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What are mobile phone companies trying to tell us

In today’s society, a mobile phone is an essential piece of technology that you would not go anywhere without. So how can mobile device brands position themselves effectively within the market, to attract particular target consumers to their brands?

In today’s society, a mobile phone is an essential piece of technology that you would not go anywhere without. According to eMarketer the number of smartphone users will total 1.75 billion in 2014. So how can mobile device brands position themselves effectively within the market, to attract particular target consumers to their brands?

Companies such as Apple, Samsung, Nokia and HTC are constantly coming up with new and innovative ideas to maximise engagement with their potential and existing customers. As well as carving a place in the consumer market for their smartphones, these brands’ appeal to the enterprise market will be core to their business strategies too, especially with the increase of BYOD in the workplace.

In this article, we will shine a light on how the most influential phone manufacturers are positioning their companies to appeal to the marketplace and reach their target audience.

As the world’s most powerful and influential brand, we wouldn’t expect anything other than the idea of lifestyle to be its primary message. Apple has always been about lifestyle and indirectly selling its products through what the devices help people achieve. At no time is there mention of operating systems, features or design characteristics. Instead, they present the idea that using its devices makes us achieve more and be more with the use of apps. In many ways, the device isn’t really what’s on show here, it’s the apps and everything they unlock in our lives. Apple shows a variety of applications that help to enhance the consumer’s life.

With the increase in BYOD, Apple is showing all the possibilities their vast array of apps have to offer and the potentially positive impact apps bring to our personal and professional lives. Apple is saying that its device is an extension of who we are and, that with it, our lives will be enhanced. Apple is also solidifying its position in the enterprise market, marked by its recent partnership with IBM. It shows Apple is strongly focused on iOS’s benefit to the business market and its value as a business tool. Furthermore, businesses will benefit from the introduction of iOS 8 and OSX Mavericks, which includes continuous computing. This means users can pick up what they were working on from where they left off, no matter which device they use. This will be backed up by an improved iCloud Drive, bringing the ability to store, access and manage files across OS X and iOS. Already 98% of Fortune 500 companies are using iOS devices in their business today. In contrast, however, Apple’s global share of the consumer market is 20%. All in all Apple is presents itself as the perfect aid for people who want to achieve, however and wherever they choose to do it.

For the Galaxy S5, Samsung has taken a completely different approach. This technology giant focuses on highlighting new features, such as its ultra power saving mode, state-of-the-art camera, IP67 dust and water resistance and a new security system. As a direct competitor of Apple, Samsung is emphasising some of its outstanding features. In the Android world, one of the key ways firms differentiate between devices is through the on-board features. Samsung is presenting itself as an innovator in the industry, providing consumers with smarter, faster, safer and more durable phones, for use both at work and at home. With the development of Samsung Knox, its new security platform, personal and professional data can be separated and the devices remotely wiped.

This feature addresses the increasing concern over security for businesses, with the rise in BYOD. In addition, Samsung has positioned its software capabilities and its advanced features to drive value for its brand, having a 31% market share compared to iPhone’s 20%.

In a society, where we have information at our fingertips, consumers have all the tools they need to make an informed decision. HTC have taken this idea on board in order to create a unique and engaging marketing strategy to present its brand as the perfect choice. HTC appeals to a traditional demographic of power users. Therefore, its use of clever marketing strategy resonates with an audience that demands more and knows more. This Taiwanese manufacturer presents its superior offerings confidently, without needing to be oversold. This subtle concept creates an immediate sense of value and lets the consumer take control of the device to enhance their life.
According to Tech Republic, 84.7% of mobile users are using Android devices; however this is currently less common in the workplace due to the perception of iOS providing higher levels of security. To aid their position within the enterprise market Samsung and HTC will need to address the issue of security across devices and the android OS, which is something we have already seen evidence of.

Microsoft has been keen to showcase Windows Phone’s improved capabilities, in comparison with iOS and Android, with new interactive Live tiles, improved speed and usability. In order to appeal to the aesthetically conscious society in which we live, design has also become a huge focus. Microsoft has positioned Windows Phone as being ideal for managing your work and personal life. One of Window’s main benefits is the consistent experience it offers across multiple devices. With Microsoft’s leading share in the enterprise software market, the phone will be compatible with many of the systems most employees use daily. Windows Phone therefore presents itself as ideal for use in the workplace, important for the increasingly mobile workforce. This advantage could improve efficiencies in the workplace as professional information can be synced and accessed between desktop and mobile devices, with minimal disruption. As mentioned above, Apple will be introducing the same advantages to the market with iOS 8’s continuous computing.

Realising this key benefit for the enterprise market, Microsoft’s strategy has cleverly promoted its seamless transition from phone to tablet with the use of the 8.1 Windows OS, to demonstrate its value for consistent user experience.

To maintain their positions in this ever-changing market, these leaders need to constantly evolve and adapt to engage with their end user. With brands and what they represent holding utmost importance in this market, defining value for the brand and creating the right perception is essential in maintaining and growing market share.

By Mubaloo’s Marketing Assistant, Donald Sze

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