The marketing strategy applied by the owners of Ringing Bells, the label that was behind the phenomenal trend of 2016, Freedom 251, was something more than a well thought and processed plan.
Almost everyone saw on the launching event the small smartphone with a whitener covering the region above the screen.
Apparently this was because, it was not a Freedom phone but a Chinese cellphone of the brand Adcom.
Now, coming to the main strategy, what the owners simply did was
- Collect the money in advance from customers, promising them to deliver the phone within six months, else a refund would be provided.
- Depositing the collected money in bank.
It was surveyed that the company garnered sales of ₹145 Crore
- They, then, utilized the money against an interest of ₹6.5 crore
- And then, simply, after six months period, returned the money to respective people, pocketing a hefty 6.5 crore against a INR 5 Lakh marketing fees.
It was a risky, but mastermind plan applied by the owner, who fooled people by promising world’s cheapest mobile and earned a lumpsum cash for his own.
Why was Freedom 251 launched?
An Amity student who was just graduated, was very keen in opening his own mobile company. He had dreams, he had plans, he had strategies, but he had no money.
He thought of an evil plan. He thought of doing a public robbery online. So, he launched FREEDOM 251 a smartphone at INR 251.
Of course this phone never existed. And he was sure it never will. He just thought to collect money from people at INR 251 per piece and go underground. In future, he would use this money to achieve his dreams. He kept a very long delivery date ( 4 months actually ). He was sure that in these 4 months, people will definitely forget that they ever invested 251 rupees for a mobile phone. Even if they didn’t, they will be clueless of what to do after the phone remained undelivered.
He launched an authentic looking website
Now, he wanted to make sure that no one approaches Ringing Bells head office asking for that freedom 251 phone, so he made the other website in such a way that the website was in no way related to their original company website . He didn’t put any name of ringing bells in freedom251 website. Even in the terms and conditions, they wrote their name as BELL or sometimes RING BELL.
On this fake site, they showed 650+ service centers, the fact being that, even a single of them didn’t exist!
Plan was set. There was a launching ceremony of freedom 251 where senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi and Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar were coordinally invited. These leaders didn’t investigate much about the company so did the launch of smartphone on stage. They considered it as a normal launching ceremony of a new start up. They also showed the freedom 251 phone, white in colour, looking like an iPhone.
Get set GO! BOOKINGS OPEN!
People begun placing the orders.
Now, as the Ringing Bells CEO Mohit Goel ( cutemohit on Facebook ) hasn’t expected, the phone begun making its place in the media. This invited more and more people to book their phone. Media begun to ask for the sample of the phone. Cutemohit, on getting pressurized, handed over the phone to the media.
But who could fool them? They scratched out the whitener above the Adcom branding and removed the Indian National Flag sticker to reveal the Adcom logo on the back. Till now, more than 15L booking were done. The site got down two times during this booking period. Some people tried to buy 0.5 sets of this phone, and they were successful. On being questioned by the media, cutemohit told that “The model was a mere prototype. It wasn’t the actual piece. We took Adcom’s permission to show their phone as a prototype. You can ask the Adcom CEO” (Cutemohit got in a deal with CEO overnight to keep his secret – I guess).
25L bookings done! Booking closed.
Cutemohits plan to escape with the money was finished. Media pressurized him. Income tax department seized his passport. Police begun spying his activities ( despite any complaints! )
Now, he will never ever deliver the phones. He will refund all the payments (most probable expectation).
No COD. All done.