What does it mean to be a Mi Fan? - An interview with a Mi Super Fan

It's rare for a brand to put its fans as the driving force of a company. It may be an unpopular decision and direction at the time Xiaomi started but here we are now, big not just in Asia but globally. Producing smartphones and so many more items that improve our smart life. From screwdrivers, batteries, chargers, cables, headphones LED smart lights, smart bands, and a whole lot more covering every lifestyle you can think of, they have products for it.

Xiaomi has established itself as a brand that provides quality products at an affordable price. This much I know after being exposed to their smart home line and others a few years ago. At the center of this, is of course their smartphone line. Redmi & the Mi line of their smartphone always make a splash in the tech scene because of the great value that consumers will be getting.
Mi 32" TV, Nette's first Mi Appliance she bought at a discount because it was the opening of Mi Store at Cubao

I was able to have a quick chat with one fan, or should I say a 'super fan' of the Xiaomi brand. She is Nette Castle and she has been a member of the community since 2017.

How did you start being a fan of the Xiaomi brand?
Back in 2017, I was a member of a biking community group and during one of the many bike rides I did with a friend, taking photos was unavoidable especially in places you haven't been. She took a photo and when I saw it, I thought, wow that looks so nice. Even though I know that it takes skill and an eye for those kinds of things, I was impressed with the phone and how the photo turned out. She then told me about Xiaomi and that was the start" 
A few months after that fateful ride, Nette was able to purchase a phone thru a reseller via meet-up because Xiaomi didn't have an official store then. She bought the Redmi Note 4X. After that, she got more into it and joined the solid Xiaomi community by 2018. Little did she knows that the purchase of that phone was just the start of her journey.
My other first few purchases were the bag and Mi Band 2. After that, I didn't look at other brands. I never looked back.
Nette was the first in the family to come across Xiaomi, then, later on, influenced her husband and then to the rest of the Nette's circle. Xiaomi products have also become their constant gift items. With the hundreds of items to choose from, Nette's family never ran out of items to gift each other during anniversaries, birthdays, and other occasions. She also shared that her first phone, the Redmi Note 4X is now with her mother-in-law and still works well. It was first inherited by her son then passed to one of her siblings.

What is the current phone that you are using?
I have the Mi 9T & the Redmi Note 10. But it's not a Mi Fan Festival Edition. "
I realized that the solid fans of the Xiaomi brand are also after the fan festival editions or limited releases because it's well, 'limited'.

Okay wait, can you educate me, what is this Mi Fan Festival to you?
Here in the Philippines, it's called a Mi Fan meet. But in China and India they have the Festival. It's actually an event for the fans. What I like about the Xiaomi brand, is that they invest in their fans. They don't get celebrities and spend so much on it because their strategy is for the fans.

During the Mi Fan Fest, this is also the time when Xiaomi also has amazing promotions, deals, and freebies for the fans. As a super fan, Nette has also attended quite a few Mi Fan Meet in Metro Manila. On her first one, she was with her family was back in 2018. 

She shares that it was one of the most unforgettable Xiaomi moments. Her first Mi Fan meet coincided with the opening of the first Mi store in Trinoma and also the launch of Redmi S2. Long story short, her son won in one of the games, during the event and got the Mi Bunny which her son really liked and originally planned to buy one after the event, her son also won a Mi Band 2, but that was just the beginning of the event for them. 
After going around and hanging out with other Mi fans during the event. Xiaomi announced a special award category and Nette and her husband were chosen and were awarded the special prize which Nette never had a clue about. Nette shared that maybe because the Xiaomi team saw them enjoying the event as a family and genuinely having fun, maybe that's why they were chosen as the sweetest couple/family during the event. They were given Mi Bunnies and also Mi Band 2 each. Now all of them had Mi Bunnies and a Mi Band 2!
Nette's family of Mi Band 2, this photo was featured at Xiaomi FB page

What did you like about the Mi Community?
How everyone is welcoming, and you can easily post any concerns of your products and people in the community will gladly help you out. This is where Xiaomi communicates with their fans. I like that the brand listens to their fans and applies it to their products.

The Mi community also has an app, you can register & signup and here you can browse thru thousands of threads about various Xiaomi products. Nette herself has authored 100+ threads already and is an active Mi Fan and contributor. When I asked what does she posts there, she shared that usually, it's photos, first impressions, and sometimes a detailed real-life review of the Xiaomi products that she uses.

She is currently holding the Mi Fans Team position (that's global) she was an intern Mi Fan moderator before she became the moderator. But because the position requires more focus and a bit more responsibility she had to step down because of her work outside the community. When I asked if she gets paid to do this, she shares that she's already happy to be recognized for her contributions and efforts in the community. She also shares that she has won some items from the community and recognitions also of the local office and that is good enough for her.

Here are the items that were recently sent to Nette for her outstanding work in the community.

When I asked what she likes about the Xiaomi phones, she answered "Price....as a user, you should also know your need. They have phones for everyone in every lifestyle. A variety of choices with a wide range of budget-friendly devices"

How many Xiaomi items do you have right now? 
I got around 60+ Xiaomi products. I also plan to buy more of their IOT devices.

It just doesn't stop for this Xiaomi Warrior and I couldn't blame her. I myself have been 'budoled' a lot of time every time I go to a Xiaomi store. There's just a lot of stuff there that is for everyone that would fit any budget you might have, you'll see here something for you.

Nette's profile at Mi Community

What is your proudest moment as a Xiaomi Mi Super Fan? 

I think it was when they recognized you in the community. Not just a fan but to be invited to be a moderator is already an honor. Then I applied as a Mi Fans Team and happy that they approved. I am happy already to be sharing to the community anything that is Xiaomi related, but getting feedback and knowing that the community appreciate what I do brings more joy and happiness.
One post of Nette even reached around 15,741+ views which gives her absolute joy. She also added, "With Xiaomi, you don't really need to pay a lot to get good quality products and that's what I like about this brand." Check out here most viewed post from Nette here.

What are you looking forward to in the next 3-4 years and do you have a Xiaomi gadget or appliance that you would like to purchase in the future?
The Mi Explorers is something that I would like to try. Mi Explorers is they will take you to headquarters. You need to apply for it. Once accepted, you will get the chance to explore the company headquarters and it's like visiting a mall with everything Xiaomi. Here you get to check the lab, meet the employees and the bosses and test out the new gadgets as well. And, you get to travel with other Mi fans from around the world too.

As for the gadgets, I still would like to complete the whole Xiaomi IOT products. I'm looking forward to saving for a Robot Vacuum. 
Nette also shared with me the response she says when people tell her to buy the flagship phones of Xiaomi because she's a super fan. She says "Why would I buy one if I don't need it. Their mid-range works just fine for me. I can buy two good Xiaomi phones at the flagship price. It's being practical. If you tell me I need a laptop from Xiaomi, then I will agree with you because we can make use of that in our home."

Then she made me realize something. "..that's where I'm coming from. I don't need to buy their flagship phone to prove that I am a fan of the brand, because I know my needs.". Thank you for the very nice reminder Nette! I couldn't agree more. 

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