No Drone Company Comes Close – Why DJI is #1

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Who would have known back in 2006 that Frank Wang’s DIY drone kits would evolve into the international number one bestseller for drones ousting established American companies like GoPro, 3DR, Lily Robotics, and even Parrot, a Paris-based drone manufacturer.  Estimated to have control of three-fourths of the entire $10 billion dollar industry, DJI has successfully established themselves as the leading innovators on all fronts whether that be product quality and features, lower prices, or consumer base.  In addition to avoiding product recalls alike GoPro’s recalled Karma drone (due to power failures mid-air), China-based DJI has been able to make extraordinary advancements in aerial photography.  With their most recent product being the new Spark drone, DJI has delved further into the personal photography market, appealing to both recreational consumers and even some filmmakers.  

Chris Anderson, the co-founder of 3DR, an American drone manufacturer, recently said, “[DJI] has done everything right… I don’t see a way to compete with DJI on consumer hardware.  Last year, the Phantom 4 models were only available at Apple retail stores around the nation, and here is where DJI has successfully found their niche market to thrive in.  Kevin On, a spokesman for DJI, has said that, “the brands (both Apple and DJI) align… the customers share the same kind of emotions and needs about the products.”  The mainstream and simple appeal combined with ever-advancing DJI technologies of drones like the Mavic and Spark are what makes DJI renowned.  

However, while recreational and personal consumers are definitely target clientele groups, DJI has also pushed five categories of commercial use of their drones.  Cinematography, agriculture, energy-sector inspection, construction, and emergency response are all just as important to the overall success of the company.  The Agras MG-1 drone, for example, was intended to help farmers with crop spraying.  

The wide variety of applications for drone usage and specific marketing to different niche clientele groups are both factors that have taken Wang’s start-up to international tech giant in just nine short years.  

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Last modified: September 4, 2017

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