Interview with Britta Gerbracht (Head of HMD Global Marketing for Germany/Switzerland)

WinFuture Interview with Britta Gerbracht (Head of HMD Global Marketing for Germany/Switzerland),106463.html

Interview with Britta Gerbracht (Head of HMD Global Marketing for Germany/Switzerland)

Andrew LeRoy Andrew LeRoy
✭✭✭  /  edited December 2018

WinFuture Interview with Britta Gerbracht (Head of HMD Global Marketing for Germany/Switzerland),106463.html

Translated from German:

Two years of Nokia smartphones - around 70 million devices sold, including feature phones. A successful entry into the top 10 manufacturers and big plans for 2019. How has HMD Global and Nokia Mobile come about in the last two years and what will happen in the coming years - and where is the Nokia 9 ? A look back and outlook.

The Nokia brand has been playing a very significant role in smartphones for almost exactly two years now. On the occasion of the upcoming second anniversary of the launch of the first Nokia smartphone with Android, we were able to hold a detailed conversation with the creators of the brand. Here is a look back - and an outlook on the near future of the smartphone brand Nokia. 

In the course of the presentation of the Nokia 8.1 the new German marketing boss Britta Gerbracht, who has only been active for three months, answered us and other media representatives . Gerbracht, who most recently worked at Wiko Mobile and previously at Microsoft in press relations, was astonishingly open and mentioned many interesting details about HMD's surprisingly successful entry into the global smartphone market with the return of the Nokia brand. There were also some interesting details about the company's plans for the coming years. 

70 million sold "new" Nokia devices

HMD Global has been able to sell well over 70 million devices in the nearly two years since the launch of the Nokia 6 in early 2017, and this number probably also includes feature phones. The company itself has only about 650 of its own worldwide , so it seems quite impressive that such a small manufacturer has managed in such a short time to establish itself in a highly competitive market as a fixture among the top ten smart phone manufacturers . 

Of course, Nokia smartphones also benefited above all from the reputation of the brand name, according to Gerbracht. Therefore, one tries to live up to the expectations of the brand and to offer accordingly high quality in the form of high-quality materials, robust construction and a certain longevity, it was said. 

Customers use their devices longer

As a result, product cycles on the part of customers have recently increased again. While the buyers would have used their devices until some time ago on average only for about 1.5 years, today is usually only after more than two years, a new purchase usual . For most people, the smartphone has long since ceased to be a status symbol and part of everyday life, so that new devices are not bought as often as was the case in the days of the big triumph of smartphones. 

One factor to take this trend into account is also the cooperation with Google, because by participating in the Android One program you can over relatively long time again and again current security updates and especially over several years, new Android versions Offer. Other manufacturers are known to be very difficult in this regard. 

Who buys Nokia smartphones and why?

Currently, most buyers of smart phones from Nokia are still customers who know the name from earlier times. Also several former buyers of Nokia or Lumia devices belong to it. Around 80 percent of customers are male and on average, customers are more than 35 years old .

At present, efforts are being made to increasingly address younger customers, with HMD Global wanting to attract particularly young buyers, who are under the age of 20, worldwide. As a possible starting points Gerbracht called the e-sports area, where Nokia or HMD wants to do more marketing activities. The deficits in the age range between 20 and 35 years will be tackled in the near future. 

Cheap devices as a sales driver - premium middle class in the sights

So far, the cheaper models have proven to be the main sources of revenue, and this should continue to be the foundation of the business in 2019, especially since many other manufacturers in this area are not so well positioned. It is therefore well established in the range between 300 and 400 euros and wants to consolidate this position further. 

Overall, the Nokia 6.1 is the world's most frequently sold "new" Nokia smartphone in the last two years, in this country recently just the Nokia 7 Plus was a bestseller. Also the Nokia 3.1 was in the last months in Germany best in demand. 

In the case of colors, the trend has gone from a wide variety at the time of the Nokia 6 to set tones. According to Gerbracht, classic colors are in demand in Germany and Europe, which is why the latest models have been introduced in black, blue or silver . 

No big success with flagship smartphone

Gerbracht also admitted that HMD Global's flagship models, released so far, failed to achieve the hoped-for results. Especially the Nokia 8 Sirocco , which came on the market this year with last year's top SoC from Qualcomm and could offer no real unique selling points at comparatively high prices, did not seem to go as hoped. 

All in all, the development of HMD Global in the first two years of its existence is thoroughly satisfied. Of course, this is hardly surprising given the figures given and the market share data provided by market observers. It remains to be seen to what extent HMD Global or Nokia Mobile can succeed in continuing to set an exclamation point in the fiercely competitive smartphone market.

Continued below...


  • Andrew LeRoy Andrew LeRoy
    ✭✭✭  / 

    Nokia 9 will not be available in 2018

    Probably the most important thing in advance: There will be no Nokia 9 this year. In the course of our conversation, HMD's German marketing boss Britta Gerbracht quit skilfully. First of all, you have to get things under control before this device will be released, making it pretty straightforward. Further information on this topic will be provided soon in another article.

    In general, from 2019 with the introduction of new flagship models of the brand Nokia is expected, the tenor. The design plays an increasingly important role, but this should also apply to the lower price points. HMD and Nokia Mobile have found their own "line", so that this issue will increasingly become a focus in the future. In the next few years, customers should continue to recognize easily, if it is a smartphone Nokia brand. 

