TECHNOLOGY OF TOMORROW
2018 has been a good year for Huawei's sub-brand Honor.
The Chinese mobile maker registered 150 percent increase in international sales year-on-year in the first half of 2018. The company expects similar growth prospects for the remainder of the year, inching closer to its goal to be among the top three mobile brands globally in the next five year.
We work closely with our design team in Paris and Milan and intend to make Honor the best symbol for the future and the young generation.
Honor's global president George Zhao was recently in Kuala Lumpur. where he shares the overall business strategy and expansion of the brand in 73 countries he oversees.
The 45-year-old has led the Honor team since 2015. Prior to that, Zhao was the former VP of Huawei Europe and former CEO of Huawei Italia.
"We create the best technology at a much lower price and keep up with the global design trends," says Zhao. "We work closely with our design team in Paris and Milan and intend to make Honor the best symbol for the future and the young generation.”
Honor, an e-brand created in 2013 to complement Huawei, focuses primarily on its target audience of millennials and digital natives. Honor sold its smartphones mostly via online stores but have now opened their offline stores.
“We market our Honor products digitally through social network to communicate with Honor’s young audience and young fans. We always keep a close relationship with all our users," says Zhao.
“Today, I think the best selling is always the next one,” jokes Zhao when he asked about which of its produces sold the best.
In India, where Honor has a strong foothold, it sold over one million units of products during the Diwali promotional period, a 300 percent year-on-year increase from 2017.
Across Western Europe, the brand saw an average increase in sales of 250 percent during Black Friday compared to 2017, largely driven by its flagship Honor 10 series.
Honor claims that it was also the top performer in terms of sales volume and revenue on two of China’s biggest e-commerce platforms, Tmall.com and JD.com during Singles Day.
And while Huawei might be banned in the United States, Honor says demand for its Honor View 10 reached new sales record and was completely sold out on Amazon.
“In the past years, the industry has moved so much faster, why? It is because of competition, we at Honor we are well prepared for this.”
Innovation is Honor’s key DNA to help us win the market.
“In the technology and innovation (sector), you can see that Honor was one of the first brands to introduce Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. That was in December 2014 and now today everybody talks about AI.
“We first launched the AI smartphones in December 2016 but we started our research a long time ago, we then introduced AI as a feature in our cameras.”
“Innovation is Honor’s key DNA to help us win the market,” says Zhao.
“All businesses are tough but I like this industry, ” Zhao laughs when asked about the challenges faced in staying ahead of the competition.
“Our customers educate us on the designs we create. At the end of the day, the users are the ones who know the Honor products best because they use the smartphones everyday for three to six hours.”
“The customers are the real experts, they challenge us and drive us to work faster and stronger.”
“It’s very important to use the products to communicate with young people. Your designs and technologies have to make sense to them, that’s very important,” says Zhao.