Note to Microsoft: The New Lumia Family

Silent Rage

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Over the past few months, I started thinking about how Microsoft could build brand equity with Lumia. It wasn?t until a few days ago when I walked into an AT&T store to have my wife?s number get ported to AT&T from StraightTalk. An AT&T representative asked my wife, ?What phone do you have?? She responded, ?A Samsung?.uhh?. I interrupted and told the rep, ?She has a Nokia Lumia 920?. My wife felt completely embarrassed and I?ve been teasing her about it ever since. But honestly, this is a problem. My own wife, who has used a Lumia 920 for two years and has heard the name spoken countless times around the house, could not remember the name of her phone. This isn?t her fault, it?s Nokia. Call it however you want, but this is a problem that Microsoft has inherited.

As we all know, Windows Phone is almost at a standstill especially when there is no true flagship announced for the holiday season. We all know that the next model will have Windows 10 and this is truly an exciting time to speculate on what?s coming. What I would like to focus today is how Microsoft can actually reach out to the U.S. market and beyond with great brand equity. In my opinion, one of the reasons that Windows Phone hasn?t done so well is that Windows 8/8.1 was a disaster in terms of market share. Windows 10, on the other hand, has a lot of promise and represents an openness of Microsoft to truly listen to customer feedback. I expect that we will see positive responses from the mass to Windows 10. Because of this, this is a tremendous opportunity to ?reintroduce? Windows Phone and it all starts with building brand equity of the Lumia name.

It?s time to introduce the new Lumia family.

I?ve looked at the various Lumia models and there?s one thing that needs to be fixed. The numbering scheme needs to go. The Lumia 920, 925, 928, 929 all create confusion for the average consumer if you ask them the difference among these models. Not one person that I asked in the past few days thought the 929 was all that much different from the 928. Every one of them thought the 930 was superior to the 929 because of the increment in the tens digit. The same goes for the 1320 when they all believed that it represented a flagship device in comparison to the 930. There?s too much confusion and this does not build brand equity well. Look at the iPhone and the Galaxy series and you?ll see consistency among them and people understood that the numbers represented the generation of the brand. It?s easy to understand, which leads to consumer confidence in how they use their buying power.

Lumia_Family.jpg

By looking at the entire Lumia family, I initially saw six possible groups of Lumia models. However, six was too high a number so I kept at it and got myself down to four distinct Lumia groups. They are Freedom, Lifestyle, Pure, and Pro. These are names that I came up with to distinguish the Lumia models into groups that may make sense for the average consumer.

The Freedom group represents the budget phones such as the Lumia 535 and 635 where people are free from contracts when they purchase these phones. It also has a sense of freedom that people might feel when they move from a budget Android phone to a Windows Phone, knowing that their experience would be different.

The Lifestyle group represents the phones that would appeal to people that like to use their phones beyond the basic set of features they would find in the Freedom line of devices. Features such as a high quality front-facing camera to express one?s self or the myriad of colors they can use to extend their identity among a crowd. The Lifestyle line of devices features mid-range devices and would include the Lumia 730/735, 1320 and the Lumia 830 even if it is billed as an affordable flagship.

The Pure line of devices is where the flagship resides in. This represents the best of Lumia in terms of overall experience. We all know and love the Lumia with awesome features such as Pureview, PureMotion HD, etc. Models such as the Icon, 930, 1520 would fit into this group.

The Pro group is a bit of a tough one for me. I thought about this one and honestly this could easily be tossed out but then I thought about it long enough to convince myself that this should stay. There is only one model that should be in this group and that is the successor of the 1020. A lot of times, I hear people refer to the Nokia phone with the 41 megapixel camera but never hear anyone say the 1020. To make this model stand out, it should be called the Lumia Pro in the sense that one can use this device as a pro with quality app such as Lumia Camera to make them better than they really are.

Now there is obviously some distinction between the 1320 and the 730 in the Lifestyle group and this could easily be fixed by adding a descriptive word to describe them such as Max and Dual respectively. Below is how I would label them based on the four groups I discussed above. The number in the parentheses represents the current models in the market and will not be part of the branding.

