Huawei, pronounced as “Wa-Wei”, is one the fastest growing businesses today. It is also one of the top smartphone brands in the world along with the likes of Apple and Samsung. However, Huawei’s success didn’t happen overnight and has taken many years to reach its current standing.
This case study deep dives into knowing about Huawei as a company, its marketing mix, the marketing strategy that it implements along with its SWOT analysis.
Huawei is a privately held company, based in Shenzhen, China. The company was founded by Ren Zhengfei, originally a soldier with the People’s Liberation Army back in 1987.
Being founded in 1987, the company has come a long way and within a span of 30 years, Huawei is today a global behemoth competing against the giants like Apple, Samsung and Google.
By 2020, Huawei has over 194,000 employees and has bases in over 170 countries and regions around the world, serving more than three billion people.
Huawei’s business activities are primarily based on providing communication-related products and services. A large-scale provider of communication networks and telecom equipment and smart devices, Huawei is one of China’s most recognized global brands.
The mission of Huawei is, “To bring digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world”
Now that we know about the company, let us go through Huawei’s 4Ps of marketing mix strategy in the coming section.
Marketing Mix of Huawei
Marketing mix is an integrated marketing model based on 4Ps: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. This model helps us to get an overall view of the business and the strategies that it uses to promote itself and sell its offerings to the public.
Let us understand Huawei’s marketing mix strategy in the coming section
Product Strategy of Huawei
Being a leading technological company, it is giving tough competition to popular and well-established business leaders like Apple and Samsung. However, its business is highly diversified into various segments related to communications, designed to cater for the needs of different individuals, enterprises and government agencies.
The three primary business segments of Huawei include:
- Carrier business
- Consumer business
- Enterprise business
Consumer business generates the largest revenue for Huawei. It includes selling smartphones, home appliances, wearable devices and tablets to consumers and businesses.
The enterprise business segment of Huawei, on the other hand, uses digital infrastructure platforms by using ICT technologies that help different sectors and industries digitize their businesses.
The carrier business generates the second-largest revenue. It comprises a different range of products, services and business solutions like wireless network, fixed network, cloud core network, carrier software, IT infrastructure, etc. So this is how Huawei’s product strategy is lined up.
Price Strategy of Huawei
Being among the leading smartphone brands in the world, Huawei has adopted a competitive pricing strategy which has helped them create a strong base of middle-class customers helping them reach millions of users. They also target the higher and lower ends with different range of products.
Talking about its carrier and enterprise businesses, the pricing strategy revolves around the industry standards and contractual terms.
Place & Distribution Strategy of Huawei
Huawei is mainly in the business of selling smart devices, smartphones and telecom related products across the globe as far as its consumer business is concerned.
It has its products available in more than 170 countries and uses e-commerce as the main channel for selling products globally.
So this is how Huawei’s is panning out its place and distribution strategy to reach maximum existing and new customers.
Promotion Strategy of Huawei
Huawei uses both channels, the digital method and the traditional method for marketing purposes. As in digital marketing, the core objective of Huawei is to use different social networks and websites which include Facebook, Twitter, Google etc. to promote their various products.
The company has also partnered with several small and big organizations as a part of its marketing strategy and also uses brand influencers to promote its products across the globe.
These are step which Huawei has implemented in its promotion strategy. Now that we know about Huawei as a company through its marketing mix framework, let us go through its marketing strategy in the next section.
Marketing Strategy of Huawei
Huawei has been around for years, but it seems like the brand is trying to establish itself more on the marketing fronts. While it’s not known yet for having a slick marketing strategy, it might be turning its complete focus to marketing.
Here are marketing strategies it has implemented over the year to promote itself and its products.
Brand Ambassador Strategy of Huawei
In the past, Huawei collaborated with celebrities to promote their devices. This partnership allowed celebrities to promote their phones and other products through various social media networks. Since A-list celebrities have a massive fanbase, collaborations with them can guarantee a boost in brand awareness.
It has collaborated with various popular celebrities like football stars Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, Hollywood Actress Gal Gadot and Saina Nehwal in India.
