When Nokia enters the North American market with its new Windows Phone devices in early 2012, it faces the difficult task of rebuilding its brand and market share here. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Chris Weber, President of Nokia Inc. (US) Head of Markets, North America, shed some light on the strategy the company will use to reestablish itself so that customers think that “Nokia + Windows = cool.”
The strategy will rely on heavy marketing and re-establishing partnerships with the North American carriers. The promise of “significant” marketing dollars in 2012 suggests that there will be heavy promotion when devices hit our shores. Nokia will launch a number of devices with multiple carriers, taking a broad approach rather than focusing on one or two carriers. It is also looking at pushing down the price of Windows smartphones, making them more accessible.
Nokia also recognizes that Android and Apple are well established. Rather than taking them on directly, Nokia will focus on entry-level smartphones aimed at first-time buyers. “We have to be additive to their business,” Weber said in reference to offering the carriers a business model that does not detract from their Android and Apple sales. He argues that many first-time smartphone buyers are overwhelmed by the complexity of Android. Windows Phone come with many commonly used apps such as Facebook preinstalled, making them easier to use out of the box.
Bottom line, “The company is committed through and through to the U.S. market,” Weber said.