Vsmart: An Appreciation Like No Other from Vsmart


Campaign Summary

Vietnamese technology brand Vsmart launched its first brand-building campaign to increase brand awareness and reach more Vietnamese consumers.


Objective and Context:

Domestic technology brand Vsmart faced many skepticisms from Vietnamese consumers who preferred foreign brands such as Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Oppo, etc. Nevertheless, Vsmart was the first Vietnamese tech brand to reach 1.2 million customers and obtain 16.7 percent market share after 17 months, ranking among the top three best-selling smartphones in Vietnam.

However, gaining more customers seemed challenging as Vsmart still endured fairly low brand awareness and low brand trust among Vietnamese consumers. Furthermore, COVID-19 was negatively affecting consumers' purchasing habits.

Vsmart's business goals were:

  1. Acquire more than 1.2 million customers
  2. Retain current customers for future upgrades

Vsmart had an incredible opportunity to change the perception of skeptical consumers. To achieve its business goals, it launched a celebration and appreciation campaign with two key objectives:

  1. Increase brand awareness and brand trust for Vsmart as one of the top-tier smartphone players in Vietnam through its significant accomplishment
  2. Accelerate brand love from existing Vsmart customers and companions, thus increasing purchase intent

Success would be measured by the number of impressions and reach obtained, as well as engagement, sentiment, and sales growth potential for Vsmart after the campaign.

Target Audience:

Vsmart targeted two audiences:

  1. Vsmart companions: This audience was made up of Vsmart's existing customers, business partners, employees, the media, and influencers who are enthusiastic about Vsmart as it represents the exciting growth of Vietnamese technology and they carry a strong sense of national pride.
  2. Vsmart non-customers: Between the ages of 20 and 65, this audience is made up of low to middle-income people nationwide. Their professions include manual workers, tech drivers, students, routine office workers, retirees, tech enthusiasts, etc. However, they are all mobile-first. They look for smartphones that allow them to call, text, access social media, and watch news and videos, and they believe in testimonials from peers and influencers. They are patriots, but reluctant to buy Vsmart phones due to several reasons:
    1. They know little about the brand and its accomplishments
    2. They have doubts about Vietnamese technology and have heard negative feedback
    3. They think foreign brands such as Samsung, Oppo, and Huawei offer better value for the money

Creative Strategy:

Vsmart's strategic approach derived from the intersection of target audience insights, brand values, business challenges, and media targeting. Its creative idea needed to touch the hearts of Vsmart's customers and companions, all while showcasing the brand's pioneering spirit and technology specialization. Combining its success and this "talk of the town" technology-driven idea, the brand wanted to create a domino effect from existing Vsmart supporters to reach the Vsmart non-customers in the most authentic and organic way, and win over their trust.

The campaign wouldn't be successful without effective media targeting. Vsmart thereby leveraged the existing database of Vsmart customers and companions to deliver a personalized thank-you gift via their most relevant channel, making them feel special and truly appreciated. For instance, it provided a special gift box that included a Vsmart phone-shaped chocolate for business partners and influencers, customized eDM content for each employee, largely printed cards on news outlets for the media partners, and personalized SMS for Vsmart's 1.2 million customers. Regardless of how they received the gift, they all saw a customized thank-you card along with a mysterious QR code that prompted them to scan it with their phone and join Vsmart's engagement platform.

Moreover, in order to reach Vsmart's non-customers (the majority of whom were manual workers and more likely to use mobile over PC), the brand focused on customized mobile targeting. It segmented the audience by analyzing and classifying its current 1.2 million customers into six main target groups, in order to find lookalikes who were using competitors' devices. After that, the brand sent the audiences different customized messages, respectively, to call for their participation in a special activity.


Overall Campaign Execution:

At the core of Vsmart's creative execution was the unique, personalized thank-you 3D video that displayed Vsmart's customers and companions as heroic pioneers who helped flourish Vietnamese technology. The 3D face conversion technology excited many people who loved to create their own videos and share it with their peers. Not letting the opportunity pass by, Vsmart created a first-time-ever interactive AI face-detection mobile-centered digital platform, which allowed even Vsmart non-customers to participate in this special appreciation activity. The personalized thank-you message from Vsmart at the end of the video made the audience feel truly special for receiving a custom-made gift and inspired them to spread the activity more widely.

The brand also integrated a sales-driven tactic by allowing users a chance to win vouchers and special prizes from Vsmart when they received the honorary star, thus attracting enormous traffic to the platform and triggering users to purchase or upgrade to Vsmart phones. Since the majority of its target audiences used mobile heavily, 84 percent of the digital ad budgeting was allocated to mobile targeting, returning 95 percent of traffic coming from mobile devices.

Mobile Execution:

The mobile-centered face-detection technology was an essential part of the creative strategy, as it helped to provide customization easily on a big scale, and acquired more users to participate in the activity thanks to the minimized process (they simply needed to scan a QR code and upload a photo of their face). It also solved Vsmart's problem of physical gifting to millions of people, while still providing precise personalization to each participant at the most optimized cost.

Since the mobile platform was synchronized with users' social media, they could easily share their UCG video and spread the activity to their network, creating a viral effect for the campaign. Without mobile technology, the campaign wouldn't have been able to reach its full success potential.

Results (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

Before the campaign, and after many sales-driven efforts, Vsmart obtained 16.7 percent market share and became one of the top three best-selling smartphones in the market, with 1.2 million customers. Despite this great accomplishment, not many people were aware of the brand or its technology advances due to its lack of clear brand proposition and branding campaigns. As a result, Vsmart had fairly low brand awareness and brand trust among Vietnamese consumers.

Additionally, COVID-19 affected a lot of Vsmart's main target audience groups, and negatively affected smartphone purchase intent. Therefore, it became a more challenging task for Vsmart to drive sales conversion and acquire new customers.

Vsmart's campaign significantly improved branding and business results for Vsmart. In just four weeks, it achieved:

Branding results:

  • More than 130 million impressions
  • 4.5 million engagements
  • 18.3 thousand organic viral shares
  • 215 influencers and popular fan page mentions
  • Vsmart's new positioning as a brave pioneer to flourish Vietnamese technology gained 16 percent ad recall by both customers and non-customers, which was 35 percent higher than average

Business results:

  • The sales of Vsmart Active 3 and Joy 3 increased 250 percent and 350 percent respectively compared to the previous two weeks
  • The sales of all Vsmart smartphones increased 33 percent compared to the previous two weeks
  • After the campaign, Vsmart grew its customer base from 1.2 million to 1.6 million

Beyond achieving its objectives, the campaign also successfully acquired approximately 400 thousand new customers' data with images (via users' 3D video generation) for Vsmart's future personalized CRM campaigns (as users' consent for Vsmart to use their images was retrieved during the activity). Vsmart also gained a large, classified database of potential consumers who were exposed to the brand's products and messages, in order to convert them into future customers via retargeting tactics and insightful messages.

The campaign received a lot of positive feedback from both Vsmart customers and non-customers as they were impressed with the unique customer appreciation approach from a Vietnamese technology brand, and they felt proud to be Vsmart fans. In Vsmart community groups, thousands of Vsmart fans shared their videos and generated many discussions about the activity. As a result, the campaign gained a very high sentiment score of 0.96/1 (according to BuzzMetrics) and only 1 percent negative sentiment.

After the campaign, Vsmart continued to prove its stance as a powerful force in the fiercely competitive smartphone market, retaining its top-three position and gaining wider recognition among Vietnamese consumers.

Categories: | Industries: | Objectives: User Generated | Awards: X Finalist