The “Place” (Distribution) and Promotion components of the marketing mix are proving themselves to be critically important when it comes to cell phones. Let’s look at three big-name phones on the market right now – the Apple iPhone, the Motorola Droid, and the Google Nexus One. All three have gotten great reviews for their product features. All three have a big name brand behind them. (And of the three names, Apple and Google probably have the leg up over Motorola.) Yet the Nexus One is off to a very slow start (only 20,000 sold in the first week) compared to massive introductions by the other two – and continued strong succes by both (especially the iPhone).
What’s one thing the Nexus One does not have that the other two do? The first thing that comes to my mind is a phone carrier that is actively backing it. Moreover, both the iPhone and the Droid are beneficiaries of strong advertising campaigns, whereas Google relied principally on PR and word-of-mouth for its release.
Although in the long run, a good product design and strong PR will ultimately prove the Nexus One successful, partnering with a phone carrier and investing heavily in advertising could have dramatically sped up that process.