COVID-19 coincided with key initiatives for OPPO. We had two major launches in the pipeline, introducing our latest technology in the Reno3 series and one for Find X2 Pro, and both were important drivers of success for our region. We had to adapt overnight and pivot to new channels very quickly as we had a small window to react. We reframed our strategy towards a more content-centric, digital approach without sacrificing our pre-COVID visibility objectives. The learnings from what was initially an experiment have brought forward very poignant audience and channel insights that will shape our strategies for the region as approach the new-normal.
The interesting thing about the situation we found ourselves in is that it really forced us to reconsider our approach and think outside the box. Physical events are usually a huge aspect of global phone launches. Still, we had to completely change tact and think of innovative approaches to ensure our phones had consistent messaging, awareness and visibility in the market in the absence of a physical launch. While this presented limitations, it also presented opportunities and enabled a broader scope. The launch of Reno3 coincided with the start of the pandemic in the UAE when lockdown had just been enforced.
“We had to reconsider the online customer journey and ensure that it was achieving efficacy and efficiency to deliver ROI on our spend through our growing e-commerce business channels.”
The objectives remained the same for comms, driving awareness, consideration and understanding of the phone’s benefits. We had to adapt quickly to make sure that while we were not able to physically launch, consumers were still able to understand the benefits of the product. We realised that we can still achieve successful noise online, especially as so many people were at home in front of their screens.
It also gave us more freedom to invest in content creation and promote it well to reach more eyeballs and get more visibility. OPPO is a very young brand, driven by young people, for young people, so our customers are already online, making this switch to digital channels seamless. We could also speak to a wider audience but create customised messaging for each market and have a tailored approach to satisfy the different nuances we experience across such a diverse region. A virtual event means a larger attendance and reaches as is less of a time investment for many of our media. We are now seeing people are getting more and more used to online events as we adapt to the new lifestyle. Just recently, we hosted our SuperVOOC conference online, and we received as much interest and engagement post-event as we would have if this were a physical event.
“Another positive learning that came from the pandemic was that we, as OPPO truly realised the benefit of brand love and having loyal supporters that genuinely believe in the brand and help it grow.”
We have worked tirelessly to build our brand in the MEA region since we entered the market in 2015, and we really saw this effort bear fruit during these last few tough months. We have long-standing partnerships and relationships with many top-tier media and influencers, our army of OPPO ambassadors as we call them, who continued to support us and remain as active as ever as we brought them our products in different ways. They are more than just partners to us; they are an extended part of our team.
Despite the absence of physical events, we’ve experienced high sales of both the Reno3 and Find X2. What we’ve seen is that as things start to return to normal, consumers want to treat themselves and celebrate the return to some normalcy and one way of doing this is by purchasing a new device. We take great pride in the fact that we treat our customers as partners – every single person that buys an OPPO phone plays a part in our success, and we treat them as such. It is our customers that have contributed to us experiences 214% YoY growth for Q1 2020, something we are hugely proud of.
“At a time where consumers are very critical of brands, it is brands with integrity that people react positively to.”
Throughout all of this, we live by our guiding principle of the Chinese term and philosophy, ‘benfen’, which means one’s part or duty; it is focused on accountability. We believe our duty is to share our technology to make our customers’ lives easier. We have seen time and time again that our customers take the time to truly understand the real value and benefits that OPPO can bring them. We recognise that and we respect their needs and aim to deliver accordingly.
While the pandemic forced our hand, four months into the journey, we’ve learnt quickly, and these new approaches will inevitably shape our path forward. Our mission remains the same; will keep forging ahead, keep learning and keep bringing the best of OPPO to the region.