Over the weekend, Nokia launched its latest smartphone into North America - the Lumia 900.
Here are some of the best features that consumers will love:
- Nice sleek contemporary design. Great colour selection.
- Big screen - (4.3 inches) that is glare resistant
- Great camera: 8 megapixels, large aperture (F2.2), wide-angle focal length (28 mm), and optics from German lens specialist Carl Ziess
- Front-facing camera for videoconferencing/skyping
- Long lasting battery 1830-mAh delivers 7 hours talk-time and lots of power for XBox or other online games
- Super-fast - runs on AT&T's super-fast LTE network
- Windows 7 - with built-in Microsoft Office Mobile and People Hub - a feature that amalgamates all your contacts' info - phone, email and social media on one page allowing you to view live updates and easily reach out to friends on your preferred platform.
- Oh - and did I mention the great price? Starting at $49,99 on Amazon
This smartphone also has the potential to put the Nokia brand back on the map and top of mind with consumers in North America. While Nokia is still the dominant mobile phone leader in the world, its difficult to find a Nokia phone in any carrier's phone store in the United States. Nokia was always a revered brand known for innovation and style - remember the 90's Nokia model that fit beautifully into the palm of your hand? Nice to see that with the Lumia 900 Nokia is back in the game.
Remember this puppy?
Let's see how Nokia and AT&T are supporting the launch. It's a nice combination of PR, Events, guerrilla/experiential marketing and traditional advertising.
On Friday, there was an impressive well attended event at Times Square featuring a live performance by Nicki Minaj, a spectacular lightshow with CGI dancers on massive LED displays and coordinated effects on surrounding video boards.
Of course a video was made and as of today has almost half a million views.
The Lumia 900 ad campaign officially started on Sunday night with a 60-second TV spot starring Saturday Night Live alum Chris Parnell. The ad lays down the gauntlet to established competitors iPhone and Android. The ad calls out the inferiority of all smartphones currently on the market by calling users "beta testers" implying a still yet to be perfected product. "If you used a smartphone in the past five years, you were a secret product tester in the greatest social experiment ever undertaken,” the actor says before revealing the Lumia 900 as the result of that experiment.
Take a look at the ad here:
The spot will air over the next two months as will a handful of other 30-second spots focused on product features such as hardware design, the phone’s camera and Windows Phone’s live tiles user interface. Nokia is also placing ads on bus shelters in key AT&T markets such as New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas and Los Angeles.
In addition, there were Nokia and Windows Phone “Free Time Machine” events in several locations to showcase the benefits of smartphones. By participating, people could win a myriad of fun prizes including access to Kourtney Kardashian's hair stylist, makeup artist, car service, and a personal shopper to her own shopping boutique as a prize. If you couldn't attend the event, you could go online and win prizes (sans Kourtney's prize).
With all this activity, it looks like Nokia's Lumia 900 is off to a strong start. The phone is trending as the #1 and #2 best seller on Amazon.
So how to maintain sales momentum? According to Forrester Analyst Sarah Rotman Epps, there's a couple things Nokia needs to do right to ensure its long term success.
- Pay off the channel. Make sure that the AT&T salespeople are supporting the launch and are enthusiastic and knowledgeable about Windows. If not, the launch could definitely fall flat. Training (and follow-up) of AT&T staff is paramount. Do I also hear secret shoppers?? When I visited my local AT&T the sales person was 100% behind the phone and did a great job selling it. He's already had the phone for 2 weeks to play with. Smart.
- Target the right customer. Nokia’s product marketing is targeted at the vast number of consumers who don’t yet have smartphones. At an affordable entry price this sounds like a great idea. However, are these folks ready to fork out plus or minus $100 a month for a data plan? And...if they are looking for a smartphone, would they be more conservative in their choice and go for an Apple or Google operating system (like their friends). We are not necessarily talking about early adopters here. Why not go after some low hanging fruit? Nokia could easily target Blackberry users who are either becoming disillusioned or getting antsy for something new. RIM has admitted that the next gen won't be out for some time soon. These folks already pay for a monthly plan so no shock to the wallet. According to Epps, that's about a 8.2% share worldwide. I say ripe for the picking.