"In the future, we will force ourselves to produce a product that reaches the Find X level every year."
Two years later, when the Find X series returned again, Wu Qiang, Vice President of OPPO brought his rethinking of the high-end market: "To succeed in the global market, we must upgrade the brand, do brand upgrades, and If you want to upgrade your brand, you must have a flagship product, and we are thinking about it step by step now."
Along with Leonardo's advertising, the phrase "Find Me" aroused widespread concern in China ten years ago.
OPPO's first Android phone, the Find X903, became famous. Subsequently, Find's sliding full keyboard, Finder's world's thinnest, Find 3's 1080P retina screen, Find 7's VOOC flash charge, Find X's dual-track periscope structure, and Super VOOC super flash charge. OPPO's ultimate exploration of mobile phones.
However, in terms of product rhythm, Find is also somewhat arbitrary. The Find X launched in 2018 is 4 years away from the previous generation Find 7, and the launch time of the Find X2 is another two years behind the previous generation Find X.
In the fiercely competitive high-end mobile phone market, this pace has made OPPO lose many opportunities.
Since 2015, OPPO has streamlined its two flagship product lines, the N series and the Find series, and focused on building the mid-range R series, which has achieved considerable results in the market.
The R7 series sold 15 million units, the R9 series sold 20 million units, and the R11 series ranked first in offline sales for the fourth consecutive month.
In early 2017, IDC released a data report showing that OPPO's sales volume increased by 122.2% year-on-year, surpassing Huawei, Apple, and Xiaomi to become the leader of the Chinese market.
However, the convening of many celebrities and the R11 conference in conjunction with Zhejiang Satellite TV and wearing the concert jacket became a major turning point in the development of OPPO.
After Huawei, vivo, Xiaomi and other manufacturers successively launched full-screen mobile phones, OPPO, which missed the full-screen vent, finally launched its first full-screen mobile phone R11s in November.
In this regard, Wu Qiang explained that "some things should be the first to be the world's first, and some things should be the first to be the future." However, the R series began to lose its previous record of winning without a fight.
In the second quarter of 2019, a report released by IDC showed that OPPO's share in China's smartphone market ranked only third. Under the impact of Huawei and Xiaomi offline stores, OPPO, which has been rooted in the mid-market for 10 years, has also begun to rethink the next decade.
From R series to Reno series, from giving up to restarting the Find series, to upgrading the Find X series, OPPO's product strategy and market strategy are continuously updated.
Due to the external environment, the high-end market is now facing unprecedented competition and challenges. How does OPPO break the game?
The rise of the R series
In 2016, OPPO won the title of China's smartphone shipments under the leadership of Chen Mingyong. It was an incredible thing from the outside world at the time that such a series was so successful.
However, the OPPO, which has always emphasized "duty", said that "it can't dig out the earth-shattering stories, just like dripping through stones, it is very bland".
Chen Mingyong has been following Duan Yongping for more than 20 years. He is well versed in the essence of channel management and product development concepts. He understands Duan Yongping's "big house is big," and is willing to share the benefits with agents.
It is also because of the close relationship with the channels and agents that OPPO can survive the biggest disaster in history. In 2011, the rapid spread of 3G networks in China was far from what OPPO could have expected. The inventory of millions of 2G mobile phones almost killed the company.
Large and small counters have successively adopted 3G as a selling point. Only OPPO agents are still selling 2G mobile phones at low prices, and within a few months, the money made in the previous year is squandered.
OPPO continues two characteristics of BBK: one is penetration in rural areas, and the other is that agents hold some shares in OPPO.
However, at the time when Xiaomi's Internet gameplay was the hottest, Wu Qiang once doubted his agency model and prompted OPPO to learn Xiaomi and start investing more energy online than offline.
But as more and more Internet mobile phone brands joined the competition, the initial cost of sales of 8 yuan was quickly raised to more than 200 yuan.
OPPO found that offline channel costs can be lower, and began a fierce offline channel expansion, so that in 2016 compared with 2014, the number of offline channels more than doubled.
OPPO's first-level agents have been differentiated several times, increasing to 36 in 2016, and controlling more than 200,000 sales outlets and about 5,300 specialty stores.
The first-level agent and the factory hold each other's shares, share risks, share profits, and are called "vendor integration" internally.
By entering the rural area and then the city's brand building road, OPPO's strategy of subsidizing brands and promotion after accumulating high profits has been very successful.
With the wave of smartphone replacement in the third- and fourth-tier cities, OPPO and Vivo relied on the absolute superiority of the core streets to fight a beautiful turnaround.
