HMD to Boost Nokia 3310 in 5 states

The DQWeek (Mumbai) - - CHANNEL BONANZA - FAISAL KAWOOSA New Delhi (Faisal Kawoosa leads In­dus­try In­tel­li­gence Prac­tice at Cy­ber Me­dia Re­search (CMR). Mo­bi­lytiks is a tele­com in­tel­li­gence pro­gram of CMR fo­cused on mo­bile hand­sets)

Nokia is back in mar­ket with the iconic 3310 up for sale in In­dia. The price is def­i­nitely on a higher side as in the same vicin­ity there are var­i­ous Smart op­tions to ex­plore. How­ever, it does in­di­cate a cou­ple of things about HMD. The most im­por­tant clue that I get is that they want to con­vey mes­sage loud and clear that they are con­fi­dent of their prod­ucts and don’t want to repli­cate what I would call ‘Jio-ise’ the mar­ket, the phe­nom­e­non started by Jio in the tele­com ser­vices seg­ment.

The down­side of this is that com­pe­ti­tion would counter with the pitch of “We of­fer more for same or even less price.” At the same time, for HMD to re­vise or bring down even a frac­tion of price over a pe­riod of time, which is a nor­mal func­tion of time hori­zon, would be very much no­tice­able as it has tagged it with the model num­ber in the present case of 3310.

Based on our big data an­a­lyt­ics pro­gramme for mo­bile hand­sets in In­dia – Mo­bi­lytiks, I have some­thing to pre­scribe for Nokia. This pre­scrip­tive sales strat­egy is based on a quick SWOT of the brand in the back­drop of what the data sug­gests.

The best part for HMD is that Nokia is still No 2 brand in mo­bile hand­sets by in­stalled base in In­dia and in most of the states it ranks No 2. It is also No 1 in a few states. In­ter­est­ingly, it is nowhere No 3, and Mad­hya Pradesh (in­clud­ing Ch­hat­tis­garh) is the only state where it ranks 4th.

As per data sug­gested by Mo­bi­lytiks, there are still nearly 120 mil­lion Nokia branded phones in use in the coun­try and, his­tor­i­cally, Nokia has al­ways en­joyed a very high NPS (Net Pro­moter Score), which is a uni­ver­sally ac­claimed score of re­pur­chas­ing or rec­om­mend­ing a brand. But, this does not mean HMD could po­ten­tially ser­vice all this mar­ket and be the mar­ket leader by hav­ing near 40% of the mar­ket.That’s not the in­ter­pre­ta­tion or even the point I want to make.

We have to fac­tor in that the mar­ket dy­nam­ics are chang­ing; there is an in­creas­ing pref­er­ence to­wards and ac­cept­abil­ity of Chi­nese brands and sev­eral other things like the ad­vent of 4G, which af­fect any brand in­clud­ing Nokia.

HMD should not ig­nore the fact of huge in­stalled base of Nokia brand and this should be the first an­chor that it should lever­age from. We have to re­alise that HMD is start­ing off as a startup and it will have its lim­i­ta­tions by way of re­sources it can em­ploy in the mar­ket. Hence, I would sug­gest that it goes with a few mar­kets where it ranks 1st or 2ndby in­stalled base and those mar­kets (states) col­lec­tively amount for around 50% of the mo­bile hand­set users in the coun­try. The other char­ac­ter­is­tic of these mar­kets is that they are pre­dom­i­nantly Fea­turePhone cen­tric.

The five states that I would rec­om­mend HMD to kick off their sales ac­tiv­i­ties with would be Ut­tar Pradesh, Ma­ha­rash­tra, West Ben­gal, Bi­har and Andhra Pradesh. Based on the strengths of a Nokia brand, HMD could start of­fer­ing a loyalty driven sales dis­count in these states where the ex­ist­ing Nokia users could buy a new hand­set at spe­cial price.

There would be around 36-40 mil­lion Nokia Fea­turePhone users in these 5 states, and nearly 80% of these would be due for a re­place­ment go­ing by the na­tional av­er­age of 2-2.5 years of re­place­ment pe­riod. By driv­ing a lo­cal­ized loyalty driven sales pro­gramme, HMD could look for­ward to a size­able ad­dress­able mar­ket right from the be­gin­ning.

To sum up, while HMD has to be now ag­gres­sive from brand build­ing ac­tiv­i­ties point of view at a coun­try level, its sales strat­egy has to be lo­cal­ized by align­ing the brand strengths and the prod­uct for sale. In the case of Nokia 3310, it can rely on only two seg­ments, a niche of avid busi­ness trav­el­ers okay to have two phones and ready to shell out Rs 3310 for a Fea­turePhone and a po­ten­tial loyal brand base, which will have to be in­duced to buy a Fea­turePhone while they go for a re­fresh by re­ward­ing their loyalty and through Mo­bi­lytiks we have at­tempted to iden­tify those po­ten­tial pock­ets of op­por­tu­nity for HMD.

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