Vivo Reaches the Consumer Across Multiple Touch-points, Offers a Variety of Experiences: Nipun Marya

Industry Watch | January 18, 2021 | Interview

Vivo India Nipun Marya Pro Kabaddi League IPL Samsung

Nipun Marya, Director-Brand Strategy, Vivo India, has seen the brand through a plethora of challenges that it faced lately, but at the same time ensured that it still commands a large market-share. If pulling out of title sponsorship of IPL 2020 on the back of anti-China sentiment was a shocker, a recent study commissioned by Vivo on the impact of smartphones on human relationships is an eye-opener. The study highlights the fact that people still value relationships – in fact, 73% of the respondents said they would feel happier if they switch off their phones, leading to Vivo’s #SwitchOff campaign - indeed a very unusual stance for a smartphone brand to take, telling people to be off their phones!

Over his journey of more than a decade, working with consumer technology companies like Samsung, Lava and now Vivo, Marya has gathered valuable insights, prime among them being the unmatched importance of an experience. Here is an excerpt from a conversation with Marya on the subject:

You are a firm believer in offline sales, where people actually go to a store and experience the product and its look and feel before they buy. To that end, you've just launched your 500th store, so what are your plans to make the experience even better for customers? What more are you planning?

When you have to buy something which you have to use for, say, six to seven hours daily on which you will be so dependent that your professional life, personal life, social life, everything will be done via this device, then you might as well check everything before you buy. That's our belief. Of course, there are consumers who are comfortable buying online, and therefore, our products are available online as well. But I believe that experience is very important, before you actually buy- things like your hand feel, things like okay it's not just about megapixels, it's also about what kind of camera clarity, camera effects one gets. So, all these things can only be experienced once you're at a store. Therefore, we have multiple store formats - exclusive stores, experience stores, multi-brand outlets, etc,. All these different stores come with their own finer nuances; for example, the large format experience stores have multiple floors at times, and they have gaming zones, other zones in which you can really spend time and understand the technology before you buy. We will be opening more such experience centres in future, as well as more exclusive stores. Our large multi-brand footprint will also continue to expand. That way, depending on what the consumer’s need is, we will be available across multiple touch-points with varying degrees of experiences.

Please take us through the brand's efforts in the events and experiential marketing space. What kind of ROI do you see from the experiential medium?

As far as the experiential medium is concerned, we've talked about exclusive stores, what more are we doing there and event marketing. So, in 2020 there were hardly any events; maybe for some more time that is going to continue. But before that, Vivo, of course was very aggressive when it came to event marketing, being the title sponsors of the Indian Premier League. We took that to many on-ground activations, and we got great response, both for our activations related to IPL, as well as the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL). In addition to that, we also tied up with many colleges and office spaces, where we ran some on-ground activations. Those also gave us good results. We will bring in activations when we know the situation is conducive to running such campaigns, which I think is still some time away. But whenever it is possible, we will be running more such campaigns.

Nipun Marya, Director-Brand Strategy, Vivo India, is a firm believer in the efficacy of experience, where people actually go to a store, see the product and its look and feel before they buy.

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