The positioning of the R series and OPPO's choice to bet on the mid-market were obviously closely related to the situation at the time. Decorated with huge green flags, huge star posters, tall inflatable balloons, or slogans such as "5 minutes for charging and 2 hours for talking", they have been standard in third and fourth tier cities in the past few years .
In the store, the most prominent counters are always left to OPPO and vivo, and shopping guides will do their best.
In early 2017, IDC released a data report showing that OPPO's sales volume increased by 122.2% year-on-year, surpassing Huawei Apple Xiaomi to become the leader in the Chinese market; vivo's year-on-year growth rate also reached 96.9%, nearly doubling, ranking third in the Chinese market.
OPPO R9 sales are as high as 20 million units, this number is still the highest peak of domestic mobile phone sales in the price segment of around 2500 yuan today.
In September 2016, Huawei launched the nova series of mobile phones, which were initially considered to be "female phones", but in fact, the first generation of nova can see that Huawei has not yet figured out how to locate it, but just changed its name to the vest machine.
The spokesperson Guan Xiaotong's ability to take goods with him at the time was not the same as Yang Mi and Lu Han of OPPO and Vivo.
Until the nova2 series in 2017, Huawei really began to fully emulate the OPPO and Vivo model at the pixel level, signed Zhang Yixing, Nova's first male spokesperson, and the Qianxian plan was in full swing.
Due to the success of the offline models of OPPO and vivo, Xiaomi also encountered sales of Waterloo in 2016. Lei Jun began to take charge of the supply chain and is actively preparing for the Xiaomi House project that specializes in offline. It was also that year that Red Rice invited three spokespersons at once, Liu Shishi, Wu Xiubo and Liu Haoran.
However, OPPO and vivo at this time also saw a hidden crisis.
"In fact, from 2015 to 2017, I think that the offline channels have some irrationality. Because the operator subsidies are relatively large and the retail terminals are expanding faster, in fact, they are not particularly healthy." Vivo Vice President Hu Baishan once told the media.
In addition, with the popularity of the mobile Internet, the dividends of third- and fourth-tier mobile phones are gradually disappearing, and mobile phone giants have turned to the shopping malls of first- and second-tier cities and began to "re-engraved" the Apple Store model that first took place in the United States in May 2001. Not just mobile phones, but hundreds of thousands of SKUs.
In order to capture the first-tier and second-tier cities, OPPO has launched offline flagship stores in Beishangguang, whether it is two or three hundred square meters of Qihua Road store or fifty or sixty square meters of Nanjing Road store, SKU has less than ten models of mobile phones. Unlike the huge distribution system of the past, this is a completely strange battlefield.
In 2019, the mobile phone industry is ushered in an unprecedented shuffle, and the polarization is even more obvious. As manufacturers such as Gionee withdrew from the stage of history, the original contention of one hundred companies gradually evolved into a fight between several head manufacturers.
At the same time, overall smart phone shipments are still declining, and consumers are buying rationally. It is very difficult for mobile phone manufacturers to arouse consumers' purchase desire through conventional iterative products or popular marketing methods.
The birth of the Reno series and the independence of Realme
There has never been any smooth sailing in the world. A temporary lead does not equal permanent success. The competitors may have taken a few more detours than you. But in the mobile phone industry that was not stable at the time, why not have a corner to overtake?
In recent years, the rise of Huawei in China and even the world has made OPPO soberly aware of the crisis.
In the first quarter of 2019, Shen Yiren, Vice President of OPPO, announced via Weibo a surprise decision for most people: suspension of the R series update and the launch of the new Reno series.
The reason why many people are confused is that they don't understand some changes made in OPPO in 2018.
An industry source told Tencent News that OPPO has abandoned the consistent spokesperson system since R17, and this is mainly related to the decline in the sales conversion rate of the spokesperson.
The reason why OPPO plans R17 Pro is to improve the brand image through technology research and development and increase the price range of R series.
OPPO R17 Pro is the industry's first mobile phone equipped with a ToF 3D camera, and it also inherits the Super VOOC flash charging technology of the Find X series.
In fact, even before the release of the R17 Pro, OPPO may have decided to adjust its product line in all directions.
OPPO can rely on the R series before, because most of the domestic manufacturers at that time mainly occupied the low-end market, and they were not able to stand firmly on the high-end market dominated by Apple and Samsung for a long time.
But what never happened was that in 2017, Huawei made the P9 “Famous in the First World War” by cooperating with the luxury camera brand Leica, and at the same time opened the “door to the new world” for Chinese competitors.
