Vertu Luxury Branding
VERTU presentation for “Branding for Luxury Products” course. HISTORY The VERTU originally started in 1998 in Great Britain, now wholly owned subsidiary of Finnish company Nokia. The same year founder and Chief Designer, Italian Frank Nouvo began putting his ideas for Vertu on paper and the board of Nokia gave the project a green light. Frank Nuovo was a design strategist at Nokia from 1995 to 2006, when he left to become Vertu’s lead designer full time. Also in 1998 the company made it a company principle of hand making their products with “exotic, rare and naturally durable materials”.
In 1999, their characteristic V form was established, and it is still highly visible across the Vertu product portfolio. In 2000 Vertu began taking shape as a company, locating their headquarters in England, and started an extensive Research and Development- project and decided on some of the parts that would go into the phones as well as some design decisions, such as the use of sapphire crystals as a design-tweak. Three years in to operations, Vertu was granted the Vertu Concierge Service as a patent and this is still one of Vertu’s edges in the luxury cell phones market. Vertu launched what they themselves call the “… irst ever luxury mobile phone” near the Eiffel tower in Paris in 2002, the Vertu Signature.
With the first phones now available on the newly created market for luxury phones, Vertu also had the opportunity to offer one of their customers help through the concierge service, with a flight from London to New York. In 2005 10. 000 concierge requests was made according to Vertu, a figure that is, and should be (due to their customers privacy), hard to confirm. In 2003 they open their 50th retail location. By 2010, Vertu had more than 90 own boutiques and was sold in over 600 locations in almost 70 ountries, worldwide, according to Nokia`s financial statement for 2010. In 2007 Vertu went on a joint venture with Ferrari, creating an special edition phone marking the car company’s 60th anniversary.
CONCEPT AND UNIQUENESS
The concept of Vertu is to appeal to high-end customers who look for something unique in their mobile phones. Through meeting target customers standards about design, materials, price and brand Vertu has created a market for luxury mobile phones. The additional services, such as the Vertu Concierge give customers an elevated experience. Vertu aims to enhance and enrich customers’ lives through the services and products we offer. This enrichment will now further extend to the experience in our stores with a focused, tailored approach to customer interaction. ” by Perry Oosting, President of Vertu BUSINESS STRATEGY Nokia’s first idea was to create a phone that was completely contrary to the company’s mass phone distribution and enter the luxury market by creating the subsidiary company Vertu. In order to keep the luxury image and status of Vertu, the phone was not associated with Nokia’s mass mobile phones.
During the recession in 2009, the CEO Perry Oosting, announced that Vertu was launching cheaper phones and accessories as a tool to keep up the market shares and survive the recession. Late 2011, the new CEO of Nokia, presented the new strategy; to use a new operating system from Microsoft for their smartphones. This resulted in a giant downfall in market shares. As mentioned above, Vertu’s flagship stores are located at the most exclusive shopping districts, amongst other Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, in order to be associated with the same luxury atmosphere as the neighboring brands.
Vertu also put a huge emphasis on the store layout, everything from special glass for the display cases, to the floor and lightening. For the ultimate luxury experience, they also provide high personal service with top skills. For the exclusiveness and status of the luxury phone, it was chosen to be launched in connection with fashion shows at Paris fashion week and was thereby becoming to be viewed as a fashion brand instead of a technology brand. This was a strategic move to strengthen the image if the brand. Vertu chose to launch their products in the BRIC countries, which consists of some of the most emerging markets in the world today.
Additionally, the Middle East and Japan are also two extremely important markets for Vertu, partly due to the strong technology awareness in these areas. The sales in these countries are larger than in the western countries and the luxury company is exploiting the new wealth of the generations with high luxury awareness and taste. In order to gain greater market share in the British and Hong-Kong market, Vertu has numerous joint ventures and partnerships with jewelry stores, such as King Fook Jewelry in Hong-Kong and Goldsmiths in Harrods, London. We understand communications technology. We believe now that we understand the luxury industry. It will take something for competition to match that. ” – Nigel Litchfield, former president of Vertu, 2002 MARKETING MIX Product: Vertu sells hand-made luxury phones made from fine materials like gold, platinum and sapphire. Along with every purchase the buyer receives superior service and is entitled to free ‘concierge’ service which assists users with exclusive services like restaurant and hotel reservations, priority bookings, and a global recommendation network.
