The troubled Finnish phone-maker Nokia has made some astoundingly bad decisions this year, but whether by luck or stroke of genius they still deserve kudos for retaining the services of 1000heads — hitherto referred to as WOM World Nokia — to do their marketing.
“Marketing” is almost a misnomer — community-building is what they really do. I think their fine work is worthy of a dedicated post, so here’s how WOM World has managed to open up a huge multinational corporation to you and me…
WOM World Trials
Want to test drive a handset for two weeks? Go here and fill out a form. That’s it.
You may not get exactly what you asked for, and there’s always the chance you may not get anything at all. But I know of no other device maker with a program like this — at least on such a massive, worldwide scale.
WOM World Campaigns
Nokia Unfenced (Canadian edition) marks the third WOM World Tour I’ve been fortunate enough to participate in — the N97minitour and N97 24/7 were two previous campaigns that I was part of. And for kicks I got to tag along to SXSW as well.
These once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to travel on someone else’s dime have been dreams come true for three years running now. Even better have been the new friends I’ve made quite literally around the world. So when I see that slogan above it’s WOM World that immediately comes to mind — even if Nokia’s bankrolling the fun.
Have I Been Bought?
Fair question. I’m not so naive to forget that all of this is ultimately about moving product. And wasn’t I bitching about how bad Nokia’s aging smartphone OS was not so long ago?
What the fuck?
Those answers will have to wait for another post. Where WOM World comes in is making people like me feel like valued customers. Does your handset maker show you around London for a day then give you a phone to take with you around the world? Didn’t think so…
WOM World doesn’t go for the hard sell; instead they orchestrate amazing experiences for their current users and potential new ones. The rest supposedly takes care of itself.
Now I’m not so sure that at this point I can realistically be expected to get anyone in North America to part with their Androids, BlackBerries or fart app players. I’ll try my best, though, to be brand-agnostic and a bit more philosophical about what I believe is important for a high-functioning mobile device.
But let the record show that this Android user of eight months is back on a Nokia, at least for now. And the good folks at WOM World are a big reason why.