    New flagships and innovations expected from 2019 onwards

    From 2019, HMD also wants to come up with new innovations, Gerbracht said. So far, "Nokia" has not risen again to the leading forces in terms of innovations in the smartphone market, as it was at the time of the first Nokia smartphones still the case. It is clearly the company's claim to be at the forefront again, whereby it is also important to not only offer "the newest", but also always seek ways to offer current technologies at a lower price. 

    For this reason, the main focus in the coming year will initially be on strengthening and consolidating the position of HMD Global in the price range between 300 and 400 euros, ie the upper middle class. At the same time, however, new top smartphones are to be expected, and this topic will play an increasingly important role in the years 2020 and 2021. 

    After .1 comes .2, .3 and so on

    In addition, HMD intends to invest more in topics such as building a customer community and customer service around its products. In addition, in Germany is to be expected with an increasing availability of accessories such as cases and headphones, since they have now brought a broad-based distributor for trading on board. 

    Even for those Nokia enthusiasts who wonder how it goes on with the product name for devices such as the Nokia 7 and Nokia 7.1 or Nokia 8 and Nokia 8.1, Gerbracht had a very clear statement ready: Of course, the versioning on to continue the known way. After the Nokia 6 and Nokia 6.1 in this country is therefore to be expected with the Nokia 6.2 and Nokia 6.3, etc. 

    Performance everywhere, but no gaming smartphones planned

    With regard to the current trend towards gaming smartphones and other devices with a focus on niche markets, there will be hardly any specialized devices from Nokia or HMD Global. A gaming smartphone, for example, is not in work, HMD Global's marketing manager said, looking at products like the ASUS ROG Phone or the legendary failed Nokia N-Gage.

    A proper performance of their own devices is basically a focal point for HMD Global, but gaming devices and other special models are not planned. As is evident from the gaming smartphones of other manufacturers, niche devices are difficult to market and therefore not relevant to HMD Global for the time being. 

    No new retro phones ala Nokia 3310 and Nokia 8110 4G

    It was also particularly interesting to see that HMD Global was able to garner considerable media attention with the new releases of the Nokia 3310 and the Nokia 8110 this year and last year, and maintained and expanded its position as the world's largest supplier of feature phones, but nothing more "Retro-Phone" of this kind plans. 

    According to data from Gerbracht one wants to bring no further such product on the market at the current time, whereby they did not give at first no reasons for this decision. The other cheap Simpel phones from HMD, which appear like the Android devices under the brand Nokia, it will of course continue to give. 

    Anyone wondering, due to the growing success of the Nokia brand on smartphones, whether the "parent company," the Finnish Nokia Group, whose brand has licensed HMD Global may plan a buyback, also needs no hope. Currently, there are no such discussions, even if Nokia itself, of course, exactly watch what HMD does with its brand name.

  • nitin kachare nitin kachare
    ✭✭✭✭✭  / 
    @andrew leroy I got it article.Thanks So Much.
  • madbilly madbilly
    ✭✭✭✭✭  /  edited January 4
    @andrew leroy this is awesome, thank you! :smiley:

    Interesting that they say they plan no specialist models and no new retro phones. I suppose this means they won't produce a full Qwerty phone like the Asha or Communicators. Shame.

    To me it's obvious that Nokia won't buy HMD. If they did they it would reduce the amount which they could licence their wireless/telecoms essential patents for, which are currently a large earner for them. If they bought HMD they would have to licence them at a reduced cost due to competition laws.
  • todesurteil todesurteil
    ✭✭✭  / 
    IF they (Nokia) really want to attract younger buyers/clients, they will have to work very hard on firmware updates. Quick releases of firmware and new functions, apps etc. else they will turn into HTC in a few years. Just my observation and opinion.  
  • madbilly madbilly
    ✭✭✭✭✭  / 
    I think Nokia did "an HTC" first didn't they?! Then they resurrected themselves...

    I don't know if it's an omen, but Florian Seiche the HMD CEO used to be head of HTC's smartphone business... :D 

    HTC are a Taiwanese company just like FIH Mobile...

    Just saying, coincidences ;)

    Back on topic (ish) I'm not sure young people care about updates, generally, do they? They care about cost and features, plus the ability to take it to parties, drop it and it not break! And take good photos at said parties, which is why HMD need to work on that camera app light performance!

    At least these were my priorities when I was young a long time ago...

    Quick fix for the low light performance would be fitting future models with a xenon flash instead of LED.
  • todesurteil todesurteil
    ✭✭✭  /  edited January 6
    What I meant was, @madbilly I think they will nosedive and do another HTC in the future if they continue...

    I know that's why I made the HTC reference. Past behaviour predicts future behaviour.

    That might be true for young people present and past but the more tech savvy people become the more they might want the latest software/firmware as you can only do so much with hardware as a manufacturer. Don't know just what I think. 
  • madbilly madbilly
    ✭✭✭✭✭  / 
    @todesurteil I think I know what you meant, I was just having fun with the various "coincidences".
  • petrus petrus
    ✭✭✭✭  / 
    @andrew leroy 
    Thank you for sharing the translation of this article. Interesting reading for me. Finally, I learned something interesting about how the whole situation perceives HMD.  :)
Sign In or Register to comment.