The Nokia N8 ‘Push Snowboarding’ Campaign Case Study

The Nokia N8 ‘Push Snowboarding’ Campaign Case Study

Case Summary

The case study illustrates the marketing campaign of N8 by Nokia. The N8 was a direct rival to Apple’s iPhone and was set to put the company back on the market as a giant in telecommunications amid growing fierce competition. Forthwith, Stuart Wells and his team embarked on a campaign, Push Snowboarding Campaign, which it used to attract customer attention and loyalty to the N8 phone (Villanueva 2). The campaign resulted in a 3.25% brand preference growth and a 14% rise in device preference. The analysis also revealed a return on investment (ROI) of 1:13 on the investment made, meaning that the firm $14 for every $1 spent on the campaigns. Nokia’s N8 media campaign was successful in getting public attention and engagement.

Critical issues faced by the Company

Nokia faced fierce competition from other telecommunication giants. By the time the N8 was being launched, Nokia was the third-highest seller of phones, having sold 4 million units of the gadget. However, this number paled in comparison to Apple’s 14 and Samsung’s 10 million units (Villanueva 10). Nokia lost its market share to its competitors by failing to exploit the smartphone market at its genesis. Worse still, Nokia’s Symbian-3 operating system (OS) could not support the applications that smartphones could. The market widely accepted the smartphone movement, and by the time Nokia joined the movement, consumers had shifted to Samsung and iPhones. Nokia’s competitors introduced smartphone gadgets that dominated the market and shrunk its market share.

Equally, the firm’s niche marketing strategy limited its market share. Nokia addressed the snowboarding niche. The Push Snowboarding Campaign targeted snowboarding enthusiasts given the looming 2010 Winter Olympics (4). While the strategy proved successful for Nokia in that market gap, the company failed to capture the entire smartphone market. The phone was assumedly associated with sports, which would make non-enthusiasts refrain from buying the phone. Further, Nokia’s rivals were taking over the smartphone market, which N8 would have captured had it not focused on sports only. It is assumed that had the N8 broadened its target market, the outcome would have been different. The niche market strategy focused on snowboarding, creating the perception that N8 was suited for sports, which did not appeal to the entire smartphone market.

The organization relied on short-term marketing strategies, which is detrimental in the long-term. Nokia’s marketing strategy rode the waves of the 2010 winter Olympics, which at the time, was sensible. However, after the Olympics, it is probable that the enthusiasm associated with N8 would fade. Given that Nokia was launching a powerful smartphone device, capturing the smartphone market in its entirety would have increased engagement even after the Olympics. Nokia focused on the short-term Olympics to launch its products, making the future of N8 uncertain.

The snowboarding community dominated product development. The community tested the speed, and airtime of N8 and posted the results on social media platforms (5). Had the entire smartphone market been involved, it would have given modification suggestions that would retain N8’s appeal even after the Olympics. Reliance on the snowboarding community for product development left out critical inputs by the rest of the smartphone clientele, which was not useful in the long-run.

Solution to Challenges

Adopt mass marketing strategies. Instead of niche marketing, Nokia should appeal to the entire smartphone market. Instead of marketing the N8 like a sports-gadget, Nokia should portray the phone as the best smartphone for every user. Adopting this approach will enable Nokia to recapture its market. Mass marketing exposes a company to a broader market share, thus more sales and broader brand recognition. However, the strategy would expose Nokia to direct competition with its rivals, which have taken over its market. Further, the technique is costly, which may be a concern to Nokia whose N8 was expensive to manufacture. Mass marketing strategies appeal to a broader market.

Comparatively, Nokia should take advantage of innovations to stay ahead of the competition. Innovation will enable the firm to produce and modify gadgets better than competitors, ensuring product survival. However, this technique could be costly to Nokia regarding resources and time. Being innovative could also mean an overhaul in its production techniques. Taking advantage of innovations will aid Nokia beat competitors.

Formulating long-term marketing strategies would suit the company. Long-term strategies enable the company to understand future threats and opportunities for the product. With a long term plan, Nokia would know how to market the phone after the Olympic period is over. Similarly, the firm will incorporate the needs of the entire market to retain N8’s appeal in the future. However, a long-term strategy will take time to formulate and may need a lot of adjustments as the telecommunication industry changes fast with the rise of innovations. Long-term plans provide a comprehensive understanding of the product’s future.


Nokia should adopt the mass marketing strategy. Forthwith, the firm should involve all innovative smartphone users and potential customers. Getting their perspective in developing the N8 would result in a phone that is appealing to the entire market. Equally, the firm should craft messages on social and traditional media showcasing how the features of the phone are better than the rivals as they can be used for sporting and normal activities. In this case, the snowboarding campaign should run concurrently with other promotional activities to non-athletes. Key performance indicators (KPIs) like brand awareness rates can be used to track N8’s performance. There are several communication strategies. Top-down communication will entail the management the ways to implement the strategy and monitor progress. Conversely, the workers will avail the results of the strategy and report any findings for improvement. Nokia should also utilize external communication by allowing the customers to give suggestions to improve N8. The suggestions will be received by the workers, who will compile a report for the management to review. The mass marketing strategy will enable Nokia to take over the market by incorporating the needs of many customers.


The various strategies will benefit Nokia. Mass marketing will aid in recapturing Nokia’s lost market. The strategy is easy to implement and will have lasting benefits beyond the snowboard games. Comparatively, taking advantage of innovations is beneficial in the long-run as Nokia will be at par or better than competitors. With long-term marketing strategies will prompt the company to understand and predict the future of telecommunications and prepare in advance. It will also ensure that Nokia engages with its customers in the present to secure brand loyalty and recognition. The three strategies will serve Nokia’s need in future.

Work Cited

Villanueva, Jeremy. “The Nokia N8 ‘Push Snowboarding Campaign: An Avant-Grade Social Media Strategy from Engagement to Sales.” INSEAD, 2015.