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Getting Branding Right: Phone Makers Have Something to Learn from Xolo

“What phone is that?”

“Xolo” 

“Ah – the Intel phones. Which one? How’s it?”

That, and the ads and some of the results Google displays when you look for “Intel mobile” or “Intel phone”, tell an interesting tale.

Just check for the number of times “Xolo” shows up above!

Xolo launched their first phone – the X900  – with an Intel processor processor inside, in April, 2012. While NextBigWhat.com did mention the Lava connection, Xolo stayed away from it by and large – and the buzz in the market around Intel’s first phone got their brand a lot of visibility.

Happily for them, many just assumed Xolo is an Intel sub-brand. And continue to do so!

Compare this to the battle the Micromaxes of the world have had to fight – they started with cheap, low end phones, questionable service and support and a brand image that went with the territory. More recently, they’ve climbed up the hierarchy both on the offering front, as well as the pricing one. The brand image needed to – in fact still needs to – catch up with these. And it’s an uphill battle – with a slew of high decibel launches, backed by lots of advertising, and even a recent attempt to establish clearly that they’re much awaited. 

Xolo has followed a strategy of launching mid end, power packed phones – both with and without Intel processors – from the word go. There’s been little marketing noise accompanying these, and the consumers have driven word of mouth instead. The packaging, fit and finish and pricing have been at least comparable to the Micromax phones, and often better. Cases in point – the very popular Q800 and it’s more recent sibling, the Q700, and the cutting edge X series flagships powered by Intel which have all continued to get good attention in the press .

Their approach to service with a pre-installed Xolocare app on the phones also show signs of a bigger ambition around the brand. Following up on the same, of course, will be a totally different battle given the source of most of these phones.

Right through, Xolo has ridden the Intel wave, stayed away from any Lava connection, and pretty much never faced a “downmarket” or “budget” tag problem to solve despite it being firmly so across most of its offerings!

The recent ads from Xolo* agains sans any reference to Lava – are a move at establishing an independent identity now that there’s a fair amount of positive – and hardly and negative – buzz around the brand in the market already.

It’s hard to tell whether it was a proactive strategy from Xolo, or lots of fortunate serendipity got them to this juncture. But either way, well played!

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