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Mobile Phone Branding: An Overview of the Race to the Top

Mobile Phone Branding: An Overview of the Race to the Top Bri Bauer
Mobile Branding

It’s customary for mobile tech companies to show off their new products at heavy-hitter trade show events like the Consumer Electronics Show and Mobile World Congress (MWC). However, mobile phone marketers are increasingly hawking their wares via traditional TV advertising and social media, banner ads, point-of-purchase displays and more.

Marketing execs at Apple, Samsung and Google (to name a few) are feeding hungry consumers their newest models and features with marketing slogans, celebrity endorsements and special YouTube content. The tactics successfully tease potential and existing customers into a state of anticipation for the latest new-phone launch.

There's the upcoming Google Nexus phone, which is enjoying a strong run-up in sales due its increasingly low price point for consumers and its relentless focus on quality. Vic Gundotra, vice president of engineering for Google, recently promised on a Google+ thread that the next Nexus phone will have “insanely great cameras.”

And of course, there was the recent launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4 on March 14 in New York City. As one of the most anticipated gadgets slated for a 2013 release, the Galaxy S4 is featured in Samsung’s star-studded ad campaigns featuring Paul Rudd and Seth Rogan (for Galaxy S4) and Tim Burton (for the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0).

In the global mobile landscape, Samsung's “Next Big Thing” campaign appears to be working; according to the Communities Dominate blog, they're dominating worldwide sales of smartphones, with almost 31 percent of the market share. Apple is second with 19.5 percent.

Where Was Apple at the MWC?

At the recent Mobile World Congress, Apple was intentionally absent. Part of the reason is that Apple famously chooses to throw Apple-branded events for big announcements. But even more eye-opening is the very public fact that Apple hasn’t released a new product for six months. Industry speculation points to a possible next iPhone launch as early as Q3 of this year.

There are the ongoing and endless rumors of an iTV launch, though TV/tech enthusiasts will tell you they've been hearing about that one for a while now. Apple investors haven’t been impressed with the brand’s stagnate performance and it’s one of the reasons stocks have plummeted in the last six months.

Samsung Winning the Mobile Race?

It’s hard to ignore Samsung’s constant innovation; they're the tortoise to the Apple’s hare in the adage, “slow and steady wins the race.” The New York Times agrees, writing, "Senior executives at mobile network operators, the companies that sell the bulk of Samsung and Apple phones around the world, said Samsung's rise to the top had not been an accident but the product of a methodical, longterm strategy to offer a more affordable, accessible alternative to Apple.”


What Mobile Markets Are Big for 2013?

According to BrandChannel.com, Apple, like Samsung and other technology giants, has been seeking growth opportunities in the emerging markets commonly referred to as the "BRIC" countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), contrary to the maturing mobile markets in Europe and the United States.

The Apple-Samsung war is tough going – in India, for example, Apple is struggling to make headway against a dominant Samsung, which was recently ranked as one of India's top three most trusted brands. The other two top brands were Sony and Nokia. Apple has yet to create a solid brand strategy in that notable market.

Brianne Bauer has garnered publicity for lifestyle brands, Paramout Pictures, and personalities such as Mariel Hemingway and Cheryl TIegs.  With a background in magazine publishing and corporate PR, she is now a freelance publicist and writer...

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