Note: Responses to my questions from Oppo’s New Zealand managing director Morgan Halim were prepared by Oppo prior to the Covid-19 lockdown in New Zealand but this is the first chance I’ve had to post them to the site. Also, this is the first post in a month: I’m so sorry about that. I will do better.
For many smartphone buyers, Oppo isn’t as well-known as Samsung, Apple and Huawei, but there is much to like about the Chinese manufacturer who started out as a high-end audio equipment maker before delving into smartphones. I caught up with Oppo New Zealand managing director Morgan Halim late last month for a chat about what the future holds for Oppo.
Morgan, a lot of consumers in New Zealand probably haven’t heard of Oppo, instead opting for brands like Apple and Samsung. Has it been hard for Oppo to break into a market dominated by the others. What have been the biggest challenges for Oppo in NZ?
Certainly, as a relatively new brand, entering our fourth year in New Zealand, we’re still gaining our momentum and share of voice, and we’re up against competitors that have a much longer relationship with Kiwis.
Brand awareness and shifting into the consideration set is definitely one of the biggest challenges we face. But it’s also a grand opportunity – as a challenger brand with a challenger mindset, we’re here to defy the norms and give Kiwis something they might not’ve found in their smartphone provider until now.
Oppo was recently named as a Consumer Top Brand (in the mobile phone category). What does that mean for the company?
This award calls out Oppo smartphones as the cream of the crop in their category. We’re over the moon to receive this award, knowing the rigorous testing that goes into it. We also know that Consumer NZ’s Top Brand Award isn’t dished out easily and there’s not a winner every year, so it’s very humbling as a newer player to come out on top.
How we’ve achieved this is through our focus on the customer – the customer experience is at the centre of everything we do. We’re the only smartphone brand to have a local repairs centre based in NZ and this helps us keep our approach local and personal with customers – there’s no big hoops to jump through – if you’re having issues with your phone, you can bring it into our centre and we’ll take a look at it.
The Consumer Top Brand testing found 82.9% of Oppo customers are “very satisfied” with their mobile phone, significantly more than the average – that’s pretty big kudos from our customers and cements exactly what we’re here to do.
Oppo used to be a high-end audio equipment manufacturer so how has the company brought that experience into the mobile phone market?
Oppo’s global heritage and expertise lies in pioneering audio technology, and this expertise has evolved over time as the company continues to innovate and explore new technologies.
Audio is an essential component to every smartphone, so it’s fitting that we’re now combining some of the best quality audio features in our smartphones, as well as in other smart products. True to its audio heritage, Oppo has recently launched two wireless earphone models in New Zealand, the Enco Q1 noise cancelling headphones and the Enco Free wireless earphones.
If someone said to you “I’m looking at buying a new smartphone and I’ve seen this brand called Oppo. Do you know anything about them?”, how would you sell Oppo to that person?
Oppo has made waves around the world with its unique product offering: aesthetically-pleasing designs, innovative technology and a vision to create premium products without the price tag.
In New Zealand, Oppo is a top mobile phone brand with awards and reviews to boot. Based locally, we also have the lowest return rate for repairs of any smartphone brand in NZ, so you can count on a quality and long-lasting product and is gaining traction amongst Kiwis both young and old.
The smartphone market is incredibly competitive so what innovation is Oppo bringing to entice customers?
We continue to charge forward, innovating and pioneering across a number of consumer electronic categories as well as being at the forefront of 5G. We continue to develop our new technologies, such as the safest and fastest charging technology available in the world today, our lightning speed VOOC charging technology.
In NZ, we’re focused on bringing Kiwis premium products and services that lead with the customer in mind. We continue to push these bounds through our customer service, whereby last year we brought our own after-sales service in-house to our Auckland office to ensure we maintain the quality and personal customer service Kiwis deserve. Not to mention we have some of the lowest return rates in the industry and our central repairs team is typically turning around repairs for customers within the same day.
What’s the plan for OPPO moving forward in New Zealand? What’s the big thing for the coming year?
2020 is set to be the biggest year yet for OPPO in NZ as we continue our mission to bring some of the best technology to New Zealanders.
We’re venturing further to make our mark, starting with the launch of our first-ever 5G smartphones, including the top-end Find X2 Pro, and the highly-anticipated OPPO smart watch, a little later this year. With the groundwork we’ve built and with what we have in store for 2020, I’m confident we’re in a strong position to smash some big milestones and keep shaking up the industry.