Vivo, the third largest Chinese smartphone manufacturer after Huwaei and Oppo, has been aggressive in branding itself through FIFA World Cup 2018 and 2022 sponsorships. It is of no surprise that Oppo and Vivo follow almost similar branding strategy as they are from the same manufacturer (BBK Electronics). Ever wondered why didn’t they adopt significantly different strategy for two different brands? Keep guessing! The fact is both Oppo and Vivo boasts about their selfie expertise, focuses more on offline sales through higher margin to retailers and keeps widening their distribution coverage by opening stores in rural or semi-urban areas. Oppo is an older brand (established in 2001) compared to Vivo (started in 2009), and already appears to be more popular than Vivo. Perhaps that could be one of the reasons why Vivo was chosen for a facelift instead of Oppo by its parent company (?). No matter what, the increasing reach of Vivo by expanding its distribution outlets is a sign that Vivo is getting ready to get a boost through FIFA World Cup 2018 (and 2022 as well).
It is interesting to know that almost half of the world’s population enjoys this seasonal exhilaration. No wonder that it is an opportune moment to reach a brand’s target audience. Vivo just did that by becoming the official smartphone of FIFA World Cups. The question is, will the result be sustainable for Vivo?
Branding is not merely about advertising and sponsorships, it is about letting people have the passion for Vivo in such a way that customers feel, think, talk and walk Vivo. Branding has to be from within the core of the passion, and not a superficial love story that plays like a full-length movie. Interestingly, if you search Google and find what people are talking about Vivo, you would be surprised to see the flurry of positive and negative comments they are sharing on their experiences. Most likely, it means Vivo has to work on its functionality and many other factors as customers are not unanimous on what Vivo means to them. Of course, there are certain popular models that are rated more positively than others, however, a unified stand of customers’ perception of Vivo appears to be missing. Prove me wrong if you are a fan of Vivo!
At this stage, beating a drum louder for Vivo may actually harm the brand in future, if they are targeting the global audience. May be, it is too early to comment. The interesting phenomenon of rapidly growing Chinese domestic market could be another factor that Vivo must have weighed in. With its expanding rural retail network in China, World Cup sponsorship would probably spark an uprise in Vivo’s demand domestically that could prove to be enough for Vivo to establish itself as the number one brand in China. The rest of the world can wait for some more time before Vivo can come up with better solution in 2022!