Microsoft Mobile’s branding dilemma [Updated]

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Now that what was formerly Nokia’s Devices and Services business is now Microsoft Mobile, the question of what to brand the smartphones that Microsoft will be churning out remains. Nokia’s official announcement of the transaction, as published on Nokia Conversations, reads in part:

Your friends at [Nokia] Conversations will still be here, too, along with the social channels you follow. The Conversations blog and discussions forums, together with country-specific Facebook pages and Twitter accounts will continue to offer news and information about our devices and services, run by the same people and teams now at Microsoft.

Nokia’s global Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube accounts, as well as Nokia Finland’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, will have news and updates both from Nokia as a company and about Nokia-branded devices and services from Microsoft.

Nokia clearly intends to keep the brand name and will likely get back into mobile devices after a while. Here are the issues as we see them:

  1. Microsoft wants a brand that they can carry on even after the 10-year license expires;
  2. Because of point number 1 above, Microsoft cannot use “Nokia” forever; maybe for an initial transition period;
  3. Perhaps Microsoft’s best bet in the long term is “Lumia”

Everyone is watching how this will play out eventually. We sure are!

Update (28th April): We Were Right!

It turns out we were right! Duting the Ask Me Anything with Stephen Elop exercise in which the public were invited to ask Stephen Elop any question about the Microsoft Mobile, he had this to say in response to one question:

Stephen Elop: Microsoft Mobile Oy is a legal construct that was created to facilitate the merger. It is not a brand that will be seen by consumers. The Nokia brand is available to Microsoft to use for its mobile phones products for a period of time, but Nokia as a brand will not be used for long going forward for smartphones. Work is underway to select the go forward smartphone brand.

So, yes; the Nokia brand will be used by Microsoft Mobile for a while and then replaced.

One comment

  1. Replacing Nokia will hurt Microsoft because, some people are just after the name Nokia without really knowing why apart from its popularity and well, Nokia devices are tested and known to last. Carrying these set if people along. It will take serious work to educate and migrate them into the Microsoft family with Chinese firms lurking and ready to cash on the defunct Nokia brand.

    I just hope the new Microsoft outfit will still be able to hold their own in the camera department. It will be interesting to watch how Microsoft will handle pricing of their products going forward because that’s one area that’s not been very favourable for Nokia against the army of Android manufacturers.

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