Shipping new products as soon as the latest smartphone models launch may seem uneconomical for many. Some brands, however, thrived using this market strategy, particularly Chinese smartphone brand realme.

realme quickly became one of the popular smartphone brands in the Philippines, grabbing the top spot from Vivo to become the leading vendor in the country in the third quarter of 2020, according to Canalys. realme sold over 50 million phones only a couple of years after its debut.

realme’s success, however, was not just anchored on luck. The company studied thoroughly its strategy and the risks that come with it.

Sky Li, the founder of realme, thought no specific brand in the market catered to young consumers. Following realme’s official entry as a smartphone player in May 2018, the company organized a product launch at a college campus in India, one of the biggest smartphone markets in the world.

It was the first time a smartphone brand launched a product in a university campus, and realme became quickly famous because of that. The brand’s first product, the realme 1, sold more than 400,000 units in just 30 days afterward.

campus concert
Realme campus concert in India. Photo courtesy by realme.

From how realme made its first big impression in India, there are telling points as to why it quickly became popular by then.

Condidering its young audience, realme aimed for affordability and quality at the same time. And sharing the same supply chain with OPPO, realme got the right resources to deliver the demands beyond expectations.

realme didn’t organize a campus event in the Philippines when launched locally. The brand, however, proved its point of “redefining entry-level smartphones,” attracting not only young consumers but also other demographic profiles because of its price and specifications.

How realme advertises its product is also cost-effective and unique. The brand avoids lavish outdoor advertising and instead works with top tech influencers, puts up more campus music festivals, and fosters an online community.

These approaches, among others, led to the realme’s success in the Philippines. It continues to improve its products and deliver value, proving that it’s a brand for the youth and a trendsetter in the industry.


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