On the one hand, Huawei has made great strides in the high-end market, and on the other hand, it has copied the OPPO and Vivo practices at the pixel level in the low-end market. At the same time, it has Honor who has chosen Internet brands such as Xiaomi.
The coverage of full-price products, omni-channels and omni-segment markets made the OPPO who concentrated on the R-series only feel the crisis. Although the agency data shows that OPPO still leads the sales volume until 2018, it is just the quietness before the storm.
Therefore, if OPPO continues to push only the R series according to the previous strategy in 2019, it is tantamount to drinking and quenching thirst.
In addition, after several years of star product creation, the inherent image of the R series has long been rooted in the hearts of the people, OPPO had to change its brand-new product line. So, Reno was pushed into this position.
Reno has been criticized since birth, for example, the word is difficult to remember and I don't know how to read it. Later, the family became huge, including Reno digital series, Reno Z series, Reno Ace series, Reno 10x zoom version, vitality version, etc., many people are even more confused.
In fact, Reno assumed most of the tasks of OPPO's expansion of the price segment and market segmentation in 2019, and a small part of the tasks were handed over to the K series of positioning cost-effective online K-series and A-line positioning of thousands of offline products. series.
The Reno family covers a wide range of price segments ranging from 2,000 yuan to 5,000 yuan. Among them, there are many different positioning products such as offline mid-range machines, online cost-effective flagships, and omni-channel high-end flagships.
As for why a series should be made into a family, an industry source mentioned his views to Tencent News. "The original intention of OPPO to do this was to integrate the R-series line, that is, 'gather all resources into one product line to create a star product', and integrate it into the current strategy to form a unified image, which is obvious with other series such as Find. Segmentation. But it seems to be a bit run by the market later, for example, for 5G, three generations of Reno digital series were launched within a year. "
In order to achieve omni-channel, full-price, and coverage of different market segments, reforming existing brands and product lines is not enough. In July 2018, OPPO executive Li Bingzhong Weibo announced his departure and established the Realme brand.
Realme inherits the genes of "OPPO Real" and specifically targets young people. It initially targeted emerging markets such as India. Its products are mainly models with a price of around 1,000 yuan.
In May 2019, Realme officially returned to China and joined the Chinese market scuffle. At present, China's product line directly targets Red Rice.
Realme is strictly another form of OPPO's "internal entrepreneurship". Although it is impossible to talk about sub-brands, and the two operate nominally independently, it is not appropriate to say that the two are not related. But it is undeniable that Realme fills the gap of OPPO in a few individual market segments to a certain extent.
The restart of Find and the high-end road
OPPO's series of adjustments in the low- and mid-end markets is an innovation of the areas in which it has been best in the past. In the high-end market, the road is obviously much harder.
For OPPO, the high-end market is a difficult but hard-to-find bone.
"OPPO has two core problems to be solved in the high-end market, one is the product, and the other is the brand. Among them, improving the core value and brand premium of the brand is more important than creating a product worthy of the name of" flagship ". It's much more difficult, "analysts told Tencent News.
OPPO is not short of money, not to mention the ability to build good products.
In November 2018, OPPO founder and CEO Chen Mingyong stated that OPPO will increase its R & D budget from 4 billion to 10 billion in 2019. In December 2019, Chen Mingyong stated again that OPPO's R & D investment in the next three years will reach 50 billion. Faced with cutting-edge trends such as 5G and AIoT, paying close attention to research and development to create competitive products has become OPPO's development strategy in the next few years.
OPPO's investment in research and development is rewarding. In June 2018, OPPO Find X held a global launch ceremony in the Louvre, France. The dual-track perimeter hidden structure made the phone truly achieve a full screen, which was amazing.
This phone was initially priced at 999 euros in the European market and the official price in China was 4,999 yuan. This phone is also the first high-end phone in OPPO history to break the price of 4,000 yuan.
In an interview with Yicai.com, the head of research and development at OPPO Find X once said: "The Find X project is results-oriented. Until now, no project will do this."
In the past, when many mobile phone projects of OPPO encountered major breakthroughs and difficulties, they would be evaluated by an expert team to determine whether it is necessary to continue to move forward so as not to cause unnecessary consumption. Only the product Find X, no matter how difficult it was, was The company's management demands "must go."
The reason for choosing to restart the product line four years ago is that on the one hand OPPO considers the feelings of the Find series, on the other hand, the “exploration” meaning of Find is in line with OPPO's current product definition and development goals, and the “X” It also represents "unknown", which is very positive for the brand.
Because of this, OPPO chose to upgrade the Find series directly to the Find X series.
