Earlier this week Huawei launched a new flagship store at the Garden City Mall in Nairobi. The launch was both unique and important for Huawei Technologies as they had for a long time sold their devices through retailers and mobile operators like Safaricom Limited. The company currently owns 10% of the Kenya Smart phone market and it attributes this to high level of internet connection and availability of 3G and 4G networks. The country C.E.O Dean Yu stated that the company hopes to acquire at least 20% of the market share in Kenya by the end of the first half of 2016. The company also intends to move from just distributing entry level devices that is those priced below 20,000shs and moving towards distributing mid-level and high end devices.
Huawei Technologies aim to meet this ambitious goal through a keen strategic plan which includes switching over from their usual Business to Business (B2B) relationships for example the one which they have had in the past with Safaricom over to Business to Consumer (B2C) relationship. This will enable them create a more a more personal interaction with their consumers. Another part of their strategy is to have in-store promotions to push sales, offer incentive programmes where distributors will be able to earn a percentage from sales and also giveaways during sales. All these moves are geared towards tapping into the human emotion by improving the way the brand connects with consumers and encouraging this positive interaction.
“In as much as consumers conduct heavy online research which involves blogs, analysts and using third party information platforms to make purchasing decisions, they mostly trust their gut feeling from the vendor in person”, said Mark, Head of Devices in Huawei Devices Kenya. The company therefore aims to offer a personal touch with the brand, giving the consumers a peek into who essentially they are and what they offer.
When asked whether these moves meant that their relationship with Safaricom was over, Channel Manager Patrice Waithaka said, “Our partnership with Safaricom has been long and good, and we still continue to work together. We still value them, it’s just that we are taking on a different way of doing things.”
Huawei aims to launch more retail stores in different locations in Nairobi, and more important to note is that they will aim to increase their market share countrywide. Consumers should also expect lots of new products and devices and a lot of interaction from the company.