Here’s Why ‘The Camera Phone’ Tagline Will Not Work for Oppo Anymore




Oppo is winning laurels after laurels since its entry into the India market in 2014.  This year, by second quarter it became the 2nd Smartphone player in terms of value after Apple, and in the third quarter, it secured 2nd rank in ‘Value for Money’ (10-20K INR) as well as ‘Premium’ (20-50K INR) categories.

CMR's India Mobile Handset 3Q 2016 Fig3

For the consecutive three quarters of 2016, Oppo’s contribution shares by volumes in the ‘Value for Money’ and ‘Premium’ Smartphone categories stood at 51% and 23%, respectively.  The data points only indicate Oppo emerging as a strong contender in the Smartphone space in India by strengthening its position in the two most important price band categories of Smartphones.

‘Value for Money’ and ‘Premium’ Smartphone segments are two strategic categories for any Smartphone player in India as the ‘real’ or ‘actual’ users of multiple capabilities of a Smartphone fall in these price brackets.

The users here, apart from a look at the external finish of the phone, also want a companion that can run multiple applications seamlessly.

Camera is, of course, one such feature that is looked in a Smartphone.  In the ‘Value for Money’ category, there is a high value attached to the camera capability than the ‘Premium’ segment.  ‘Premium’ segment users are more productivity oriented and apart from ‘lighter’ applications of a Smartphone, they use it more as a productivity device that extends or supports their work.

A lot of mid to senior management in organisations, senior government officers, professors in universities, senior doctors and the likes would be the people using a ‘Premium’ Smartphone.  Now these are not the typical ‘teenage’ users, who would always be flashing out their Smartphones for pictures, including selfies.  This is where the messaging of ‘Selfie Expert’ by Oppo goes wrong with the changing scenario, while it turns out to be stronger in ‘Value for Money’ and ‘Premium’ categories.  A tag line has to message out the strength of the brand and it cannot be a category specific.  It has to be the reflection of the overall device. May be in the initial years, it was fine with Oppo to pitch as a camera phone to build the case and get associated with definitely one of the prime features that everybody looks for in a Smartphone in lower price ranges, but as one goes higher, it is a hygiene factor and does not become the factor deciding purchase.

Hence, if Oppo has to leverage from its strength in the higher range markets built over a period of time, then it definitely needs to redraw its branding and positioning, but the first thing it needs to revisit is  the tag line.