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Power of branding: How Nokia is attempting to change its direction.

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The world of mobile phones has gone through a sea change in the last year. Samsung has risen to be a major contender in the market constantly eating into Nokia’s market share. Nokia’s decline has surprised many and given many critics countless blog posts. If the recent flurry of events from the Nokia is any indication however, this may just be a temporary setback in the growth of the biggest mobile phone maker in the world.

While Samsung capitalized on the mistakes of Nokia to rise to the top of the smartphone market, Nokia has quickly made amends too. Nokia has finally learnt to capitalize on its brand value and come back stronger. This post discusses some of the steps that Nokia has taken.

Nomenclature Correction: (Asha and Lumia)

Nokia Asha

One of the main reasons Samsung has risen in the smartphone market is the identification of the Galaxy Series with Android phones. Samsung named most of its phones according to the nature of OS or specific features. All Android phones were titled Galaxy while Windows phones were titled Omnia, while its Bada and feature phones are titled as Wave and Champ respectively. Even the dual sim phones were named with the tag, Duos.

Nokia has learnt the effectiveness of this brand methodology and have come out with 2 important series. The Nokia Lumia series for its range of Windows phones and the Nokia Asha series for its series 40 feature phones.

Nokia Lumia has already rekindled interest in Windows phones and may be synonymous with Windows phones just as Samsung’s Galaxy has managed to be for Android. Nokia Asha on the other hand has already made the pleasures of social networking and navigation available to the lower strata of mobile phone buyers in over 100 countries. The name would also gain a lot of brand identification among a significant population of buyers in Rural India and Indian Subcontinent. The same market had helped propel Nokia’s rise to be the biggest mobile maker with the 1100 and 3300.

Nomenclatures simplify buyer decision making. It becomes a lot less confusing to the buyer to segregate his mobile phone and simplifies the marketer’s job in convincing the minimum features to be expected in the model.

Pursuit of Innovation: (41MP camera)

nokia Pureview

Nokia has now shed the burden of battling it out in the open source Operating System market and concentrated on what it does best; Building quality hardware.

With the advent of Nokia 808 Pure view, it is clear now that Nokia is making massive breakthroughs in Hardware technology. While competitors such as Apple have long prided themselves about quality hardware, Nokia was busy fighting a losing battle with its Symbian OS.

Nokia 808 , with its 41MP camera sensor is indication of many good things coming out from the Nokia camp in months to come. Microsoft’s Windows 7.5 OS will surely help Nokia meet its software requirements, creating promising smartphones that are a blend of great hardware with brilliant software.

Nokia is also innovating new design attributes such as the polycarbonate plastic body which seems to aid antennae performance for its Nokia Lumia 800. No wonder then why Nokia Lumia 710 is the best spec’d phone in its price range with a 1.4Ghz processor for under the Rs 15000 price range.

Making innovations and promoting them effectively will raise the brand value for Nokia and rekindle interest in Nokia’s phones, which seem to have lost favour among the expert group of Cellphone enthusiasts.

Event Marketing(Lumia activity)

nokia-lumia-store(Courtersy: gsmdome.com)

Nokia has done one of the most comprehensive marketing campaign ever on a smartphone with the Lumia range. From exciting Flash Mobs at public places to Flash cricket at parts of India and interesting media placements all around popular cities. Nokia has made Lumia’s Tag line “The amazing everyday” truly meaningful with these activities.

For Londoners, Nokia conducted an entire event of sorts at the Millward tower with an entire sound and light show on the tower using latest technology in laser projection and sound .

Even with its display on Nokia priority shops, Nokia has shown great creativity by placing the product next to the shop window with a kaleidoscope whirlpool of mirrors and coloured lenses warping into the phone. Nokia has claimed over 48%  of market share among Windows phones and have become the dominating Windows player, this in spite HTC’s promising Titan and Samsung’s Omnia range. Nokia clearly has got its game plan right with their marketing activities, reaching out and grabbing the imagination of the average feature phone user.

Blurring Lines (between Feature phones and Smartphones): Nokia Asha

Nokia although may have lost ground with its smartphones, its feature phones however have been technological marvels. Nokia’s Asha series has blurred the line between feature phone and smartphones. With inbuilt social networking and navigation apps, the phone provides the feature phone buyer some of the applications only accessible to the smartphone user.
Nokia’s Series 40, which now feature in the Nokia Asha series, has thrilled lower segment feature phone buyers across 100 countries. Sale of 1.5 billion series 40 OS phones is proof enough of Nokia’s dominion over the lower brand of mobile phones.

Summary

Nokia has definitely put its foot in the right direction by creating a recognizable nomenclature mechanism for its phones through Lumia and Asha series. Nokia will do well to continue its current spurt in innovation with more mind boggling devices such as the 41 MP Nokia 808.

Nokia should also create market image for its respective brands and models as it has done with the Nokia Lumia 800 through marketing campaigns that reach out to the average user. Nokia Lumia 710 is no less a contender for the mid-range price segment. In feature phone segment, Nokia will continue to be a force to reckon with. Its series 40 OS phones have blurred the lines between smartphones and feature phones creating greater brand loyalty among future smartphone buyers.

Clearly, Nokia has made great effort to clean up the mess created by it over the years. The list of Nokia phones is growing and seems to be promising good times ahead for all sorts of customers.

Comments are welcome…

  1. Rohit says

    Also, Nokia is trying to target low budget customers with low cost smartphones–“Nokia 610” coming soon and expected to be in the range of 11K.

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