Karl Pei’s solution seems familiar to us. CMF by Nothing is the first sub-brand of the manufacturer. A more affordable brand focused on less premium products than the original. That is, cheaper devices. Nothing took three years to create a differentiated brand.
The usual strategy. This is a strategy that we have repeated over and over again with almost all manufacturers of Chinese origin. Because while Nothing is technically an English manufacturer, Karl Pei’s origins and experience with OnePlus still matter a lot.
OnePlus itself has done something similar with the Nord. Huawei at one time with Honor and Xiaomi with Redmi and POCO. OPPO has also done this with Realme, which has finally gone independent. Even young brands such as Realme itself have chosen to create sub-brands, as is the case with Dizo. Which was not as successful as expected and had to be shut down.
Subbrand for experimenting with different products. As Nothing explained, CMF will focus on products with “clean design and guaranteed quality.” Your first devices will be headphones and smart watches. The last product that Nothing was encouraged to launch.
Creating sub-brands also helps manufacturers launch products that they are interested in but are hesitant about putting all the meat on the grill. In the case of Nothing, it’s a manufacturer known for having few devices and most of them with distinctive designs. In the case of smartwatches, they may not have anything special to fit into their catalog. After all, this is a type of product where there is little difference between brands.
Risk of losing essence along the way. Nothing’s steps followed the same dynamic as OnePlus. The creation of CMF is similar to Nord, although in this case they will start with non-mobile devices.
Initially, OnePlus, when it was under the tutelage of Karl Pei himself, was a brand known for offering high-quality products that were different from the market average. However, with the passage of time and the advent of Nord, its catalog has expanded, and it no longer feels like every OnePlus is different. They still have excellent value for money, but their scope is wider.
Nothing yet has that aura of a manufacturer that distinguishes things. It could be a combination of the fact that it’s still a young brand and that they don’t have many products. With CMF, they’ll have to play their cards well so they don’t oversaturate their catalog. No matter how hard they try to differentiate brands, users tend to put them in the same basket.
Why the main brand can’t cover the lower limit. Let’s take the case of Samsung. They clearly have ranges like the Fold or Galaxy S that are in the high range, but they also put their name on the entry range, which doesn’t always produce the expected result. However, the brand is strong enough to endure the bad reviews that a simpler device can produce.
This is usually not the case with Chinese manufacturers. The rebranding and sub-branding strategy is ongoing. To focus on each segment, they try to create an exclusive brand. Diversification that allows for very specific and niche marketing techniques at the cost of reducing the company’s strength as a global brand.
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