Can a brand live forever? We start to find out…
Last year we learnt how HMD Global (HMD), a Nokia brand licensee, is now the new home of Nokia phones. You can read more about the details of the agreement in this Nokia press release, and our analysis of what the deal means for the Nokia brand in our first blog – Can a brand live forever?
I would be surprised if you managed to miss the news about the re-release of the Nokia 3310, which has reached almost every tech site, social media and news outlet since being debuted at this year’s Mobile World Congress. You are now able to register your interest for the handset, which will cost €49 (£42), on Nokia’s website here.
I must put my hands up to this one, having looked back at my post from last year, I forgot to mention the Nokia 3310 (which of course, I also owned), as one of the key phones from Nokia’s history.
The handset features
Before we go into what this release means for the Nokia brand, let’s look at some of the specs and features of this new handset, and how it all compares with the original device.
According to Nokia’s website:
Battery standby time of up to a month
2.4” polarized and curved [colour] screen window makes for better readability in sunlight
Re-designed shape [and buttons]
2MP camera with flash
Single and dual sim variants
There are several features which you would expect to see in most modern-day handsets which do not appear on the new 3310, such as WiFi and GPS. Most notably, the omission of the widely used messaging service WhatsApp (which we know is a great tool for businesses) has come as a surprise to many Nokia fans looking to buy the 3310 on release. However, this device is pitched as a feature phone and not a smartphone, and with its price-tag, most would expect a limited range of features and functionality. Perhaps, with a little user feedback, some of the more popular apps which are currently missing will be released with later OS updates.
In this post, No WhatsApp, no 4G: Nokia 3310 is a case study in how emotion defies logic, Sahil Mohan Gupta notes:
“…This shows the power of the Nokia brand. This shows how emotion trumps logic. This is why HMD's new Nokia smartphones running Android could be a success. This also shows what Android smartphone makers haven't been able to do -- create brand loyalty the way Nokia did it back in the day, [and] the way Apple still commands it…”
One small step…
In most respects, HMD has played it safe with its first handset release under the Nokia name. The plan is to rebuild trust in the brand, and redesigning a popular classic is one of the best ways to re-establish that trust. Generally, the news has received warm-welcome from Nokia fans, and focusing on developing some of the most important features of the classic handset (battery life and a new Snake game) was a sure way to ensure fan-support.
A giant leap?
In our first post, we highlighted the need for HMD to bring something new, something innovative, and something to reshape the current mobile landscape for Nokia to stand a chance of rebuilding its market share. The re-release of the Nokia 3310 is certainly a good step to rebuild trust, but a far cry from what we expect from what is essentially a new player in the mobile phone market.
Nokia will need to take a giant leap to be seen as an innovator again, and to keep fans on the hook for their latest and greatest product releases (I doubt releasing a 3310 ‘S’ model will cut the mustard – an approach often taken by a certain major competitor who possesses the existing market share to get away with it).
So, we considered how the development of smartwatches, connected homes and the Internet Of Things generally, provides scope for Nokia to continue innovating in the consumer electronics market. Well, as it so happens, this was the approach later suggested by at the Mobile World Congress. Nokia will be focusing on 5G technology so as take advantage of those “faster growing markets” such as virtual reality and wearables.
The future of the Nokia brand
Nokia (with support from HMD), have come up with an excellent strategy to place them in good position to regain their market shares in the consumer electronic market, continue their efforts in networking, and profit from the emerging tech sectors.
I highly recommend reading this post by Mindi Chahal, published in Marketing Week, which further details Nokia’s plans to grow their business in areas such as the Internet Of Things, and how Cross-selling is the key to Nokia’s future.
Nokia’s experience and continued work in networking, and HMD Global’s clever strategy to rebuild trust in the consumer brand, puts Nokia in an excellent position to take on some of the biggest players in the telecoms market, and bridge the gap between many areas of telecoms and technology.
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