A boy rejected by banks, companies, customers, and even employees. Could anyone imagine that this boy within 5 years will build a 6000 Cr company? A company about which no one knew 5 years before, is selling 10,000+ products daily. With a 35.8% market share, Boat is dominating India’s Earphone market.
Interestingly, every 6 out of 10 sold earphones in India are of Boat. The question is in spite of having competitors like JBL, Noise, and MIVI in the market, How has Aman Gupta made Boat India’s most wearable brand within 5 years? And most importantly, what are those powerful business lessons we can learn and implement in our business?
How BOAT Was Started.
In 2016, when Aman Gupta started Boat, the Earphone market was highly saturated in India. But the real story starts in 2 years, in 2014. When JBL newly entered the Indian market. At that time, Aman Gupta used to work in JBL. Aman Gupta was fascinated to see JBL’s growth in India. And from here he decided to enter in Indian wearable market. When he was studying the market, he saw a big change coming.
Boat 1st Business Strategy.
The change was Seller to Buyer Market shift. In simple words, in the past manufacturing was done first, and then think that whom to sell this product. But now, at the present first consumer is studied, his needs and wants are studied, And then the product is manufactured. In past, the Indian Market was a seller dominant market. That means the sellers were limited and buyers were more.
But now the scenario has changed. Now Indian market is Buyer’s Market. The number of buyers is less but more sellers. Like JBL, SkullCandy, Boult, Noise, MIVI – In India there were more earphone sellers than buyers. Now, what should Boat do? At this moment, one fears entering the business or not? In the market JBL and SkullCandy, after studying Indian consumers’ tastes and preferences, They already launched winning products in the market. So the question is what Aman Gupta did that today Boat’s market share is more than these companies combined market share?
Boat 2nd Business Strategy.
I know many of you will say- Boat is here b’coz of their amazing Marketing. If they will take Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant, and Kartik Aaryan in their advertisement, then products will get sold. But this is not the case. Believe me or not, Boat’s success is not in its marketing. The secret behind their success is something different. The question is What’s the secret?
Boat 3rd Business Strategy.
At that time, there existed more than 200 earphone brands in the market. The boat didn’t make any different product categories nor made any different innovations in products. Boat’s actual success secret is hidden in its Execution Strategy. So Boat’s execution strategy looks something like this- Market Force 1 and Market Force 2.
These both make Consumer Social Behavior. After Social Behavior comes Market Insights and then Consumer Behavior and then comes Pricing and Marketing Communication. And then finally comes, the Customer’s Purchase Decision. I know after reading this, you would be thinking it tough. So don’t worry, Understand this very carefully.
Boat Marketing Strategy.
The boat was launched in 2016. Luckily at that time, one more thing happened. In the same year, Jio was also launched. After the entry of Jio, these 2 things happened.
1) Increase in Content Consumption
When Jio came, people started consuming more content. B’coz before Jio, people had not that much Internet Access that they can consume so much content.
2) Increase in Mid Range Smartphone Demand.
B’coz to consume the content you obviously need a phone. So there were 2 Forces
1) Jio and 2) Smartphone companies like Oppo, Vivo, Realme, OnePlus, etc
These 2 things changed people’s consumer behavior such that the people who used to see their phones 5-6 times a day
People now consume 40% of their time in Movies, Videos, Music, and in fact Gaming also. And due to this market insights completely changed. Now people’s audio and video consumption rate was more than 50% And screen time spiked by 70%. Watching people using Jio, many people wanted to take benefit of smartphones and high-speed internet.
These gave birth to new Consumer Behavior in the market. Now people were regularly consuming content. watching these people, those people who didn’t have smartphones and earphones also wanted to consume content. These people wanted to be a part of the Internet Revolution but their pocket size was limited. Due to the entry of companies like Jio and MI, the demand for earphones – which is a complementary good raised. Now people just wanted Earphones. Whatever the brand, whatever the company, People wanted Earphones.
Boat Branding Business Strategy.
And you know what, After studying market dynamics, Aman Gupta launched Boat’s earphones. But why Boat as a brand became so successful in the market? In the market, Mostly earphones less than 300 Rs had poor sound quality. Now people had high-speed internet, and now to enjoy movies and videos you need to have good sound quality.
In the market, earphones less than 300 Rs were of really bad sound quality. And good sound quality earphones started from 999 Rs. JBL brought these price points a little down to 799Rs. But still, this was costly for more than half of the people.
Boat Pricing Business Strategy.
And Boat smartly launched its earphones from the range of 299 to 799 Rs. But you know what, Boat’s sales were driven by Earphone’s Intricate Differentiation So let me explain to you in a simple way. So the people who don’t do jobs related to video or sound work, It’s difficult for them to tell difference between 500 Rs earphones and 2000 Rs earphones.
Differences are there but minor. people like you and me use earphones, it’s the same experience for us of 500 Rs earphones and 2000 Rs earphones. And so people weren’t able to differentiate between other companies’ 1500-2000 Rs earphones and Boat’s 300-400 Rs earphones. And due to this these people always preferred Boat.
Many people also believe that Boat is so successful b’coz Boat Sells Aspiration. When you see Boat’s ads you see celebrities like Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant, Kiara Advani, and Kartik Aaryan. But interestingly before 2018, Boat had very less money and was not able to afford these celebrities.
Money to afford celebrities came afterward. The boat would not be able to afford these celebrities if their execution strategy was not powerful. And due to this reason, Boat with 1550 Cr revenue is dominating Wearable Market and soon going to launch its IPO.
business lessons from Boat.
And most importantly, what are those powerful business lessons we can learn and implement in our business?
1) Symbiosis is the ultimate driving force.
You must have noticed that many products came into the market which was amazing
But then also these products failed. So the reason is only one. The reason is the Lack of Symbiosis Symbiosis means Helping each other to survive In the market, the birth of any service or product is due to any other product or service.
For example, let’s assume that Jio would not be there. Then would you be surfing on YouTube? And if you were not using YouTube then you won’t be able to watch videos. Due to the entry of Jio into the market, many businesses flourished. And due to that business, many other businesses also flourished. And this is what we call Symbiosis – Helping Each Other to Survive Before introducing your product in the market, you should scan the market environment. By doing this you will see many opportunities missed by other businesses. And this same thing Boat did.
2) Pricing can kill you or give you wings.
If the product is accurately priced then it can do wonders for the business. But if there’s some mistake in pricing then, it can also kill the business. Boat very smartly priced their products.
This completely fulfilled both needs – customer utility and aspiration.
3) Fall in Love with Purpose and not the Product.
In business, we frequently do this mistake. The mistake is – Falling in Love with your Products. We get attached to our products. And this thing can be dangerous. I tell you why – B’coz Love Makes You Myopic.
Let me explain in simple words. However, you get a good environment and treatment at your home. Mummy gives you food, Papa buys things for you and you get praised for many things. But have you wondered why these things don’t happen to you outside?
The reason is just 1 – Your Parents Love You. Your parents love you so they do these things for you and you think you are special. But you know what in the real world, You only get paid for the things you achieved. In the real world, you will be praised for only those things on which you have given your full effort.
Similarly, when we get attached to our products, We ignore Customer’s negative feedback and its drawbacks. And we always think – Our product is the best. In this case, we can never bring improvements in our products as per customer requirements.
So it’s better to love and get attached to the purpose rather than a product. Question yourself, what’s the purpose of your business? And to fulfill your purpose, work consistently.