Once upon a time, there was a company called Nokia. Then everything changed when Microsoft bought it over. Since April, any and all trace of the mobile manufacturer has been slowly hacked away by their new owner Microsoft. It cost Microsoft 7 Billion USD and they want to make it worth every penny. Their recent course of action is has been to rebrand any and all retail stores and Care centers owned by Nokia. Henceforth they will be referred to as “Microsoft Authorized Resellers”. But that’s not all. Stores that have other brands of mobile devices will be called “Microsoft Mobile Resellers.”
OK, so it’s not the classiest or wittiest of all names out there but Microsoft looks at it as an attempt to set themselves apart from the official Microsoft Stores located across North America. On a slightly random note though, they also launched an Australian flagship store in Sydney.
In accordance to the new campaign, India is set to be the first Microsoft Priority Reseller store, followed by Brazil, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, France, Germany, Italy, and Russia. Just to put things into perspective, India has approximately 9,000 Nokia stores and 120 Care centers that now face a full rebrand. That is quite a lot of work.
Nokia stores were usually of course about all things Nokia and as such featured all their branded products. Microsoft is also going along the same lines, adding their own touch by showcasing their products such as Xbox, Surface, Lumia phones and even software suites such as Office 365 among other accessories.
Even with Nokia losing its’ grip in numerous western markets, they have managed to capture the hearts and minds in many emerging markets. This again is being exploited for Microsoft’s own gain for them to target these countries by launching a number of budget Lumia-branded smartphones, among them, the Lumia 430 priced at just $70 USD.
It will be very interesting to see how the rebranding affects Asian markets especially the Sri Lankan market who still strongly believe in the Nokia brand. Since many Nokia users haven’t really seen Microsoft as a hardware manufacturer before, the initial experience that Microsoft provides with its’ devices will provide all the required feedback to see how well the products fare.