Lumia Freedom (Lumia 535)
Lumia Freedom LTE (Lumia 635)
Lumia Lifestyle (Lumia 735)
Lumia Lifestyle Dual (Lumia 730 Dual)
Lumia Lifestyle Plus (Lumia 830)
Lumia Lifestyle Max (Lumia 1320)
Lumia Pure (Lumia 930, Icon)
Lumia Pure Max (Lumia 1520)
Lumia Pro (Lumia 1030)

It?s time to get rid of using numbers as part of the brand. Use it as a way to identify which model where customer support is concerned, but keep it away from marketing. If Microsoft could find a way to unveil the entire family all at once, this would be a tremendous way to capture attention at all price points.

Anyway, I thought I would get this out since it?s been running around in my head for days. Any suggestions you have about this would be most welcome. Thank you.

TL;DR: The numbering schemes is a mess. Break it down into four identifiable groups so consumers understand the difference among Lumia models. The four groups I recommend are: Freedom (low-end), Lifestyle (mid-range), Pure (high-end), and Pro (high-end w/ 41MP camera).
 

xandros9

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Frankly, I don't like that suggestion to move to a name based thing. I feel its only going to make what you want to solve worse by replacing (mostly) logical numbers with even less so names.
How do you know at first glance is better or higher up? Its hard to mess up which number is greater, but hey, isn't Freedom better than Pure? How does it compare to Lifestyle?
Does this mean all the others aren't "Pro"?

Disregard 929, I don't know why so many people keep saying 929 when it is almost nowhere. Its almost like me complaining about how Windows Vista was codenamed Longhorn during development.
It's Icon.

I'm not going to expect everyone to know what differences there are between the 920 and 925, I just want them to see them as related.
I personally doubt your wife will have a significantly better time remembering Lumia "Pure" more so than "930" or "Icon"

I keep holding up Samsung as something to look at here, while its lineup is extreme, you can see how their Galaxy S, Note, Core, Zoom, Light, Pocket Neo, etc naming scheme is working for them. (not too great from what I see)

TL;DR I like my numbers and what they convey more than names.
 

Nicholas Maguire

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I like what a lot of people are saying about Lumias being the low-end, and making the flagship phones use the Surface brand. The names would be like how the Surface tablets and the iPhones are named. Surface Phone 1, Surface Phone 2, Surface Phone 3, etc. I know it's a big stretch for that to happen, but it would be awesome. The build quality and materials of the Surface would rival those of Apple. Lots of people feel Lumias, and they feel and look cheep (excluding the 930/Icon and 830) . The Surface brand is established as professional and it has started competing pretty well against the iPad. Couldn't the Surface Phone do the same with the iPhone?

In my honest opinion, flagship phones should not even have the same branding name as low-ends. That's why, I think having the Surface Phone for flagships would work. Lumia for low-end and mid-range, Surface for the ultimate flagship experience.
 

Silent Rage

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Frankly, I don't like that suggestion to move to a name based thing. I feel its only going to make what you want to solve worse by replacing (mostly) logical numbers with even less so names.
How do you know at first glance is better or higher up? Its hard to mess up which number is greater, but hey, isn't Freedom better than Pure? How does it compare to Lifestyle?
Does this mean all the others aren't "Pro"?

Disregard 929, I don't know why so many people keep saying 929 when it is almost nowhere. Its almost like me complaining about how Windows Vista was codenamed Longhorn during development.
It's Icon.

I'm not going to expect everyone to know what differences there are between the 920 and 925, I just want them to see them as related.
I personally doubt your wife will have a significantly better time remembering Lumia "Pure" more so than "930" or "Icon"

I keep holding up Samsung as something to look at here, while its lineup is extreme, you can see how their Galaxy S, Note, Core, Zoom, Light, Pocket Neo, etc naming scheme is working for them. (not too great from what I see)

TL;DR I like my numbers and what they convey more than names.

It doesn't matter what you think, it's the common perception out there. Too many folks are confused by numbers here and no amount of marketing is going to make things clearer for the average folks. By consolidating it into fewer groups, you can make a cost-effective marketing push. You pointed out Samsung's almost infinite product names, yet the situation is exactly the problem with the Lumia devices. I am merely suggesting a simple consolidation here for the sake of simplicity. Numbers are just too darn confusing for most folks.
 

a5cent

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Honestly, I think a blindfolded drunk monkey could come up with a better naming scheme than Nokia has. I agree that it's horrid.

I think you've got a few really good ideas, but I also agree with Xandros that going only with names also has its limitations, as it doesn't help casual consumers determine where a device slots into the entire range any better than Nokia's broken numbering system does. If I'm not mistaken you've also ignored the issue of hardware generations. For example, if you'd call the L830 the "Lumia Lifestyle Plus", what would you call the L840, or the 820?

