We have written about the Chinese Internet company, Xiaomi, and their gradual spread across the world before. Although known as a device manufacturer, Xiaomi are an Internet company: their smartphones and tablet are sold at a very small margin, around two percent, because they derive most of their money from their software businesses. However, Xiaomi is building a global brand and this requires a reach beyond the Chinese market. After a very successful few years selling smartphones into China, we have seen Xiaomi starting to spread their business across the world. The business has had to change or adapt to different markets across the world and has shied away from hunger marketing, their approach in the Chinese and to a point, Indian markets. Hunger marketing is the name given to the technique of only selling a limited number of devices into a market via a fire sale and Xiaomi have carefully managed stock levels, availability and prices in order to keep customers keen, interested and happy with the chance to own a Xiaomi device.
One of the different tactics that Xiaomi is adopting for the Western markets is in order to build awareness of the brand, the business has launched online accessory stores. We are seeing something of a hunger marketing bias to their online stores as their accessories – rechargeable power bricks, headphones and the very inexpensive Mi Band activity tracker – have been sold in limited quantities. And today, Xiaomi has announced a partnership deal with B2X. B2X are a leading provider of “customer care solutions for smartphone devices to manufacturers,” in other words B2X are in the business of keeping customers happy with initial sales and aftercare service. B2X are used by smartphone manufacturers in over one hundred countries across the world. Initially, B2X will offer “comprehensive support” for the Xiaomi-branded headphone, power bank and wearable accessories. Thomas Berlemann, B2X’s Chief Executive Officer, had this to say on the partnership: “We are thrilled to partner with a rising star like Xiaomi that produces high-quality products with unique designs at a competitive price point. We plan to leverage our technology and global Smart Service Platform to create a seamless entrance for them into the European markets and provide the best-in-class service offerings to their customers.”
We’ve already seen Xiaomi making similar announcements across the world, such as in India: it’s clear that the Chinese Internet company means business and rather than reinvent an aftersales wheel, is using established, good quality businesses in the market. B2X’s end-to-end customer care includes a door to door service, which will raise Xiaomi’s profile with busy, expectant customers.