Nokia Lumia basic marketing fails

I wanted Nokia to do well with the Lumia launch.

I’ve had a lot of Nokia phones, and I’ve never been disappointed with the build or the phone itself.

Well, before Nokia made smartphones that is. I found every one of their smartphones painful to use, so I never bought one.

And that is the problem. Neither did many other people either.

Nokia simply didn’t make good smartphones.

So when Nokia (who can make great hardware) decided to partner with Microsoft, things were looking up. Strategically I think the decision to align exclusively with Microsoft was very risky, and may still cost Nokia its survival – but Microsoft can write good software and has some great design people.

And then the launch …

I’m interested – tell me about it.

1) Looks good, attractive design, I like the tiles, great camera, Windows 8 seems really promising …

You’ve got me … I am a potential customer – and I’m waiting for the two last pieces of information.

2) How much?

3) When can I buy it?

… and then the event finished.

Without answering two of the three important questions:

1) Tell me about it and why I should buy it – TICK

2) Tell me how much it will cost me – FAIL

3) Tell me when I can buy it – FAIL

What the heck!!!

You announce a new product, with no price and no information on availability?

Has anyone at Nokia marketing ever heard of Apple?

Do they understand how Apple work?

Apple follows the above steps to a tee.

Every time without fail.

1, 2, 3 … we get excited and we go any buy it. Apple has closed the doors to competitors.

The sad ones even queue outside (you all know the stories)

BUT Nokia announced vapourware. Simple as that.

Without a price, without a date at which I can buy it, it is vapourware. It doesn’t exist.

So what happens next?

Unable to actually buy a Lumia, I wait until next week and see what Apple have to say.

I know they will launch the iPhone 5. I know they will tell me the price, and I know that they will tell me when I can buy it. I also know that it is probably going to be from the 21st September.  And then any window that Nokia potentially had to attract me and millions of others have gone.

Some will wait. Most won’t. Few will care.

Microsoft and Nokia will market hard and shout, but the timing was wrong.

Sorry Nokia. You should have announced the price and availability.

I know that there are lots of valid reasons to explain Nokia’s position and timing …

– As a spoiler to Apple (mmm … can’t imagine Apple were quaking)

– As a spoiler to Amazon (nope, different markets)

– As a precursor to Windows 8 launch (to keep excitement in advance of Apple and the Windows 8 launch)

Or the most likely reason …

– To guarantee that they got some coverage of a product that is pretty good before Apple launched the iPhone 5 and dominated every blog, magazine and advert –  although Microsoft almost certainly demanded that the phone be held back until the full Windows launch.

The delay does give Nokia and Microsoft the ability to announced agressive pricing AFTER the 12th and thereby position Apple as being expensive and the Lumia as being affordable, but Android phones are already out and more affordable, so this is risky and unlikely to dent Apple’s strategy.

Another reason is to prevent an Apple response to an agressive pricing strategy (which is valid), but also provided Nokia/Microsoft an opportunity to undermine the launch pricing of Apple – so this has been missed.

I hope Nokia knows what it is doing.

Nokia and Microsoft will have a clearly defined plan. Here is what I would do:

1) Ship Lumia phones globally to stores NOW. Have these ready to go.

2) Watch Apple’s launch on the 12th and make the final decision about pricing. You could change this. Hold off on this until you see what Apple do.

3) Announce AGGRESSIVE pricing to disrupt with immediate availability before the 21st September.

If you don’t do this – hold back until the Windows 8 launch and launch then, but don’t expect anyone to care.

They will all have bought/ordered iPhone 5’s.

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