I think I'd stick with the numbers, but just have them actually mean something and guarantee they remain consistent. This is what I'd prefer:

NNn ttt...

NNA number that represents the SoC. All devices using the same SoC get the same first two digits. Each generational shift in SoC technology is represented by an increment of 10. The value of the second digit is determined by measuring each SoCs relative performance, using a standardized benchmark.
nA number that represents the difference in quality/price/features between all devices based on the same SoC
ttt...A descriptive name/tag/letter used to differentiate between variants of the same device

Examples:

NokiaSuggestedRemarksQualcomm SoC
Lumia 920Lumia 180previous gen SoC = 1xx rather than 2xx seriesMSM8960, 1.5 GHz, Dual Core
Lumia 925Lumia 180Snot a successor, but a svelte variant of the 180MSM8960, 1.5 GHz, Dual Core
Lumia 928Lumia 180Va variant of the 180 for VerizonMSM8960, 1.5 GHz, Dual Core
Lumia 1020Lumia 188same internals as the 18x devices, but with more features (camera)MSM8960, 1.5 GHz, Dual Core
Lumia 1320Lumia 130 Max13x because benchmarks reveal it's slower than the Lumia 920MSM8230AB, 1.7GHz, Dual Core
Lumia 530Lumia 200current gen SoC = 2xx seriesMSM8212, 1.2 GHz, Quad Core
Lumia 535Lumia 200 Dualtwo SIM slotsMSM8212, 1.2 GHz, Quad Core
Lumia 630 Lumia 250MSM8926 1.2 GHz, Quad Core
Lumia 730 Lumia 255MSM8926 1.2 GHz, Quad Core
Lumia 830Lumia 258MSM8926 1.2 GHz, Quad Core
Lumia 930Lumia 2808974-AA, 2.1 GHz, Quad Core
Lumia IconLumia 280Va variant of the 280 for Verizon8974-AA, 2.1 GHz, Quad Core
Lumia 1520Lumia 280 Maxsame internals as the 28x devices, just bigger8974-AA, 2.1 GHz, Quad Core
 

SammyD97

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I like what a lot of people are saying about Lumias being the low-end, and making the flagship phones use the Surface brand.

That type of distinction isn't going to do anybody any good. Lumia will be associated with low-end and cheap. Microsoft can make a premium feeling and looking device but nobody will buy it because its a Lumia and that means its less than premium. If everything falls under the Lumia name, nobody will feel less inclined to buy a Windows Phone if they can't afford a Surface Phone. Lets not fool ourselves thinking that high-end devices are what sell. Samsung has branded more phones as Galaxy than the entire WCentral community combined can count on their fingers and toes but that doesn't mean their flagship Galaxies don't compete with the iPhone. As for the numbering maybe combine the 6xx and 5xx series to just 6xx since they seem to overlap. But largely it makes sense.
 
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I actually would prefer a name based model name. It's fun seeing what names they come out with. Even Samsung and their ridiculous names are interesting.
 

anon(8985111)

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The problem I see is that since they are already doing their best confusing people with their labeling, no matter how they are going to try fixing that at a later stage it will almost be impossible since people have already established a negative perception about Lumia. Honestly, assigning product names is something that can be implemented comparatively easily and I don't understand why they haven't started turning the tide after the Nokia acquisition.
 

Mellifluous

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I agree with the spirit of your idea but also think the names need to be more compelling to build brands around which evoke the experiences the phones are going for such as small but powerful, action filled lifestyles etc.

E.g.

Budget:
Lumia Robin (530)

Mid:
Lumia Cheetah (730)
Lumia Cheetah Max (1320)

High:
Lumia Platinum (830)

Top:
Lumia Icon (930/Icon)
Lumia Icon Max (1520)

Hobbyist:
Lumia Pixel (1020 etc)

Numbers could then play a part in follow ups, such as Lumia Icon 2 or Lumia Icon 14 to denote year (which could be used on packaging but used sparingly in actual marketing of the product).

Part of the problem is the sheer range of Nokias and Microsoft do need to reduce this a little to reduce confusion.
 
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Silent Rage

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Honestly, I think a blindfolded drunk monkey could come up with a better naming scheme than Nokia has. I agree that it's horrid.

