All due respect to Samsung and its awesome “Next Big Thing” commercials that poke fun at line-forming iPhone lovers the next big thing is not here, just yet. The Nokia Lumia 920 and HTC 8X have piqued consumers interest. This isn’t to say that the hardware is enough to get people to convert to Windows Phone. Consumers are sold things so here’s three ways these companies can sell their devices and drive adoption of Windows Phone.
1: Do Their Work Early
In basketball there is a term “do your work early”. It means simply that success rate of offensive and defensive players is relational to working before they (or opponent their guarding) get the ball. Nokia and HTC have done the first part, announcing the hardware, but now the crucial part has arrived. The follow up. Stay on network carriers and get pre-order pages up and start marketing your phones sooner than later. Make sure you have ads in all the major newspapers in the country and even end cap commercials on television. End cap commercials are those brief 10-15 second commercials that immediately trail the longer ones. Meant to simply give a flash of product and catch your interest. The second thing I’d do if I was Nokia or HTC is offer a lower price for the people who pre-order the phones. That’s right, people can’t resist a great deal and offering the Lumia 920 and HTC 8X at $150 for pre-order pricing good through BUILD of this year its pretty fair to say you’d see good numbers and have an idea of supply chain issues early and prepare for them.
2: Add Value At Launch
For those unfortunate enough to take advantage of the pre-order special pricing Microsoft should get with Nokia & HTC to follow up with another gift card similar to last year’s WP7.5 launch. Include a $25 card with every purchase. The whole mail-in proof thing is a huge hassle and frankly consumers never appreciate getting hassled. Heck, want to know the coolest way to do this? Automatically add the balance to the Wallet hub. That drives exposure to a new, best-in-class, feature and is hassle-free for the consumers. It’s what they call a win-win!
3: Follow The “Bold & Beautiful” Principle
Get the phones into the hands of people who matter. If you’re reading this then you know better and know to make an informed decision. The average consumer, I’m looking at you Apple 5 girl, is a follower who only cares about whats hot and relevant. They want what the celebrities are using and they don’t mind paying through the nose to get it. Case in point, the iPhone 5 without ever being handled by more than 99.9% of people who pre-ordered the device, is smashing opening sales records. Sure it has the name recognition going for it but out of the mouth from my intelligent and talented, psychology major with honors wife “I get what I want”. She has admitted that the prestige matters to her. How many cores a phone has is not even a consideration for the buying public, only techies.
I’d love to see Microsoft work out deals with all major airlines and get at least 1 or 2 devices on each airline in first class as demo units. Get the celebrities and corporate execs using and loving the device. What would happen if say Lady Gaga, Adele, Nicki Minaj, Kim Kardashian, Will Smith, Justin Bieber, Adam Levine, Taylor Swift, Oprah Winfrey, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Kanye West all started tweeting about how they are rocking and loving the new “must have” item? Millions of followers would make Windows Phone 8 and the devices the trendiest thing on Twitter and beyond. Combined with the pop-up stores Microsoft is opening for the holidays and carrier push this would be huge. Heck, get the most charismatic salesperson you have (Ben Rudolph @BenThePCGuy) and have him meet with all the celebs he can and get them to promote and use the phones. Get the phone into the hands of Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Kimmel who have been poking fun at the new iPhone. Let them design fresh skits displaying the awesomeness of the Lumia 920 compared to the latest from Cupertino.
I’m telling the Bold & Beautiful principle is real and it matters. Why do you think Apple scooped up Samuel L. Jackson & Zooey Deschanel to promote Siri, a beta product. People actively try NOT to think. Make it easy and put some eye candy (celebrity and phone) in front of them and sit back and rake in the profits. Marketing works when its done right. Its not rocket science its having a natural understanding of social interaction.
I’d love to hear you, the reader, thoughts. Am I misguided and woefully out of touch? Is there any value in what I just wrote? Lets get the conversation started. Its going to be a busy holiday season and I’ve got time to be social.