You don’t need a huge budget to become a huge success

Posted by Tiger Marketing on 15 June 2018

OnePlus’ hugely successful marketing strategy was clever, simple and it cost them next to nothing to achieve.


If mobile phone technology doesn’t interest you, then OnePlus are likely a company you have never come across. To millions of ‘tech geeks’ however, they are very well known and they garnered their reputation not through shedding millions of pounds on marketing promotions and celebrity endorsements, but through free social media campaigns. Their strategy was clever, yet simple and it cost them next to nothing to achieve.

If you take a look at the graph below, OnePlus dominated in terms of social media traffic to its website and direct traffic was definitely its greatest asset, especially when compared to the rest of its larger, more established competitors like HTC and Motorola.


Source: TNW | OnePlus dominated in social media traffic to its website and direct traffic was its greatest asset, especially compared to the rest of its competitors.

Now, granted, they had a great product, and a very desirable one at that: a high-end smartphone with industry-leading specifications and a rock bottom price tag (relatively speaking, anyway). They didn’t, however, have any money left to market the device. Here’s just a few of the brilliantly simple things they did that ignited the hype-balloon, and ultimately, saw them soar to success.

  1. Invite only purchase. this tactic, while sparking some controversy, spoke volumes to their target market. It suggested exclusivity and limited numbers and therefore made the product very desirable (in reality they simply needed to manage their production costs versus output). Though they have since stopped their invite-only system, this strategy had already helped to spread their brand across the internet like wildfire.
  1. Word-of-mouth. This is still a major facet of their marketing strategy over 2 years on, and it’s certainly one of the most powerful. The OnePlus community forums are thriving (by August 2015 they had over 700,000 members) and their social media prowess encouraged enthusiasts to spread the word, generating excitement about the brand and its product, leading to first year’s sales of 5 million units. While miniscule in the grand scale of such a highly competitive industry, this far exceeded their expectations – not bad when you’ve achieved it all for free.
  1. #NeverSettle. This trending hashtag encompassed (and still does) the OnePlus ethos. In essence they want neither the consumer or the company to ever settle for second best. No compromises on quality, price, features or speed. Ever. Together with some very clever and humorous social media ad campaigns, they took a swing at the big players in the industry and hit them right where it hurt: their coffers.

It’s clear to see that OnePlus are a success story in social media marketing and word-of-mouth brand recognition, which allowed them to build up a strong reputation (one which certainly preceded them).

Take from their story a wholly positive stance on a small or non-existent marketing budget. Great things can be achieved without one; all it takes is drive, determination, innovative ideas and clear, simple messages.

All of this, and more, is within your reach and if you find yourself struggling with ideas or time (or both), contact us today – we don’t compromise either, so visit us at

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