July 15, 2015 by ...
Xiaomi hired Hugo Barra from Google. Barra is Brazilian and Xiaomi wanted to capitalize ohn that by having him convince Brazilians to choose Xiaomi. Much to their chagrin, it has failed so far.
Xiaomi used flash sales for success
Xiaomi used flas sales to achieve success in China. Hundreds of thousands of units were sold within seconds if not minutes. They did the same thing in India, which has added to their lore.
Lei Jun and crew ‘luxurized’ a commodity by holding what’s essentially a Kmart Bluelight Special. Xiaomi under produces and those who were able to buy during the flash sale feel like they won the lottery.
Via flas sales Xiaomi had sold tens of millions of units in China and hundreds of thousands in India. It has been a key to their sales growth.
Brazilian flash sales anemic and uninspiring
The same success was not scalable as Xiaomi’s first two rounds of sales were embarrassing. The first was held on July and only 10,000 handsets were sold. On the 14th the same thing happened.
Brazilians are pretty patriotic and buying made-in-China kit has no cachet. They gobble up American and European goods, but to them ‘Chinese made goods’ equates to ‘not made in Brazil’ and they are not buying.
Even after Xiaomi pledged to manufacture there, Brazil offered them a less than lukewarm reception. As I said, to most Brazilians, China is no friend but rather an oddity.
Xiaomi is slowing
Xiaomi has waded into parts of Europe and tried selling kit to the U.S., but they too are not buying. The problem is that absent price, Xiaomi offers little. In a country like the US, it’s usually seen as a better bet to pay $5-10 more on a well known brand, rather than take a risk on something made in China. From the looks of it, it appears that Brazil agrees.