitive, if Micromax won't provide value for money to the consumers they'll loose to thier Chinese counterparts.

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