Price: Vertu prices range from $5,000 to over $300,000. The prices vary with the different collections and the materials that are used in them. Place: Vertu phones are selectively distributed. They are available at company-owned boutiques and at other various company-selected luxury stores like London Jewelers, Goldsmiths, Tourneau and Colette. Vertu locates its stores in luxury shopping districts of large metropolitan areas and opens relatively few stores. The stores are small, intimate and have a luxury feel more like that of a jewelry store than a cell phone store.
All sale locations can be found on vertu. com. Promotion: Vertu acquires much publicity from sales to celebrities like David Beckham, Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow. As well Vertu has collaborated with big brands before like Ferrari, Boucheron and Audemars Piguet. Vertu releases different collections at different times and will only make a certain number of phones in order to keep a prestigious image and attract buyers. Vertu has a website for publicity which features product descriptions and photos of celebrities who own Vertu phones.
Vertu was a pioneer in the luxury cell phone market and has positioned itself as the top-of-the-line targeting high-net-worth individuals. Vertu accomplishes this by using only the finest materials to manufacture their products which are all handcrafted ensuring that every product is of perfect quality. Vertu will release different collections each featuring different materials and designs which make the collections unique and prestigious; their most expensive line ever was the Signature Cobra designed by Boucheron, only eight were made and they cost $310,000 each.
Vertu will often collaborate with other luxury brands, like Boucheron, Audemars Piguet and Ferrari, to extend their success and name in the luxury product world. Vertu offers superior and personalized service to its clients, including a free concierge service anywhere in the world, guaranteeing customer satisfaction and loyalty. They also position themselves by showcasing the celebrities who own their products as an indication that their products are for the rich and famous.
Vertu has locations all over the world in 70 countries however they open relatively few boutiques solely in luxury shopping districts of large cities and thus are considered selectively distributed. Vertu boutiques are decadent, small, intimate venues which offer personalized service to clients wishing to make a purchase; the other stores licensed to sell Vertu products are also luxury stores like Tourneau Watches and London Jewelers in the United States, Bandiera Jewelers in Canada, Colette in Paris and Ernest Jones in London.
Vertu very successfully maintains a prestigious image with its ultra-luxurious products and superior service through its positioning. VERTU SERVICES VERTU brand offers services that are unique, independent and carefully customized to the particular needs and desires of their customers. All services are integrated into gadget. VERTU CONCIERGE Vertu Concierge is added directly to the customer`s handset, offering luxury assistance and enrichment. The service is offered by voice call or email, and access through a dedicated key on the cell.
At the moment of VERTU phone registration and activation of VERTU Concierge service, initial “fitting” call is proposed. It can be done immediately at purchase time or later up to client`s choice. The “fitting” call gives an opportunity to have full explanation of services offered by Concierge, as well as client can express her/his needs and desires which will be matched to this service. This includes the establishment of personal preferences, the range of the service they would wish and significantly, the sort of contact they wish to receive from Vertu.
The Vertu Concierge Classic service offers the client with 24/7 access to a team of lifestyle managers, situated within a network of global centers covering all the main time zones including London, Dubai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and San Francisco. Vertu Concierge also has managers on the ground in major destinations in order to create close relationships with specialist suppliers of goods and services specifically for Vertu clients. Many customers choose to use Vertu Concierge for their travel and lodging requirements as Vertu has protected exclusive opportunities for its clients.
Vertu Concierge can contact the widest network of hotels, restaurants and airlines, and can as a result meet the exact preferences and expectations of their customers. Vertu Concierge clients may also ask for support with purchases ranging from small luxury items to accompaniments to their property range. Vertu Concierge is available in English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Arabic, Japanese, Mandarin and Cantonese. Vertu Classic Concierge is included free of charge for one year from the date of purchase of a Vertu handset.
VERTU CITY BRIEF
Vertu City Brief is a global digest of information covering more than 200 cities and destinations worldwide. Launched in September 2009, it is now one of Vertu’s most utilized services. Independently written for Vertu by experts in their respective fields, Vertu City Brief is available on Vertu handsets in English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Arabic, Japanese and Simplified Chinese. Refreshed and updated on a regular basis, Vertu City Brief allows the user to hit the ground running on arrival in an unfamiliar territory or to explore new or exciting opportunities in their home town.
