Namah Chawla

Mivi’s take on its satirical ‘make in India’ campaign that targets its Made in China rivals

‘It was never our intent to take a dig at a particular brand’, says co-founder and CMO Midhula Devabhaktuni.

In its recent digital campaign, consumer electronics brand Mivi seems to be comparing itself to one of its main rivals. The earwear and wearables brand took the contrasting ‘Made in India’ and ‘Assembled in India’ propositions to mock its rival. 

The satirical campaign has generated close to two million views on Instagram and over nine million views on YouTube. 

Mivi has on-boarded social media influencers, Saksham Shukla and Chetan Goel, to portray two contrasting characters representing ‘Made in India’ and ‘Assembled in India’ respectively. The series aims to emphasise on the superiority of products manufactured in India that also meet global standards.

Clearing the air around the brand’s recent campaign, Mivi’s co-founder and CMO Midhula Devabhaktuni mentions, “It was never our intent to take a dig at a particular brand. Our ads talk about ‘Made in China’ versus ‘Made in India’. We want the customer to be able to tell the difference between ‘Made in India’ and ‘Assembled in India’ products, and that is what we’re communicating through our campaign.”

Lately, 'make in India' has become extremely crucial for this category. Brands like boAt and Boult have also made claims around the same lines. Another player in the category, Fire-Boltt also calls itself a 'homegrown' wearable and audio brand.

After 20 Indian soldiers were martyred in the Galwan valley in 2020, the country has been harbouring an anti-China sentiment and as a result boycotting Chinese goods. The coronavirus pandemic which began in Wuhan, China in December 2019 had also aggravated it. Since then several consumer electronic brands have been strongly claiming Indian origin to save themselves from this wrath. 

However, Devabhaktuni adds that ‘Made in India’ didn’t suddenly become important for Mivi. Since the brand’s inception, its focus has been to manufacture all its products in India. 

The brand’s research revealed that not a single brand was manufacturing products in India. As a result, Mivi was unable to hire engineers to develop its products, when it was first launched in 2016. The company started its journey by going to China with India-specific requirements and, simultaneously, also developed its team of engineers in the domestic market. 

Devabhaktuni informs that it took the brand almost six years to set up its first manufacturing unit in India. Now, Mivi employs over 1,500 people. Elaborating on the reason for manufacturing in India, she points out that the imported products don’t cater to the needs of Indian consumers. 

Mivi uses technology that makes its products dust-proof and waterproof. For the consumers of electronic products, dust has always been a serious concern. 

As per the co-founder, ‘Made in India’ products are important because they cater to the unique and specific needs of the Indian consumers. Such products also create more employment opportunities within the country and, in turn, contribute to the economy. 

What edge does the ‘Made in India’ proposition provide to Mivi? Devabhaktuni states that it helps the brand to create better quality and more premium products that are also affordable. A brand that designs its products in India, also gets to decide on the components used, tech specs, quality, and entire look and feel.

If a brand is just ‘assembling’, it doesn’t have any control over the product. It is as if the brand is directly buying the product from China and selling it in India.

Speaking about Mivi’s TG, Devabhaktuni says that pre-COVID, the brand focussed primarily on youth-oriented products. Post-pandemic, with work and school from home scenario, Mivi’s TG has expanded. 

Now, the brand sees people across age groups buying its products. However, the 18-30 age bracket continues to be its core TG. Also, most of Mivi’s consumers (7o% male and 30% female) come from metros, and Tier-I/II cities.  

The India wearable market had a strong 47% YoY growth at the end of 2022, with shipments reaching 100 million units, according to the International Data Corporation’s India monthly wearable device tracker. Mivi managed to grow 2,398% YoY in the earwear category, with almost a million shipments. 

Devabhaktuni believes that this growth is primarily the result of the brand’s focus on its products and the affordable price range. “We also provide exceptional services to our consumers.” 

Mivi was originally a personal audio company. It was only in 2022 that the brand launched its home model and introduced products like soundbars. “Within just six months of the launch, the brand was able to capture 25% of the online market share for soundbars.” 

The majority of Mivi’s sales, until the end of 2022, came from online channels. 75% of the brand’s business is attributed to marketplaces and rest from Mivi’s website. 

However, this year, one of the brand’s primary goals is to penetrate the offline market. It expects 15-20% of the sales to come from offline channels in 2023. 

“Till now, the product has been the core of our business and we have established it well. Going forward, in 2023, we will be focussing on marketing. We will increase our spends on BTL activities, rather than just doing digital campaigns,” reveals Devabhaktuni.

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