Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Great Synergy - Nokia and Burton Snowboards

Are you ready for it? This winter somewhere in Europe, you are about to see what a Nokia phone and a snowboard can do together. I was reading a blog by one of the product managers I met in London in August and felt that this would be of interest to people who get excited about marketing. I've extracted a part of his blog entry with the link to the rest below. 
"I didn’t come at this trying to find a way to work with Burton and only them. Truth be known, I have been snowboarding for some years now and my mix of brands includes Foursquare (arguably Burton), Bonfire, Lib Tech, Dakine and also the ubiquitous Burton (a pair of Mission bindings in case you’re wondering).
What attracted me to Burton was a combination of factors. Compared to Nokia they’re a small company, but there are a lot more similarities than differences.
Like Nokia, Burton was a business that was started with a pioneering spirit and a willingness to bet the farm on a new, uncharted product territory.
Also like Nokia, Burton benefits by having a belief in innovation and driving its category forward.  (As an aside, it may sound odd for me to claim innovation as a core belief of Nokia – but this is one of the many challenges of being a marketer in the company at the moment. We invested around 40 billion euros in R&D over the last two decades and registered no less than 11,000 patent ‘families’; we just haven’t been great at telling that story).
Both brands have a truly global reach and had built up a global community of fans, critics and others somewhere in-between. In other words, people we can engage with.
As part of the presentation there were some initial thoughts of how the two brands could work together.  These ranged from a mobile Web TV app to showcase their tons of content through to an idea that we called “Board’s eye view” (NEVER underestimate the power of a pun in a presentation….); a project that would allow you to see a rider’s journey through the half-pipe using the technology found in one of our devices; gyroscope, GPS, cameras, wi-fi and so on.
The Board’s Eye View project was initially a joining of some dots.
Dot 1: The successful Push N900 project had produced a skate hack, which brought together the physical skate world and its virtual gaming world cousin; literally identifying a skateboarder’s trick (from a list of pre-programmed tricks) and assigning a score for a successful Ollie (or whatever).
Dot 2: More and more the work I’m doing is about continual consumer engagement, which involves communities doing something that they are passionate about with our devices and then getting their deserved kudos for doing it.
Dot 3: We were looking for like-minded brands to partner in our marketing in 2010 and 2011.
Dot 4:  We had a powerful device coming to market (the N8) that’s packed with technology and we needed to demonstrate that.
Dot 5: On a purely selfish level, Helsinki had been -20c for the last two months and I needed to get out of the cold and darkness. And hell, if Vermont was good enough for Ben & Jerry’s then it was going to work for me."
Read the rest here.

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