I think you've got a few really good ideas, but I also agree with Xandros that going only with names also has its limitations, as it doesn't help casual consumers determine where a device slots into the entire range any better than Nokia's broken numbering system does. If I'm not mistaken you've also ignored the issue of hardware generations. For example, if you'd call the L830 the "Lumia Lifestyle Plus", what would you call the L840, or the 820?

I think I'd stick with the numbers, but just have them actually mean something and guarantee they remain consistent. This is what I'd prefer:

NNn ttt...

NNA number that represents the SoC. All devices using the same SoC get the same first two digits. Each generational shift in SoC technology is represented by an increment of 10. The value of the second digit is determined by measuring each SoCs relative performance, using a standardized benchmark.
nA number that represents the difference in quality/price/features between all devices based on the same SoC
ttt...A descriptive name/tag/letter used to differentiate between variants of the same device

Examples:

NokiaSuggestedRemarksQualcomm SoC
Lumia 920Lumia 180previous gen SoC = 1xx rather than 2xx seriesMSM8960, 1.5 GHz, Dual Core
Lumia 925Lumia 180Snot a successor, but a svelte variant of the 180MSM8960, 1.5 GHz, Dual Core
Lumia 928Lumia 180Va variant of the 180 for VerizonMSM8960, 1.5 GHz, Dual Core
Lumia 1020Lumia 188same internals as the 18x devices, but with more features (camera)MSM8960, 1.5 GHz, Dual Core
Lumia 1320Lumia 130 Max13x because benchmarks reveal it's slower than the Lumia 920MSM8230AB, 1.7GHz, Dual Core
Lumia 530Lumia 200current gen SoC = 2xx seriesMSM8212, 1.2 GHz, Quad Core
Lumia 535Lumia 200 Dualtwo SIM slotsMSM8212, 1.2 GHz, Quad Core
Lumia 630 Lumia 250MSM8926 1.2 GHz, Quad Core
Lumia 730 Lumia 255MSM8926 1.2 GHz, Quad Core
Lumia 830Lumia 258MSM8926 1.2 GHz, Quad Core
Lumia 930Lumia 2808974-AA, 2.1 GHz, Quad Core
Lumia IconLumia 280Va variant of the 280 for Verizon8974-AA, 2.1 GHz, Quad Core
Lumia 1520Lumia 280 Maxsame internals as the 28x devices, just bigger8974-AA, 2.1 GHz, Quad Core

I respect your opinion on this and it's clear that you and I want the same thing which is a simple naming scheme that consumers can follow. Where you prefer numbers, I actually prefer names. People relate to product names far better than numbers. Back in the day when Blackberry devices were popular, people never referred their Blackberry device by number but instead they would say, "I have a Blackberry Curve" or "This is the new Blackberry Bold....". Product names can define status or make it more personal as opposed to numbers, which is a cold descriptive way of defining a product.

As for how the naming scheme would work for the next generation of Lumia products such as the 840. If Microsoft can be consistent with its entire line of products, they could easily add a number representing the generation such as Lumia 2 Freedom, Lumia 2 Lifestyle, or Lumia 2 Pro. The older products can keep the original product names, but a shift in a new direction of re-defining the Lumia products is sorely needed at this point.

As for those who want to use the Surface name, this is too much of a risky move at this point. The Surface brand name is just starting to have positive strides, but it is still slowly building brand recognition among the masses. The Surface name should stick with tablets for now without risking its brand equity for phones that may not live up to the name.
 

Silent Rage

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I agree with the spirit of your idea but also think the names need to be more compelling to build brands around which evoke the experiences the phones are going for such as small but powerful, action filled lifestyles etc.

E.g.

Budget:
Lumia Robin (530)

Mid:
Lumia Cheetah (730)
Lumia Cheetah Max (1320)

High:
Lumia Platinum (830)

Top:
Lumia Icon (930/Icon)
Lumia Icon Max (1520)

Hobbyist:
Lumia Pixel (1020 etc)

Numbers could then play a part in follow ups, such as Lumia Icon 2 or Lumia Icon 14 to denote year (which could be used on packaging but used sparingly in actual marketing of the product).

Part of the problem is the sheer range of Nokias and Microsoft do need to reduce this a little to reduce confusion.

