After graduating in Communication Sciences, Cristina Caricato began their professional journey at a large international communication agency in Milan. She has spent nearly eight years at the agency, progressing through roles of increased responsibility and working with clients from various industries, including well-known brands in technology, food, travel, and lifestyle. Over the years, she got to know and interact with many stakeholders in the communications world and developed integrated brand and product communications projects focused on Education and CSR. Eventually, in 2019, Cristina joined Xiaomi Technology as the PR Manager of Italy and later became the Head of PR and Communication in Western Europe.
Addressing all Types of Consumers
Cristina believes Xiaomi is a pioneering example of community building, demonstrating the power of digital and PR to work together synergistically. The company’s approach to content marketing has integrated its followers’ opinions, creating a highly engaged fanbase involved in the research, development, and testing of the latest product models. Xiaomi achieved this by proposing regional PR activities that localized the main Global messages and built local storytelling to resonate with the target audience and market dynamics. The brand’s presence and activities on the territory have played a significant role in differentiating it from competitors. In several countries, Xiaomi already had an existing community ready to embrace the company even before its arrival.
The stores Xiaomi has established in the countries where it operates represent a vital aspect of the brand’s commitment to remain present in the WEU countries while also connecting with consumers. Customers can visit these stores to try out and get to know the company’s products firsthand. Xiaomi’s overarching vision of “Innovation for Everyone” aims to cater to all types of customers and consumer groups by differentiating its offer and target groups. The company achieves this by providing a range of products that are part of a unique and highly integrated “SmartphonexAIoT” strategy. This concept centers around the integration of smartphones and artificial intelligence with the Internet of Things (IoT), enabling users to control all interconnected devices through their smartphones. This approach creates a new concept of a smart home environment that is increasingly accessible, convenient and improves quality of life.
From the outset, Xiaomi has sought to engage all consumer targets with its brand philosophy by offering high-tech products at various price ranges. For the smartphone segment, Xiaomi provides a range of options covering flagship products with top-of-the-line hardware and software features, mid-range options that offer a balance of performance and convenience with Redmi Note Series, and affordable gaming and entertainment-oriented gaming devices with the POCO Series. Additionally, Xiaomi covers a range of needs through its ecosystem products, such as smart mobility, lighting, cooking, cleaning, and entertainment. Xiaomi has launched innovative campaigns to create shared meaning among consumers and highlight its products’ iconic and innovative strengths. The company has also developed partnerships and sponsorships with local excellences and partners to convey product messages originally and consistently, building consumer confidence in the brand. Through these efforts, Xiaomi aims to shift the brand’s perception from an exclusive technological passion to a company that provides real lifestyle devices in various fields, elevating its status.
Maintaining a Healthy Work Environment
Xiaomi is a young and rapidly growing global company that significantly emphasizes creative efforts to communicate its products and engage with its fans while keeping the brand’s values of trust, respect, and sincerity at the forefront.
Cristina promotes and encourages cooperation and the exchange of ideas at a European level to foster a dynamic and innovative environment from which new projects and ideas can arise. This approach challenges local teams to work more cohesively and aligns everyone towards achieving the same goal of delivering the company’s message in the best way possible while consistently improving.
Cristina feels that developing effective strategies to differentiate new projects from competitors and enhancing brand perception to reach a wider audience is one of the major challenges she faced in the Western European markets. Additionally, in this ever-evolving industry, it is imperative to create engaging stories that evoke emotions and identify appropriate contexts for positioning products, which helps in reaching a diverse and wide range of audiences.
Looking at the Future
Cristina has been serving as the Head of PR for Western Europe for a year and is working tirelessly to manage the diverse countries under her purview. With each country possessing distinct dynamics and unique requirements, Cristina aims to create more synergies by intensifying ideas and utilizing unconventional contact points. Her ultimate goal is to improve Xiaomi’s position in Spain, Italy, France, and Germany while increasing brand awareness in Portugal, the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.