L6 Apologizes for Specs Mix-Up with Mi SU7

I personally believe this is a planned maneuver. Firstly, the PowerPoint presentations at product launches undergo multiple levels of scrutiny. Any significant errors in the PPT during the launch event will be magnified endlessly by some individuals, leading to a public relations disaster. For example, in 2019, the Chinese brand Realme faced severe backlash when displaying a map of China with missing territories during a product launch, resulting in collective outrage from netizens and a significant negative impact on the brand’s image. Moreover, the Xiaomi SU7 is one of the hottest cars in the automotive industry. How could an employee responsible for the crucial parameters of the SU7 presentation make such a mistake? Even if a mistake occurred, is it believable that supervisors responsible for verification at all levels did not notice such a glaring error? This scenario is highly unlikely.

Furthermore, based on the content of the apology letter from Xiaomi, it mentioned that the Xiaomi SU7 is a “recent product generating discussion in the same class” and that “both Xiaomi SU7 and Zhiji L6 share industry-leading technological standards.” This does not sound like an apology; it almost seems like they are patting themselves on the backā€¦ In conclusion, I personally believe this is not just an unintentional oversight but rather a well-planned marketing event.

Looking at it from a brand communication perspective, if I were one of the executives at Zhiji, I would also find a way to leverage the buzz surrounding the Xiaomi SU7. After all, even negative attention can be beneficial as long as people are talking about you. Moreover, the launch of Zhiji L6 coincided with the peak hype around the Xiaomi SU7. If we were to compare the flow of attention in the automotive industry to a basin of water, the Xiaomi SU7 would be like a huge sponge, almost soaking up all the water in the basin, leaving minimal unpaid attention for other brands. Consider how, since the release of the Xiaomi SU7, previously popular car brands like WJAsk and Ideal seem to have been forgotten. Therefore, for Zhiji, the choice was between hosting an event that would go unnoticed or riding the wave of free publicity from the Xiaomi SU7, and it appears that they chose the latter.

Regarding Xiaomi, all they needed to do was issue a clarification statement. There was no need to pressure Zhiji into offering apologies three times, as this essentially gifted Zhiji with more free publicity. Zhiji, on the other hand, welcomed this attention, issuing three consecutive apologies and subtly highlighting Xiaomi in their apology letter. Taking everything into account, Zhiji managed to gain a substantial amount of free publicity almost at zero cost, making it quite an interesting case study in brand marketing.

However, publicity is a double-edged sword, and it doesn’t always translate into sales. Only the parties involved can truly understand how much of this publicity will result in actual sales and how much damage it may cause to the brand’s value.

How do you, as netizens, perceive Zhiji’s decision to directly compare their new car launch event with the Xiaomi SU7?

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