In 2014, Chinese electronics manufacturer Huawei faced a perception problem.
Although it made a broad line of premium products similar to those from Apple and Samsung, and although Huawei is the world’s third-largest smartphone maker, its awareness and reputation did not rival those of its foreign competitors.
To change that, Huawei decided to use data visualization in its marketing. The company created a series of high-quality marketing materials using 3D digital concept images. Each project focused on a different Huawei product – smartphone, tablet or digital watch – beginning with the introduction of the Huawei Honor X1 smartphone. The phone quickly became the best-selling Huawei smartphone in China, and Huawei reports that the product is rapidly expanding its market share in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. The campaign is ongoing, with a new product focus every two months.
Using digital images in the short-lifecycle electronics industry offered a time advantage that enabled Huawei to create its marketing materials even before the products were manufactured. The stylized imagery also added a premium aura to the portfolio, Huawei executives said, and created emotional ties in the critical months before and after launch.
Measurements of consumer interest in buying Huawei products, and in their perceived value in the Chinese market, increased in 2014 by as much as 40%, while overseas shipments jumped 90% from a year earlier. Huawei reports that this is the fastest growth rate among major handset vendors, with a global market share that rose to 6.9% from 4.3% a year earlier. In 2014, Huawei shipped 80 million smartphones, and the company is targeting more growth for 2015. ◆