A Marketing Hiccup: Why OnePlus is Likely to Fail

  1. Albatross
    Gingerbread May 18, 2014

    Albatross , May 18, 2014 :
    I know all of you are very passionate about the One and eagerly awaiting its release—and I am too—but here are three reasons why I think OnePlus is likely to fail as a startup.

    • Marketing is Everything
    You may have the best products, the snazziest features, and the most loyal fans out there—but you won't sell a single unit if nobody knows they exist. In the video below, you'll see that a software company spends around 15-20% on research and development, and a larger 30-40% on sales and marketing. This, compared to OnePlus' 0% on sales and marketing, doesn't seem like a wise choice. Think of all the product recommendations people have made for you. Now think of all the companies that you know. If every business relied on word-of-mouth, we'd all know a small fraction of the companies we know about now.​
    • Flawed Business Model.
    OnePlus has chosen quite a unique business model, one that relies on "Word of mouth," as Pete Lau calls it. This may sound OK on paper to some of you, but we've seen that this is not a functioning business model. Companies like Monoprice are praised for their quality products, but they do not make as many sales as companies that spend more on marketing while offering inferior products. The Apple iPhone—shamed by most of the tech community for being lower quality while costing more—is one of the most successful handsets on the market today. We have seen that the quality of the product you're selling has smaller impact on sales and revenue than marketing.
    • Non-Profit?
    As formally revealed in one of Carl's posts, OnePlus does not plan to generate any revenue for two years. This means that, after two years, OnePlus will need to cut corners somewhere. If the One wasn't manufactured with top-of-the-line hardware, would you still buy it?
    What's convinced most to buy the One is its value, and as we can see in this thread, very few people would buy the One at a higher price.

    Thank you all for reading my post. I would like to clarify that I am not against OnePlus in any way, and I will absolutely be purchasing the One in June.​

    NeilS, R0hn Jambo, fimbultyr and 8 others like this.
  2. FourZer0
    Ice Cream Sandwich May 18, 2014

    FourZer0 , May 18, 2014 :
    Uhh it's already succeeding... thousands of people want it, and I can tell you right now if marketing is as important as you say it is, we'd all have S5's. General rule of thumb: following generic formulas lead to boring, shit products. If OP followed the formula, it would suck and cost $600.

    joduarte, andrewnave, cgjd18 and 8 others like this.
  3. notjustspecs
    Ice Cream Sandwich May 18, 2014

    SingForMe likes this.
  4. Buck2121
    Honeycomb May 18, 2014

    SingForMe and bittu4787 like this.
  5. sarahsull
    Jelly Bean May 18, 2014

    evilmititis and CantyJC like this.
  6. Tom Gray
    Jelly Bean May 18, 2014

    Tom Gray , May 18, 2014 :
    They'll never sell as much as Apple yet, but if they can keep the price down and get awareness up with commercials and funded marketing, they'll do very well.

    Got to remember this is a small project from a new group. They need time to get the ball rolling before people jump on them.

    Hence the slow roll of the invite system. They don't have a mass market projection scale yet.

  7. JersonCastro06
    Honeycomb May 18, 2014

    JersonCastro06 , May 18, 2014 :
    OnePlus feels pretty confident about their strategies so I'm more worried about getting an invite instead of the company failing.

  8. Albatross
    Gingerbread May 18, 2014

    Albatross , May 18, 2014 :
    Are you saying that you are smarter than the professors at Harvard School of Business?
    Marketing is absolutely as important as I'm making it out to be. I'm not sure what makes you think we'd all have Galaxy S5 phones—many other companies spend millions on marketing and sales just like Samsung does. Still, the Galaxy S5 is a very popular phone.

    I-I, Xillra, rs98 and 2 others like this.
  9. coham
    Jelly Bean May 18, 2014

  10. Mass1j8
    Ice Cream Sandwich May 18, 2014

    Mass1j8 , May 18, 2014 :
    lets give it a chance to show its full potential shall we ? If the product is good it has great potential..

  11. JoeMaring
    Ice Cream Sandwich May 18, 2014

    JoeMaring , May 18, 2014 :

    boostedthunder and onaile343 like this.
  12. Louluvre
    Jelly Bean May 18, 2014

    Louluvre , May 18, 2014 :
    Just shut up and give them your money!

    And stop thinking it too much, keep calm and wait for One ;)

  13. JordanC
    Ice Cream Sandwich May 18, 2014

    JordanC , May 18, 2014 :
    You could be right, but the phone hasn't even come out yet. People also said the iphone would fail...

    Azkendrick likes this.
  14. Buck2121
    Honeycomb May 18, 2014

    Buck2121 , May 18, 2014 :
    @Albatross Yet.. I don't have an S5 and they are losing my business to a Chinese startup.... So who is doing it wrong again?

    SuperTech and Deactivated User like this.
  15. neutrino
    Jelly Bean May 18, 2014

    neutrino , May 18, 2014 :
    I'd like to see under dog companies rip a new rear end to carriers and bloat ware OEMs. China has deep pockets. Let them be the Un-Phone OEM. Similar strategy is helping T-Mobile.

    Nadav and SuperTech like this.
  16. Albatross
    Gingerbread May 18, 2014

    Albatross , May 18, 2014 :
    I'm sorry, but have you read my post? I have proven that is absolutely wrong. A company will not be successful simply because it offers a great product.

  17. RogueS4
    Jelly Bean May 18, 2014

    RogueS4 , May 18, 2014 :
    So your saying the phone is like an albatross, they're hardly ever seen but people know they exist

    onaile343 likes this.
  18. FourZer0
    Ice Cream Sandwich May 18, 2014

    FourZer0 , May 18, 2014 :
    I'm saying 50,000 people registered on this forum are smart enough to realize that better marketing does not make a better phone. I just used samsung as an example, they throw money at marketing but a lot of people know that it sucks. If they spent anything at all on marketing, the phone would cost more, and the price is what made it so popular in the first place. I'm not saying I'm smarter than professors at Harvard at all, just that marketing doesn't define whether a product succeeds or not.

  19. Jay
    Gingerbread May 18, 2014

    Jay , May 18, 2014 :
    This product release is all about building reputation. If thousands of folks buy the OPO and love it, they will tell their friends and family and OnePlus will become a more trusted company. They can then make money on their next phone and phones after that. This is a different approach to the business model, but end of the day, it is how all companies start!

    trulo911 likes this.
  20. JoeMaring
    Ice Cream Sandwich May 18, 2014

    JoeMaring , May 18, 2014 :
    You're saying that you have proven that the entire company of OnePlus is wrong? Sir, I believe it is time for you to move on out of here.