If the customer does not see anything which exactly meets their requirements, Vertu City Brief is the perfect inspiration to begin a conversation with a Vertu Concierge Lifestyle Manager. VERTU SELECT Vertu Select delivers original articles selected to inspire, inform and entertain based on a user’s region, preferences and passions. Written by carefully selected global journalists, experts and organizations, the articles appear via the handsets RSS feed once a customer has registered their phone. Vertu Select is available in English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Arabic, Japanese and Simplified Chinese.
VERTU. ME Introduced with the launch of Constellation Quest in October 2010, vertu. me is a service that provides the user with a Vertu email account and effortless harmonization of the device’s lifestyle and business tools. Should the customer choose, the user’s emails, contacts, calendar and task information can be automatically synchronized with Vertu’s secure servers, giving the benefit of protected back up of their data. Vertu offers the consumer complete peace of mind. Should the handset be lost, this data can be retrieved and seamlessly downloaded to a replacement phone.
The system also ensures that whenever the vertu. me account is accessed, whether from the phone, a home or office computer (PC and Mac) or via the web, this information is up to date. TARGET CONSUMER The Vertu mobile is a highly luxurious product, which doubtlessly is made to fit the extremely wealthy population of this world. The main customers are rich and found in the urban areas, who are constantly searching for the extraordinary products. Furthermore, their flagship- and department stores are situated in the finest areas, in order to attract the highly rich international shoppers. These are people who buy the best quality watches, the best quality fashion devices” – Nigel Litchfield, former president of Vertu The special features and services of the phone such as the “Vertu Concierge”, attracts customers who are constantly traveling worldwide – jet setters. The Vertu mobile was the first phone which was able function in over 180 different countries. This fact covered many needs and made it rapidly attractive for people who were constantly traveling such as celebrities and high ranked business people. In fact, Madonna, Beckham and Gwyneth Patrol were some of Vertu’s first users when it was launched.
CONSUMER-BASED BRAND EQUITY PYRAMID
Brand Salience For Vertu achieving right brand identity involves brand salience. People generally are not still aware of VERTU because it is relatively “young” brand and promotion is quite narrow. However their target consumer for sure can recall and recognize this brand. So conclusion here is that Brand salience is more depth than breadth. This basically means that even thou there are not yet many people knowing VERTU, but those who do , they know all insights of it, can easily recall it and understands what this brand is about.
Brand Performance The product itself is at the heart of brand equity, as it is the primary influence of what consumers experience with a brand, what they hear about the brand from others, and what the brand can tell customers about the brand in their communication. Brand Performance relates to the ways in which the product or service attempts to meet customers` functional needs. This is on top level for VERTU brand. It is crucial to contribute to customers` desires, wants and needs. Vertu brand highly represents all what their HNWI customers want to have for paying a high price.
The product is highly durable; it has distinctive logo, premium pricing and advanced technology in gadgets. Unique services provided for customers by VERTY also attributes to brand`s performance. Brand Imagery Another variable CBBE Pyramid is second type of brand meaning which involves brand imagery. Imagery deals with such a properties of a product, which meets customers` psychological needs. It is more about what people think of it, how they see it. VERTU`s imagery is extremely individualistic and stylish.
When customer is buying VERTU cell he/she buys a beauty of it as well. As of VERTU`s customer has a strong judgment of a brand as high quality luxury product. Credibility is high and customer see VERTU as superior, advantageous brand. Brand Judgments Brand judgments focus upon customers` personal opinions and evaluation with regard to brand. This involves how consumer put together all from performance and imagery association to make kind of an evaluation. VERTU`s clients evaluate this brand as a high quality luxury brand.
Brand Feelings This variable shows emotional response with respect to VERTU brand. It shows what feelings are evoked by the marketing strategy for the VERTU and how does it affect feelings about themselves and relationships with others. Customer of VERU is for sure status-conscious person. Customers of VERTU have a unique and warmth feeling about the brand. It can be exciting due to special relationship of beauty and technology in brand`s products. Customer feels it is trendy and relates to special status and therefore social approval.
