OnePlus came on to the scene as a startup that was ready to take on the biggies and deliver great devices that impress. They delivered a thump with their first device – The OnePlus One. It was a runaway hit and ever since, OnePlus has been moving from strength to strength. They are now firmly sitting in the Top League of device makers. Let us try and understand their journey a bit more
The OnePlus One was a brilliant trendsetter in it’s day and even today it is a formidable device that can take on many contemporaries. The geeks and non-geeks lapped it up. It came at a time when the specifications it came with were available only in expensive flagships that cost a fat wad of money. The community just loved the device and threw it’s weight around it. OnePlus quickly realized that the community was going to be an asset and went all out to engage and foster the community at every step in their journey. The community has been one of the key contributors in their marketing and buzz efforts and has been growing exponentially with every device they have come out with.
The OnePlus Two was a tad bit on the lower side when it came to delivering against the monumental expectations that were built up after the OPO. There was a flurry of issues and concerns that came through the various channels that the company had set up. The brilliant thing that OnePlus did was not buckle down under the feedback. They actually listened and went to work with what the users were telling them. They were not hesitant to look at addressing issues and the ones that were going to take time were the ones that they worked on first. That way they addressed the major issues first and fast and eventually the OP2 was also a decent device to reckon with.
The next major device from them was the kicker, their best work till then – The OnePlus 3! That one device very firmly brought them back to their rightful place in the pecking order. The OP3 was everything you wanted in a phone and more. The design was radically different from any OnePlus device that we had seen till then. They boldly went with 6 GB RAM for the device and there was no underwhelming lower variant with lesser RAM and internal storage. They also went worldwide with the device. Unlike companies like Xiaomi that actually roll out only budget range devices in India, there was only one OP3 and it was the same wherever you were.
One other thing that OnePlus was steadily working on and succeeding at was gradually moving out of the budget segment as far as pricing goes and getting into a reasonable but not very low price band. The acceptance from the users for this pricing strategy was also very clearly evident. There was no thinning of the herd or reduction of numbers when it came to online sales or the OnePlus popup stores that have now become a feature of their campaigns.
The made a bold decision to refresh the OP3 with the OP3T mid-cycle and upgrade the camera and the processor. A very bold move that paid off very rich benefits.The OnePlus 3T was a bigger hit than the OnePlus 3! The company then started thinking big as a brand and quickly came out with the Soft Gold and Midnight Black Editions for the new device. The crowds at the sales for these devices were massive.
The way the company handled other aspects of branding was impressive too. Like incorporating Dash Charge into their devices. That was a masterstroke! That technology is something that makes life so much easy when you are on the go and need to juice your device up. And then there was the mess that Flipkart created by running an unathorised and totally unofficial sale of the OP3 on their website while the brand had an exclusive tie-up with Amazon. While Flipkart was acting childish, OnePlus played the mature one and politely told the public that they would not support the devices that were sold on that sale. And then they just left it there. That made them look like a mature brand that did not have to bother about these minor things as they had the juggernaut going at full stream and couldn’t afford to stop for these.
Our Sources tell us that OnePlus is gearing up for their “biggest event so far” and I am looking forward to whatever they come up with next. But make no mistake, OnePlus is now in the Top League and here to stay there. In my mind, the next OnePlus device is one of the most awaited devices of the year and I am sure that they will hit it out of the park.
I am a Tech Blogger, Disability Activist, Keynote Speaker, Startup Mentor and Digital Branding Consultant. Also a McKinsey Executive Panel Member. Also known as @v_shakthi on twitter. Been around Tech for two decades now.