Herein lies the major fault in ZTE’s strategy: Instead of relying on its established company name and pedigree of products, ZTE chose to deliberately hide the very identity that it paradoxically wants the Axon to have: a relevant one. Let’s take a look at the marketing efforts thus-far:
1. Axon makes a post on Instagram and . This would have worked wonders had it been published on an official, established account (like ZTE’s) wherein it could have drawn upon its entire collective of followers and potentially attracted many more. In addition, it would have attracted even more people to ZTE itself, and its products – both current and future – which would have done quite a lot of good for the company’s brand recognition in a country that knows very little about it.
2. Axon has a that is, essentially, asking users to leave pictures of anything. The winner receives $10,000. This contest is of an utterly random nature that has little connection with the product itself. Will the winning idea be used in the Axon? Will it be featured in a future one? Does it have to be a politically correct one? This kind of irresponsible marketing is along the same lines as that which got OnePlus in trouble last year with .
3. We know nothing about the phone. As the preceding elements of this piece should make clear-as-crystal, we don’t have any solid details on any of the phone’s specs. This would be passable if ZTE itself were selling the phone, as the company’s own brand might hold enough weight to garner a continued interest in following the product to market. Instead, for the collective public at-large, this product is no more relevant than any number of Kickstarter vaporware projects that have been long since discredited and removed from existence. At the very least LG and OnePlus have worked with solid details in their pre-launch doings.
Instead of relying on its brand name, ZTE chose to deliberately hide the very identity it paradoxically wants the Axon to have: a relevant one.
For the sake of argument, let’s assume the Axon Phone has specs that are equal to those of the Galaxy S6 or LG G4. It would be, by default, an absolute titan of a flagship product. Let’s assume it will be cheaper than either device. Imagine the sales potential of such a product were it to be significantly more affordable than the competition. By releasing core specs, ZTE could have forced customers to defer purchasing a new device until its product launch. As it stands now, it’s fair to say mainstream consumers looking for halo products have probably already bought one, or else are waiting for the next big thing.
ZTE has miscalculated the potential of the Axon Phone, and these three poorly executed marketing strategies are inevitably going to come at quite a cost as, quite frankly, no one cares about this product. Literally.
As the above Google Trends data reflects, the Axon Phone isn’t even a blip on the radar when compared with other smaller brands, including ZTE itself which has appeared in news headlines 48 times more than Axon’s sole offering. It’s often said that no news is good news, but when it comes to launching a brand new product line and selling it to the public, you want to be in prime location screaming from a megaphone.
As if these three points aren’t damaging enough, ZTE must also deal with the fact that, as an “original” brand, neither investors nor consumers actually know what’s going on here. Will the Axon Phone be the start of an all-new brand for America? Will it be supported past the launch window? Does it indicate that ZTE has major ambitions in the American smartphone market? Will ZTE attempt similar doings in other territories as well? This piece has raised so many questions, and it is that very uncertainty and lack of information that turns people off and ushers them onto the next thing.
How will the Axon Phone ultimately compare to other ZTE devices like the Nubia Z9 (pictured here)?
The Axon Phone is an exciting device to be sure. It has adefimeizu mx4 pro
nitive look, it has potentially powerful hardware inside, it is “free” from any pre-existing bias about maker ZTE, and it’s launching at a time when established players have already released their flagships for the first half of the year. At the same time, ZTE has arguably made a major mistake in seeking to hide its brand name from the new product it seeks to sell: there is nothing to fall back on and consumers know nothing about it. We don’t even know what kind of consumer it will actually appeal to.
Be sure to check back on the 14th after the official launch, but in the meanwhile, feel free to take the survey below or leave us your thoughts on this curious new entry into the smartphone war. Ultimately only time will tell just how successful the Axon Phone is, but patience is in short supply.