Vertu Luxury Branding

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VERTU presentation for “Branding for Luxury Products” course.

HISTORY
The VERTU originally started in 1998 in Great Britain, now wholly owned subsidiary of Finnish company Nokia. The same year founder and Chief Designer, Italian Frank Nouvo began putting his ideas for Vertu on paper and the board of Nokia gave the project a green light.

Frank Nuovo was a design strategist at Nokia from 1995 to 2006, when he left to become Vertu’s lead designer full time.

Also in 1998 the company made it a company principle of hand making their products with “exotic, rare and naturally durable materials”. In 1999, their characteristic V form was established, and it is still highly visible across the Vertu product portfolio.

In 2000 Vertu began taking shape as a company, locating their headquarters in England, and started an extensive Research and Development- project and decided on some of the parts that would go into the phones as well as some design decisions, such as the use of sapphire crystals as a design-tweak. Three years in to operations, Vertu was granted the Vertu Concierge Service as a patent and this is still one of Vertu’s edges in the luxury cell phones market.

Vertu launched what they themselves call the “...first ever luxury mobile phone” near the Eiffel tower in Paris in 2002, the Vertu Signature. With the first phones now available on the newly created market for luxury phones, Vertu also had the opportunity to offer one of their customers help through the concierge service, with a flight from London to New York. In 2005 10.000 concierge requests was made according to Vertu, a figure that is, and should be (due to their customers privacy), hard to confirm.

In 2003 they open their 50th retail location. By 2010, Vertu had more than 90 own boutiques and was sold in over 600 locations in almost 70 countries, worldwide, according to Nokia`s financial statement for 2010.

In 2007 Vertu went on a joint venture with Ferrari, creating an special edition phone marking the car company’s 60th anniversary.

CONCEPT AND UNIQUENESS
The concept of Vertu is to appeal to high-end customers who look for something unique in their mobile phones. Through meeting target customers standards about design, materials, price and brand Vertu has created a market for luxury mobile phones. The additional services, such as the Vertu Concierge give customers an elevated experience. “Vertu aims to enhance and enrich customers’ lives through the services and products we offer. This enrichment will now further extend to the experience in our stores with a focused, tailored approach to customer interaction.” by Perry Oosting, President of Vertu

BUSINESS STRATEGY
Nokia's first idea was to create a phone that was completely contrary to the company's mass phone distribution and enter the luxury market by creating the subsidiary company Vertu. In order to keep the luxury image and status of Vertu, the phone was not associated with Nokia's mass mobile phones. During the recession in 2009, the CEO Perry Oosting, announced that Vertu was launching cheaper phones and accessories as a tool to keep up the market shares and survive the recession. Late 2011, the new CEO of Nokia, presented the new strategy; to use a new operating system from Microsoft for their smartphones. This resulted in a giant downfall in market shares. As mentioned above, Vertu's flagship stores are located at the most exclusive shopping districts, amongst other Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, in order to be associated with the same luxury atmosphere as the neighboring brands. Vertu also put a huge emphasis on the store layout, everything from special glass for the display cases, to the floor and lightening. For the ultimate luxury experience, they also provide high...
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