Catchy title, right? I thought so too … in fact, today’s post is all about nakedness! Before you get any thoughts, I’m referring to brands putting themselves out there … hold on, that still sounds wrong! OK, let me try that again. In our discussion today, we’ll be talking about the concept of bare & dare – I don’t think that explanation helped either. Anyway … here it goes.
In a much earlier post, entitled “Personal Branding – The 10 Commandments“, I discussed the concept of brand nudity – where you expose yourself to be judged, loved, hated, ridiculed, admired … after all , it’s not a beauty pageant, you’re not seeking everybody’s approval. Fortunately, some brands have adopted that level of transparency and laid their heart on their sleeves – with no protection, no conditions, no strings attached. A good example of that is Nokia.
On March 16, 2011, a friend on twitter, Tarek Shalaby, sent me a DM asking me to send him my email so he can fill me in on the launch event of Nokia E7. He also told me that they will be giving away the phone to test and talk about our experience!
FREE PHONE – what could more can one ask for? that sounds fabulous, i thought to myself. But then I asked if this great gifts comes with strings? Would I have to lie, and continuously push out positive feedback about the phone? The refreshing answer was: “NO – we’re actually looking forward to learn from your experience – so please, by all means, be honest!”
That was even more shocking than the FREE PHONE – wow, honesty in marketing.
Clearly, Nokia is not doing this because they just felt they had money to spare and simply started giving out phones worth $850 a pop (but i’ll get to that later). They sought out influencers in the social media sphere in Egypt to test drive the phones and talk about it in their circles. This is great marketing, since studies have shown that people are three times more willing to trust recommendations from a friend, than they are advertising. Its is daring move by Nokia – the crowd is dominated by iPhone and Android fans – with a couple of exceptions supporting Blackberry. Clearly not Nokia’s territory – then again, the number one place to gain insight and pick up on customer needs – raw, untampered, unedited data! How valuable is that!?!
Since we brought money into the equation, let’s look at this initiative from a financial perspective. The launch event took place at the Four Seasons Nile Plaza catering to 50 guests, including a 3-course meal, Hors d’œuvres, and a completely FREE Nokia E7. The setup was fabulous … and so was everything else. Sounds costly, doesn’t it? Uh, not really. Think of the alternative – mass media (TV, Billboards, etc …), where you addresses the mass public, knowing that only a very small portion would afford the phone (or would care to own one for that matter). Needless to say, the latter costs a whole lot of money that doesn’t start to compare to the direct marketing approach taken by Nokia.
Aside from the obvious costs associated with the alternative, I would also like you to consider the price tag on the following tools needed to support it: focus group, market research, advertising on different social networking platforms, consumer insights, brand advocacy … With the direction Nokia has taken in earning the attention of mobile users to the new Nokia E7, it covered all the aforementioned areas. So basically, Nokia did more for less – but more so, Nokia dared to be different.
What should Nokia do next?
To reap the benefits of this initiative, Nokia should:
- Track the feedback across the different social networks from the lucky few receivers of the Nokia E7
- Provide customer service online
- Build a Q&A list generated from the questions presented online
- Build a forum / blog or any other platform where these “test drivers” can share their experience and help share the knowledge
- Provide tips and tricks on occasional basis to make the best out of the Nokia E7 experience
- Measure conversion rate
These are but a few options Nokia could tackle to sustain the incredible momentum created by the event.
Questions to think about:
- What do you think of Nokia’s approach?
- If you were the brand manager of Nokia E7, would you have done things differently?
- How can Nokia build on this initiative?
Think About It!