Because POCO and Xiaomi are not exactly the same

Perché POCO e Xiaomi non sono esattamente la stessa cosa thumbnail

I’m taking you back a few years.
It’s 2018, we are in the middle of summer and Xiaomi announces Pocophone F1.
The success of this smartphone is resounding. As of December 2018, Xiaomi has already sold 700,000.
And so the Chinese giant decides to transform LITTLE BIT in a separate brand. A name that in Italy and Spain lends itself to a lot of puns, with the second who chose to ride this linguistic ambiguity and the first who instead thought it was better to avoid them, so as not to devalue the brand and its products.

As POCO took hold, I wondered if Xiaomi’s strategy actually made sense. In short, both brands bring to the market products that belong to the same market segment, which puts them in direct competition. To remove any doubts, I decided to chat with Andrea Crociani, POCO Brand Manager for Italy.

POCO and Xiaomi: similar but different

Andrea Crociani, POCO Brand Manager for Italy.

I reach Andrea at the Xiaomi stand at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, ​​we find a free table, a couple of chairs and I immediately ask him to answer the question I have been asking myself since 2018: “Xiaomi and POCO speak to different people. If I find the Redmi in the store and maybe it’s the mother who gives it to her son, or the son who gives it to her mother, LOOK FOR IT. LITTLE go online. LITTLE see the best price. LITTLE criticize it. We receive much more criticism on POCO than on Redmi because the expectation of the target to which he speaks little is different. They are not in competition because POCO has its own way of addressing its more techy, more passionate market. “

A difference that, for those who choose POCO, seems to be evident and that will become more and more marked since the intent is to differentiate the two brands much more, both from an aesthetic point of view and in terms of technical characteristics. To testify is the launch of POCO X4 Pro which offers different lines than those of the latest Xiaomi devices, also presenting a distinctive color such as the POCO Yellow, but also with an 8/256 GB variant which is instead absent on the Redmi series.

All this without obviously changing the strategy in terms of price and positioning: “The beauty of POCO is to have a headband for every need. There is the M series which is truly accessible to all but which is starting to have some particularly interesting specs. We have brought the AMOLED to the M series. I think this is the first time that a product that costs just over 200 euros. Then there is the X series which is certainly for many, but not for everyone, and which now has all the ace specifications. And then there is F where instead you can play more in the future, perhaps on a more top of the range yet. POCO really buys the whole market. “
L‘intention, however, is not to create a real flagship, capable of competing with Xiaomi 12, the next top of the range of the Chinese giant: “Let’s go back to the previous discussion – Andrea explains to me – Let’s talk to different people. To a different target. I expect a possible top of the POCO range to be for gaming. Xiaomi 12 could be more for cinema. So different paths also from this point of view. “

However, I would like to point out to the POCO brand manager that the way of gaming could somehow limit the expansion of the brand on the market. Gamers are a very specific and less broad target than the one chosen, for example, by Xiaomi: “We are not evaluating what gaming and esports will become in the medium term. We are too easily saying that kids play today. Not so, given that by now the forties come from a generation of video games – Crociani replies – So I believe that the more we go forward in time, the more mobile gaming will involve all groups. And we have not yet even reached the beginning of the peak of eSports which, in my opinion, will follow the path made in other parts of the world also in Italy. “

Back to the origins

POCO X4 Pro 5G

At the end of our chat Andrea amazes me with an unexpected phrase: “POCO is the return to the origins of Xiaomi.“

The basic idea is therefore to take a step back, to what Xiaomi was in its infancy.
“POCO is Xiaomi’s DNA at the beginning. Which obviously, by necessity, Xiaomi had to abandon because when you become mass you become mass. And Xiaomi, fortunately, is a mass brand and therefore has lost a little what it was originally – continues Crociani – Our goal as a POCO is therefore this, to rebuild the DNA a little. “