As mobile phone ownership nears saturation point in western Europe, new handset manufacturers have to blow customers away if they want to make any market impact.
This was Taiwanese manufacturer DBTEL's aim when it joined the ranks of more established Asian rivals such as Samsung in challenging the market dominance of the big guns including Nokia, Motorola and Sony Ericsson.
A major challenge facing DBTEL was brand recognition. Despite manufacturing handsets for Motorola and BT, consumers, telecoms operators, analysts and distributors were unfamiliar with its brand.
The timing of the launch meant that DBTEL was going head-to-head with other manufacturers rolling out their big budget Christmas promotions.
To communicate DBTEL's brand attributes, values and differentiation to operators and the industry. To be seen as an authoritative commentator on operator and consumer issues with the media.
Strategy and Plan
DBTEL worked with Brands2Life to develop values and messages, including highlighting its large scale manufacturing operation and ability to respond quickly to new trends.
The team focused on two core products - the 2039 and 2037 - which demonstrated DBTEL's fun and funky technology at a competitive price.
Key spokespeople had media training while press releases, fact sheets and photography were put together for journalists throughout the international media. Mobile specialists were also given product samples.
Measurement and Evaluation
On launch day, 10 October, DBTEL scored high levels of interest from broadcasters, including CNBC, BBC Breakfast and Telecom TV. The story was covered by The Financial Times, FT.com, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Reuters and the Daily Mirror.
Coverage in the consumer and business trade media included Mobile Choice, What Cellphone, T3, Communications International, Mobile News, Mobile Europe and Totaltele.com.
An audit showed significant penetration of key messages and DBTEL's position in the Asian market was favourably reported. Key product messages relating to the style of the handsets were also reflected.
Over 70 pieces of coverage were generated, mostly positive. Some commentators were unhappy that DBTEL's launch products lacked the download speeds of GPRS technology, but the company highlighted that the 2039 and 2037 were aimed at the youth market, who as yet have little interest in GPRS technology, and that new features would be introduced later this year.
Both models scored well with product testers and DBTEL received leads from six of the major mobile operators in Europe and six distributors in the UK, Greece, Italy, Scandinavia, Nigeria and the US.