Product Display Strategy of Huawei
Huawei’s strategy of showcasing new products on the large-scale exhibition. It’s no secret that introducing new products in large-scale exhibitions could help in building awareness widely.
Huawei has led a number of activities and joint exhibitions. During such events, the company also engaged with industry partners and experts to demonstrates the innovations and future trends in the mobile industry.
Let us go through some of the advertising campaigns of Huawei in the coming section.
Marketing & Advertising Campaigns of Huawei
Huawei has created and conducted both single and multi-channel marketing campaigns. With an increasing number of people using their mobile devices to surf the Internet, it became an ideal target market for advertising purpose.
It has used popular celebrities like Henry Cavill, Scarlett Johansson, Lionel Messi and Gal Gadot in their advertising as a strategy to promote their brand at country and global levels.
Launch of Huawei P9 – Marketing Campaign of Huawei
This advertising campaign was released in 2016. It was a teaser campaign for its P9 and P9 Plus smartphone, starring Henry Cavill and Scarlett Johansson went on to become very successful.
In the ad film, while Henry Cavill represented the monochrome features of the camera, Scarlett Johansson represented its colourful features.
Best Wei – A Marketing Campaign of Huawei
Huawei first focused on building brand awareness. For the same, they first embraced local markets and created content in order to create the hype. It also collaborated with the Malaysian rock band Bunkface for the campaign.
They used the local slang of Malaysians in this campaign which brought together creative content, local talents, and media platforms to engage with its target audience. In 2016, the company won Gold at the Marketing Excellence Awards.
This how Huawei has worked on its marketing and advertising strategy, let us now go through its SWOT Analysis in the coming section.
SWOT Analysis of Huawei
Almost every brand has its own strengths and weaknesses. Often, this is because of a particular product or service. Even within a product or service, there are distinct strengths and weaknesses.
Huawei is one good example of a consumer electronics company with a unique strength in its networking. But when a product or service is hit hard by competition or the actions of others in the marketplace, their place of strength may be at risk.
So here is a quick overview of Huawei’s SWOT analysis.
Strengths of Huawei
Competitive Pricing: To capture the lower-middle class market, the prices are kept at a very competitive range. Although they have segments in the higher range, their key focus is to capture the entire market.
Large Portfolio: Huawei comprises a variety of products ranging from smartphones, TVs, Telecommunications, and Electronic goods to individuals, Wholesale customers, and businesses widely spread across different countries depending upon the price range of people.
Weakness of Huawei
Huawei is a much smaller brand when compared to competitors like Samsung, Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Although the company has a great market share in Europe than in the US different markets, the users of luxury brands consider Huawei to be an inferior Chinese brand.
- The Huawei brand has a very bad reputation and is perceived to be some sort of cheap Chinese spy product mainly because of the conflicts between the US and the Chinese government.
- “Huawei’s technology is to steal the information of the American people”, states American President Trump and this has put a massive dent on the goodwill of the company.
Opportunities of Huawei
5G Technology: Huawei has been a pioneer of 5G technology in the market because of which it is in a position to sell 5G modems and related technologies.
Online Expansion: In the digital era, it is very important to have a digital presence across various digital platforms for the brands. The company has had success in it internationally. The company now focuses on online sales to increase its market share. With better online marketing strategies, Huawei can lead the market.
Threats of Huawei
Highly Competitive Market: There are a lot of mobile phone companies in the market today working to give better and unique experiences to their customers at competitive prices. Huawei, along with being in competition with companies like Samsung and Apple, also competes with existing mid-range segments brands and new entrants in the market to retain its business and customers.
Trade & Regulation Conflict: The political conflicts between the Trump administration and the Chinese government are bad for the business of the company because it would result in international or border sanctions on Chinese products. The company won’t be able to sell its smartphones in the US because due to this.
With this, the case study on Huawei comes to an end, let us now go through the final summary in the conclusion section.
Not until five years ago, consumers were aware of the brand Huawei. But today, it is one of the Top three Brands. Besides this, engaging corporate branding and marketing campaigns, effective pricing strategy, targeting the right consumer segment, and various other marketing strategies have helped the brand to become successful.
However, Huawei’s major problem is the political climate that has affected its goodwill at different levels.
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