How Meizu Is Using Crowdfunding to Reach the Western Market

May 17, 2016

9:45 am

We all know just how powerful Asian countries are in terms of technology: Japan, China and South Korea are, hands down, among the most technologically-developed countries in the world. In the market of mobile devices, one of the most booming markets nowadays, it is no different.

Several Chinese brands, such as Xiaomi, Huawei and Lenovo, are taking a strong stance in this market, not only locally in Asia but also across the globe. But there is another company, probably a bit unknown to most Westerners, that is taking a leading position, especially in terms of innovation: Meizu.

This Chinese company was founded back in 2003 and started as a manufacturer of mobile music players – first simple MP3 players but then evolving to MP4 devices. Released in 2007, the Meizu M8 was the company’s first smartphone, a pioneer of the vast smartphone catalogue that was to come.

Back in 2015, Meizu received an investment of $590 million coming from Alibaba. The company features this year’s list of Fortune’s Unicorns (private companies valued at $1 billion or more), taking the 33rd spot with a valuation of $3.3 billion.

Last year, the company sold over 20 million phones, now clocking at more than 4,000 employees and 2,000 stores across China. Putting all this together, Meizu has all the potential to battle with the Chinese top-3 smartphone companies.

Since the M8, Meizu has come a long way in the development of smartphones throughout the years. Their latest model, Meizu PRO 6, is by far one of the best devices currently found on the market that, among other features, comes with 4GB of RAM, 3 different processors that sum up 10 cores and a primary camera with 21MP.

Despite how well they are doing in the smartphone niche, Meizu does not forget its innovative roots and is announcing a new wireless speaker, Gravity. Its revolutionary design will surely blow everyone away, and its features will make it a huge success.

But this speaker is more than just another product on Meizu’s catalog – they are also launching a crowdfunding campaign for this speaker on Indiegogo, a campaign that will also be used by the company to enter the Western market, especially in the US.

Even though Asian tech companies like Meizu are becoming more and more known in other markets, that expansion is not as fast as they would like. This happens, especially in terms of smartphones, because Western consumers are more familiar with big and traditional companies such as Samsung or LG, and look at other brands with some level of distrust.

So, in order to break into other markets, Meizu is choosing to bet on crowdfunding. This way, consumers get a first contact with the company, people choosing to contribute to the crowdfunding campaign will be able to experience one of Meizu’s products first-hand and will be able to attest for its quality, thus being a great vehicle of publicity.

Only time will tell if this move proves successful, but it is a bold move, for sure. What is your view on this strategy by Meizu? Let us know in the comments.

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25 y/o, born and living in Portugal. Majored in Biology, but tech and computers were always a passion. Wrote for sites like Windows.Appstorm and MakeTechEasier.

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