Customer feels high security within this brand due to all advantages provided. As VERTU makes consumer feel better self-respect, pride, fulfillment and accomplishment also occurs. Brand Resonance Final variable of pyramid shows brand relationships with a customer based on Salience, Performance, Imagery, Judgments and Feelings. As for VERTU even if general awareness is low the behavioral loyalty is very high, customer want to get back to this brand, consequently repeat purchase is possible. Brand loyalty is necessary but not sufficient for resonance to occur.
Within VERTU brand customer is not returning to this brand again due to, for example, scarce of substitutes. VERTU attained their main goal- strong personal attachment to brand. It goes beyond of having just a positive attitude to view brand. Another important part of Resonance is active engagement. This probably is the strongest affirmation of brand loyalty. It occurs when client is willing to invest time, energy, money in to the brand. Constantly customers of VERTU are invited to special social events created by VERTU worldwide, and they are participating.
Therefore VERTU has a very strong relationship with its customer.
SWOT ANALISYS FOR VETRU STRENGHT
- Masterpiece of design, engineering, and craftsmanship
- Was truly innovative pioneering brand
- Strong reputation (Products have established strong reputation in their field)
- Global expansion (Includes significant growth over last 10 years)
- Customer service
- Control of Quality(As produced just in one factory in England)
- London Symphony Orchestra is creating ringtones exclusively for each model of Vertu WEAKNESSES Extremely high production price (which leads to high product price)
- Limited access as distribution is exclusive and limited (Missing opportunities for new customers)
- Not able to buy online (More customers now go online)
- Not enough technical innovation again (Many customers claim that gadgets are beautiful but not really practical)
- E-business (launch “buy option” online) Emerging markets
- Mix VERTU styling with Nokia (in order to increase awareness )
- Change of consumer lifestyle (growing demand from young and senior people) THREATS Increasing Quality of Competing Products and Number of those
- Importance of counterfeiting (Chinese counterfeiting factories already picked up the idea)
- Newer forms of luxury and innovation are constantly changing
Brand established in Geneve, Switzerland in 2003. Very Haut-Couture style but extremely not practical. Cells are difficult to buy, narrow distribution channel. View itself as a pioneering brand of luxury cell phone on official website which is obvious lie. The pioneering brand was VERTU. Only 3 lines of phones are developed since 2003.
The most expensive gadget is “Le Millionaire” and it costs $1,000 000. MOBIADO Canadian-based manufacturer of luxury phones with modern minimalistic design launched in 2004. It has 3 main lines –Classic, Professional and Grand Line. Mobiado actively participates in social events in North America (such as Golden Globes and Couture Fashion Week in NY). The brand is not very popular in Middle East and Europe. Still Distribution channel is not wide enough. Price range is from $1,900 to $57,000 GRESSO Gresso is Russia-based company which started its activity in 2007, so it is the newest competing brand in luxury phones field.
Gresso has 5 main lines and they also provide customized phone for their clients. But mostly popular in Russia and Vietnam, Ukraine and one distributor in USA so far, however it is compensated by their option to buy products online. For Gresso products price range is from $3,000 to $42,000.
Focused and customized segmentation is valuable in this market, so VERTU must continuously concentrate on their customers’ needs and desires. As any luxury company which faces constant global expansion it has to pay attention to counterfeiting problem. For example, Apple Inc. ow faced big problem in China where whole Apple stores are opened and being “fake”. China already produces cheap unqualified cells, abusing the brand VERTU, so losses in long-run might be significant. VERTU must work on effective anti-counterfeiting strategy in order to preserve the “face” of the brand. During this study we have discovered that general awareness of the brand is still low, therefore VERTU might collaborate with mother-company Nokia in order to produce some kind of mix and make the brand more popular and easily recognized, as for example H;M and Roberto Cavalli collaboration.
Vertu is constantly launching Limited Edition lines which are sufficient in this market, because “best consumer” wants something distinctive and really exclusive, and more important, the customer is ready to pay for that. Partnership with Ferrari, Boucheron and Ermenegildo Zegna increased popularity of the brand considerably. For that reason, we suggest VERTU to collaborate more also with fashion designers, thus gaining also “fashion” group customers.
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