By: Matthew Kent
The market for drones has grown exponentially over the past few years, and the consumer market – alone – is estimated to be worth $2 billion. As of late, the market has become saturated, mainly with low priced “user friendly” drones. DJI, a Chinese technology company that manufactures commercial and recreational drones for aerial photography, seems to be taking a different approach to their new line of drones. While recent trends points to lower priced drones targeting the amateur pilot/photographer, DJI is introducing its Phantom 4, which comes in at a substantially higher price point. DJI is differentiating itself from its competitors in more ways than one with their release of this new product.
One of the main factors when it comes to developing and releasing new products involves identifying product opportunities. DJI did just this in developing its new Phantom 4. While the majority of drones on the market boast that they are easy to fly, they are often just as easy, if not easier, to crash. Taking note of this, DJI designed the Phantom 4 to compensate for human errors, making it very hard to crash. This new innovation is enabled by two optical sensors in the front of the aircraft that essentially let the drone “see” its surroundings. This new technology, coupled with the camera, allows the drone software to “create a volumetric map of its environment,” in essence avoiding any potential crash. The Phantom 4 also boasts new features such as a manual flight sports mode, which enables the user to pinpoint a spot on a map and tell the drone to fly its self to that spot. The drone can also fly up to 45 mph for users that are after this sort of thrill. DJI successfully identified flaws in current products along with opportunities in the market and capitalized on them.
In terms of DJI’s marketing strategy, they seem to be following in the footsteps of Apple. Current price points for consumer drones are aiming to be low, in the sub $500 area, while DJI’s Phantom 4 is doing the opposite, coming in at $1,399. On top of differentiation through new technology, DJI also seems to be achieving product differentiation through price. Studies have shown that consumers will pay a premium for a product that truly works better, which seems to be exactly what the Phantom 4 is offering. I think this is a great marketing strategy as Apple has proved this concept through almost all of their product offerings. Setting a higher price point for a product of higher quality that works better is something I believe is attractive to many consumers. As a consumer, when you pay more for something that comes in fancier packaging and offers better functionality, I think it makes you feel better overall about the purchase. I think the idea of higher quality reflected through a higher price point is something that is appealing to many consumers and is an effective marketing strategy that overall attracts more customers