I agree that a reduction to the range of products that Microsoft/Nokia has is much too large that it has diluted the value of the Lumia names somewhat, which is why I suggested padding a secondary brand to show a distinction of the product range. The names I came up with were merely suggestions and I do like Pixel for the 1020 equivalent. :)
 

vEEP pEEP

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Hello,

I like the naming convention they have right now. I researched my phone before I purchased it based on my needs. Name or numbers, I found out what the phone did before purchasing it.

However, I did enjoy your idea!

Thanks,

Mr. V
 

Silviu Bogusevschi

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It doesn't matter at all what the name scheme looks like. What matters is how these models are being presented to the public.
The first thing the customers keep in their mind prior to getting a new phone is what the phone's features are. The numbers/words name will ultimately help to differentiate between models, the customer is not supposed to remember the number/naming of the phone.
 

TechFreak1

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There are a lot of interesting Ideas in this thread and unfortunately you will never get away with numbering scheme especially in a family of differing models. Plus you have the carrier exclusive phones added to the mix and it is a melting pot of confusion.

So you end you with some like this Lumia Freedom Max, Lumia Freedom Max 2 for the second generation and so on - that is nice & simple.. (however even then some people will still get confused unless the marketing or someone tells them specifically it is the next gen up). But what happens when a carrier wants to call their exclusive model something else?
Such as the Lumia 3330 but is a high end model and a Lumia 3420 but is a low end model.

Furthermore if people have trouble distinguishing a phone from another even though the name of company is on the front of the device they have used for 24 months then you will never get around that. The problem is not with the company but with people, we all remember things via association - i.e memories that bring joy when remembered are called happy memories, a vacation in a foreign country - you will remember that country not for it's say gdp but because of your trip. Unfortunately right now you either have an Iphone or a Samsung / Galaxy as those are the only two companies that make phones apparently...

The easiest solution really is to do four phones or so a year, budget for select markets without LTE (500 series), low + LTE (600 series), mid (800 + 700 combined) & high end (900 + 1xxx combined) (plus a niche device every 24 months or less depending on the market) only then I can see the grouping working as it is simple enough for the average joe to get their mind around.
 

a5cent

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But what happens when a carrier wants to call their exclusive model something else?

Yeah, as soon as you allow carriers to name OEM's products, then all bets are off. In that situation no naming scheme is enforceable and any scheme/system is a lost cause. Unfortunately, that's probably the situation we have, so threads like this are ultimately just an interesting thought experiment rather than anything we could realistically hope for, no matter what our preferences are. :unhappy:

If we disregard that however, then I don't see any problem with a numbering scheme, even with a family of differing models.

I respect your opinion on this and it's clear that you and I want the same thing which is a simple naming scheme that consumers can follow. Where you prefer numbers, I actually prefer names. People relate to product names far better than numbers.

If Microsoft were to trim down their Lumia portfolio to only, say, three devices, then I'd be completely on board with your naming conventions. Assuming MS continues to offer a broad spectrum of devices however, then my desire for clarity/organisation is a lot higher than my desire for marketable "warmfuzzies", which ultimately don't mean anything. I understand your point though, and although I personally don't belong to that demographic, I'm sure you're right that most react better to names than to numbers. Might it be best to combine both? Say, by giving devices both a systematic and consistent model number and a marketable tagline:

Lumia 188 Picasso (1020)
Lumia 200 Freedom (530)
Lumia 258 Platinum (830)
Lumia 280 Elite (930)
Lumia 280V Icon (Icon)

Put the tagline in silver or gold lettering under the brand+number, and I think that would go a long way towards providing a bit of "flavour" and also hint at whom the device is intended for. That would even allow carriers to emphasize the tagline, while Microsoft could emphasize the model number, allowing MS' marketing dollars to go towards promoting the same device on all carriers, rather than being forced to focus on one specific carrier variant.
 
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edoug

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I'm going with Apple (and you) on this one: the fewer models, the better. Multiple SKU's and models compromise the brand, distract, and dilute.

Your "Pro" is like an "Advanced Technology" and aims to show something off (even if it has a limited audience) while building on top of the Pure line.

 

worldspy99

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Aside from the differences in opinion in terms of numbers versus names, I do believe that about 4 phone categories are good enough for MSFT to push WP ahead. Perhaps the minor distinction should be for screen size (6" phablet but with true multi-tasking, split screen etc). The Pro range should be true over the top experience like the 41MP camera but with a kick a@@ processor and true usable RAM....just my 2c....
 

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