Nokia bids to be a ‘homewrecker’

MWL 2012: Nokia will adopt a “homewrecker“ approach to “break up the marriage” consumers have with rival smartphone brands such as Apple and Samsung if it is arrest falling sales, according to one of its top marketers Steven Overman.

Nokia Lumia 610

Overman, vice president for brand strategy and marketing creation, told the Centre Stage audience at Marketing Week Live yesterday (June 27) that the company was focusing its efforts on engagement media such as digital platforms as well as on point of sale activity, after admitting that it was late to a smartphone category where “people are already married to an OS.”

He adds: “We realised that the very things that made us such a winner had become the very things that held us back. A complete personality change was in order and that is what Nokia is in the process of doing today.

“Television is not the most important channel, it’s part of a system. It invites people to be engaged but it’s the engagement that really matters and that’s why point of sale really matters for us. For us, it started with the shop window, that moment of truth for the brand and then thinking back from that and designing a customer journey to lead up to that point of sale.”

Overman’s announcement reinforces Nokia’s push at the start of the year to position its retail stores as the lead communications in its branding strategy. He claimed that “having fun” with Nokia’s marketing and not doing what people expected the brand to do is how it would reverse its fortunes and become a top ten global brand once again.

Nokia fell out of the top 100 list of global brands, according to BrandZ, this year – after consistently notching up top ten places in previous years.

Overman adds: “We compare our performance not just today to how our competitors are doing but to how they started when they launched. We are moving faster than [iPhone and Android] were then and it is only a matter of time before we catch up and surpass them.

“Is the job done? Absolutely not. But we have to use very different marketing techniques to break a prejudice that the existing solutions are the best, because they are not.”

Separately, a key priority for Nokia moving forward is to “in-source the high-value stuff like thinking” and “out-source” inspiration and “fresh ideas” from its agencies, a model Overman claimed was like no other.

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