After Nokia revealed its disappointing Q4 results, it wants to grab Indian fashionistas as a potential customer base. The fashion fraternity has become a lucrative target group today and Nokia is now tapping into its potential in a bid to regain its position. After rocking the London Fashion Week with Nokia Lumia 1520 skirt, in association with the renowned fashion designer Rina Dhaka, Nokia Lumia has set the ramp ablaze with a brand new image this year at Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week. Gunjan Verma spoke to Viral Oza, Marketing Director, Nokia India to decipher what this association means for the brand.
Is the association with WLIFW a kind of re- launch for Nokia Lumia after a dip in sales of Lumia in 2013?
As far as the sales are concerned, Lumia is one of the fastest selling phones in its category, globally. It has the fastest growing ecosystem. Lumia 520 owns 33 per cent of the Windows Phone in the global market and Nokia inches closer to 90 per cent dominance. So, despite the slower growth last year, Nokia is growing and we are focusing more on brand building than instant sales. After Nokiaâ€™s association with Microsoft, the sales have doubled â€“ globally.
Our association with fashion has been there for long â€“ nationally as well as globally. Mobile phones are not just utility handsets these days, they are status symbols and thus, with Lumia we are focusing on the design, aesthetics, bright colours and designs that make an individual stand out in the crowd. That makes a statement!
As a Windows based phone, Nokia does have a differentiating factor, but how much do you think this will help Nokia to consolidate its position in India?
Gaining back market position is something that happens as a part of the strategy after some time. A brand needs time to do that. Firstly, our partnership with Microsoft was something that brought back demand for Nokia phones globally. Secondly, our aim has been to connect the next billion to the internet and we did that beautifully with Nokia Asha in India. Asha is a leader in the basic phone category and the mid-level market is captured by Lumia, which is nearing the top position in India.
The Lumia dress at the London Fashion Week was definitely an eye catcher. But how do you plan to attract the attention of the potential Indian buyers through WLIFW?
We have associated with Rina Dhaka. She is one the most celebrated designers in India. She has designed an entire collection inspired by Lumia phones â€“ the tiles, colours and aesthetics are a true inspiration from the phone. We are looking at creating an image for Lumia phones â€“ which is characterized by bold and punk colours, aimed at making the owner stand apart. Through the fashion week, we are trying to reach the audience that is fashion conscious and is always hunting for something that will make them look different. Lumia phones have been positioned in the same way as a fashion accessory would be.
Why did you choose RIna Dhaka or Shantanu & Nikhil?
I feel they are a true personification of what Nokia Lumia is â€“ they are young, bold and known for their outstanding collections. A lot of youngsters follow their collection and the launch of the Lumia collection this year is the statement that Nokia Lumia phones wants to make. This is not the first time that Nokia has associated itself with fashion. We did something in at the beginning of the millennium and have been associating with as many as almost 200 such events globally. It is a part of the brand building campaign. Around the image that we create for a brand, events become a part of it. Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week will showcase the brand Lumia in its true proposition to the right target audience.
Launched 2 years back, why do you think Lumia is taking time to capture the market?
It takes time for brands to create a market share for themselves in the category and Lumia is just 2 years old. But there is also another fact that in the first nine months, Lumia sold more than any other mobile phone in their first nine months. The sales improved up to 19 per cent. Lumia has been selling the largest and fastest in the Nokia smartphone category.
As told to Gunjan Verma