Parks Associates Blog

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"Barbie, meet KIN"

Microsoft this week announced their KIN social networking devices (phones) designed for a younger set whose primary interest, in addition to an occasional phone call, is social networking. The timing of the announcement interestingly coincides with news that the sagging Palm phone maker is up for sale, having missed several windows of opportunity to capture growing consumer interest in smartphones. Microsoft, expert marketers that they are, have left no question as to who is the target demographic. They may have carved out a position in a tight, yet well-defined demographic well served by Disney, Miley Cyrus and the Twilight crowd. These tweeners and teens may have the income to purchase a smartphone but find their allowance lacks the heft to support the iPhone data plan. In the bloody battle of mobile phone marketing, Microsoft may be content to win a small slice of the growing pie. After all, Zune keeps on quietly plugging in the shadow of the iPod.

Parks Associates’ Consumer Decision Process research of buyers of CE products revealed that Nokia, once the unequaled leader of the U.S. mobile phone market, last year fell to the bottom of the list of brands of basic mobile phones that people would recommend, as measured by Net Promoter Score (NPS). We have to assume that the bright minds at Microsoft did not enter this arena without extensive, long-term battle plans well drawn.

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Blogger Mindi Sue Sternblitz-Rubenstein said...

Stuart Sikes's comments were cited in a RCR Wireless Article entitled, "Trying to nail down the most mobile of segments" referencing different mobile segments.

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11:31 AM  

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