As a high-end model of OPPO, although the Find X is not necessarily as prominent as the R series of the same year in terms of sales, it does play a role in pulling the brand, which has made many people change the OPPO brand. However, it is impossible for OPPO to rely on this product to stabilize the high-end market.
The lack of supply chain capabilities at the time slowed the pace of OPPO's siege in the high-end market.
In 2019, Find X did not usher in its next-generation Find X2, and only launched two flagship models starting at less than 4,000 yuan, namely the Reno 10x zoom version and Reno Ace, which meant a "guarantee". .
Although these two products are equipped with Snapdragon flagship chips, the overall quality is far from Find X, and they are all partial students.
"The lack of (on schedule) listing is definitely because it did not meet our expectations in the overall performance of the product, that is to say, from the product's styling design, including product definition, these aspects did not meet our expectations for the Find series, so We stopped that project and started again. "Wu Qiang later revealed to the media.
"Last year, OPPO did not update the Find X series. It is likely to wait for the maturity of the camera and other technologies. But the industry has not given OPPO enough time. The Reno series has not yet achieved the great success of the R series that year Forcing OPPO to continue to work in the high-end market, "industry sources told Tencent News.
"Super Sense Screen" is the main feature of the Find X2 series. With the loading of new technologies such as 120Hz and 1 billion colors, it has made in-depth optimization in terms of resolution, color, refresh rate, and brightness.
As far as paper specifications are concerned, the difference between OPPO Find X2 Pro and Samsung S20 Ultra on the screen is not large, and Samsung S20 Ultra does not yet support QHD + and 120Hz at the same time.
"Although Find X2 uses a curved screen with holes, the screen quality is currently the highest in China. According to DisplayMate data, the maximum JNCD of Find X2 Pro is almost the same as that of Samsung's flagship screen, far exceeding the iPhone." Tencent News said.
"As of now, Huawei's high-end flagship screen refresh rate has not reached 90Hz. At present, OPPO has been able to achieve a refresh rate of 120Hz, which is far less than the current Huawei flagship." Industry analysts, OPPO's move seems exactly To address Huawei's weakness.
As far as products are concerned, the OPPO Find X2 series is already the first echelon in China.
However, OPPO's biggest challenge to the high-end market is actually the brand.
A few years ago, OPPO's Baidu Encyclopedia had this sentence: “OPPO is a camera phone brand that more young people choose”. In the early years, OPPO's impression of "making mobile phones for young people" has been deeply rooted, and young people have a distance from high-end market consumption.
So from the beginning, OPPO has to challenge the brand in the high-end market. In contrast, Huawei and OPPO routes are completely different.
Huawei's loyal user base includes middle-aged businesspeople. At that time, Huawei Mate series grabbed some users from Samsung Note series.
OPPO has been working hard to differentiate its brand image. In the first quarter of 2019, with the announcement of Reno, OPPO also carried out a brand upgrade at the VI level.
From the logo design, the brand color, to the font, the product packaging has been updated.
In February 2020, OPPO officially announced its self-developed chip plan-the "Mariana Plan." Although OPPO officially responded that the core purpose is to enhance product competitiveness and improve user experience.
However, considering that there are still a small number of manufacturers capable of self-developed chips, who can take the lead in launching self-developed chips will definitely be beneficial to enhance the brand value.
To be a high-end brand, overseas markets are equally important. In 2019, domestic mobile phone manufacturers affected by Huawei in the Chinese market have accelerated their capture of the global market, and OPPO is no exception.
According to IDC data, global shipments of OPPO in 2019 were 114.3 million units, an increase of 0.9% over the same period, ranking fifth with an 8.3% market share, of which overseas market share exceeded 51%.
OPPO has now entered more than 40 countries and regions around the world, with six research institutes and four R & D centers in the world, with global R & D capabilities. This year also plans to expand the mobile phone market in Germany, Romania, Portugal, Belgium and Mexico.
In addition to the adjustment of product strategy and the acceleration of the global strategy, OPPO is also actively making up lessons in ecological construction. At the conference of Find X2 series, OPPO Watch, OPPO's first smart watch, was also officially unveiled.
OPPO innovatively applies the 3D hyperboloid flexible screen used in flagship phones to watches. Another highlight of the watch is its support for eSIM solutions and its ability to communicate and surf the Internet independently.
In addition, OPPO also announced that it will officially release TV products in the second half of this year.
But at present, OPPO's high-end market has a long way to go, and as Chen Mingyong said, "All these take time, and we must have the faith of ten years to sharpen our sword."