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Nokia banks on digital and retail marketing to recapture Indian mindspace

Pekka Rantala, Global CMO of Nokia, tells that the brand has re-entered Indian market with the mindset of a start-up, which brings great deals for consumers and that’s what it is doing

Pekka Rantala

As mobile phone brand Nokia looks to recapture the mindspace of the Indian consumer in its second outing and in a new avatar, both digital and retail are important mediums for the brand to spread its message.

“We’ll also be doing classical ATL kind of advertising, but digital and retail would be our focus areas,” said Pekka Rantala, Executive Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer of HMD Global, exclusive licensee of the Nokia brand for phones and tablets.

Aiming to be one of the leading players in the feature phone and smartphone business in India, the brand launched Nokia 8 Sirocco, Nokia 7 plus and the new Nokia 6 for the Indian market on Wednesday along with the Nokia phones shop – an online destination for all Nokia devices and accessories in the country.

But Rantala refused to quote any specific target for the Indian market. “Right now we are not thinking of the market share. When you have just launched in the market, it doesn’t help to set a numeric target,” he said.

The company sees India as one of top three markets and launched 11 new phones in the last one year. Talking about the near-term objective for the brand, Rantala said, “Right now, our aim is to serve the consumers and grow. We have grown five times bigger in the last one year and have sold 70 million Nokia phones all around the world. It’s just like the start-ups. Start-ups bring great deals for the consumers and that’s what we are doing.”

Nokia is not relying on nostalgia to recapture the already cluttered mobile space in India. Rather it wants to establish a connection with today’s millennials. “We have a couple of products that are inspired from some old Nokia phones. But we don’t stick to the nostalgia and have used the latest technology in the phones,” said Rantala.

Currently, the Indian handset market is cluttered with several Chinese brands such as Vivo, Oppo, Gionee along with old and established players like Samsung and Motorola. In its second journey in India, Nokia is focusing on consumers’ trust it enjoys along with trade partners, distribution partners and retail partners.

“Indian consumers give us more ideas and that has helped us in coming back to India. That gives us the energy and confidence to invest much in India. The second reason is the quality of products. We have been able to deliver the good old recognised Nokia quality,” added Rantala.

The consumer insight gathered by the brand before re-entering the Indian market has given the confidence to the brand.

Rantala said, “The response from the Indian consumers indicated that Nokia is not a trademark, it is a true and authentic real brand. Nokia has been in the Indian mobile space from the very beginning and has a very special place in many Indian hearts.”

The brand believes that Indian consumers adapt easily to new things and India is one of those markets where people are futuristic and progressive thinking. “If any new thing comes in the mobile space, then quite quickly it lands in India,” observed Rantala.

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