Nokia on Bulgarian market
Nokia is the world's leading maker of mobile phones. One of company's goals is not only to be a leader in developed markets, but also to conquer countries with growing economies. A country with such an economy is Bulgaria.
The Republic of Bulgaria is a country situated on the Balkans in south-eastern Europe. Since 1991 Bulgaria has a democratic constitution and free market economy. The economic growth that the country has experienced, together with the advanced computer technologies and communications, made Bulgaria an appetizing bite for the mobile business.
Nokia has opened its office in Bulgaria in 1999 with serious intentions of entering the rapid growing telecommunication market. Since then Nokia Bulgaria is a subsidiary of Nokia Corporation. Despite the fact that till 2001 the largest cellular equipment for Bulgaria was supplied by Siemens and Ericsson, now Nokia is leading with market share over 40%. In recent years the company has not only offered mobile phones for sale, but also has successfully developed mobile telecommunications. In 2006, for instance, Nokia Bulgaria launched the first TETRA communication operator on the Balkans, supported by EU. The TETRA technology is an encrypted mobile cellular radio system, which serve the border police and the army.
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TETRA is one of the projects that engages the company with the Bulgarian community and contributes to the protection of country's sovereignty. Nokia Bulgaria also actively participates in lots of charity concerts and events. The company is ranked as one of the most active companies investing in education by participating in the universities work with technical literature and Nokia lectors. Except their involvement with young people and education, Nokia respects and values their employees in a special way. The company has developed a program, called “Investment in People” that gives chance to the employees to train themselves and enhance their qualifications and skills by being paid for this. After all, Nokia makes a thorough evaluation of employee's achievement. “Investment in people is the cornerstone of success in our company”, says Nokia Bulgaria and confirms that they are social responsible company, which follows their traditions of meeting society needs with a “human face”.
Since Internet has entered and swept over our life, Nokia's main aim has been to create a new era where Internet and mobility will be united, in other words - “to bring the Internet to everybody's pocket”. That makes them direct their attention to multimedia solutions, called “multimedia computers”. They gather lots of service such as music, video, e-mail, Internet browsing). This has been successful not only around the world, where 16 million copies of Nseries have been sold, but also in Bulgaria. It is a small not rich country with more than 7 million people population, but still Bulgarian customers are good informed and aware of technologies, which makes them demand the newest and the best. For a company like Nokia this is a market where it can show their full potential.
Despite the financial crisis that has affected most of the business areas, Nokia expects to keep its sales and market share in the country till the end of 2009. The numbers show a little decrease, but taking in mind their competitors, Nokia is still on the top.
In fact 2009 seems to be an important year for Nokia and Bulgaria.
October this year Nokia presented a new service in the country, called OviMail. The company made a survey that showed that 80% of the population wants mobile e-mail and chat. Nokia's desire to satisfy its customer's needs encouraged the company to create an easy way to access an e-mail. OviMail is a program used directly from the mobile phone without connecting to another computer. Bulgarian customers are now available to download applications, renew software, listen to music, use maps and write their first mobile e-mails.
Related to this Bulgaria was picked by Nokia to be a regional hub on the Balkans. This is where Nokia is going to oversee its operations from across six markets on the Balkans. The Bulgarian eight-member team will be in charge of the company business in Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo and Bulgaria. This is a huge achievement for Bulgaria, having in mind that most majors manage their operations in Bulgaria from abroad.
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In Bulgaria Nokia has joined forces with the three mobile operators (Mtel, Globul, Vivatel) and the three biggest providers of email services - abv.bg, mail.bg and dir.bg, which account for 90% of the market among those consumers who are not subscribers of majors like Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail.
Nokia's forecast that globally and in Bulgaria Internet consumers via mobile phones will outnumber those in front of their computers by 2010. The company plans to launch at least three new services in Bulgaria, including Ovi Store and Nokia Maps
This year Nokia was invited by the Ministry of Economy and Energy of Bulgaria to produce their mobile phones on Bulgarian territory. Nokia was also asked to help for drawing up information and communication strategies for the country.
For ten years on the Bulgarian market Nokia has succeeded in strengthening its position and earning customer's loyalty. Maybe in the beginning most of the Bulgarians didn't know how special is Nokia, but now they put it next to companies as Coca Cola, Sony, BMW, Milka.
In 2007 an Aegis Group company, called Synovate, made a marketing research for “top 20 most influential brands” in Bulgaria. On front lines were not only traditional bands, but also brands that are related to a dynamic and active life. The results showed that Bulgarians look for products that give them stability, self-esteem and self-confidence. There are some differences between men and women's preferences. Women prefer cosmetics, soap powders, food. Men are interested in technologies, cars and sport products. However, both of the genders are aware of mobile phones and communications. This fact, together with the quality that Nokia provides for the customers, put the company on second place right next to Coca Cola. Two years later Nokia is still in one of the best positions according to the international independent brand arbiter - Superbrand.
I have been living in Bulgaria since I was born. My own experience shows that Nokia is really the Bulgarian's most preferred brand when it comes to mobile phones. As I look around most of my friends use Nokia. All my family use Nokia's phones too. In my opinion the company succeeded in building an influential name, which is related by people to quality and assurance. Nokia phones, actually, are one of the most expensive in my country and still people are more likely to buy it, because they strongly believe that they receive the best. I remember how one of my friends decided to buy her first mobile phone. She picked Nokia and she used it for four years when the phone's panel went totally damaged. She decided to buy a new one and she didn't even think about another option. She was determined that her second phone is going to be Nokia again. Not only this, but she was consulted to pick Nokia as the best choice by the shop assistant.
Another example is a colleague of mine who has Nokia for 7 years and he doesn't even think to change it soon. Why? Because it's the best he got for that much money, because after 7 years the phone is still reliable and some of the additional functions are still topical today, he thinks. My father is also that much convinced that Nokia is the best. In fact, I'm pretty sure that he would never change his phone. He'll go and buy exactly the same model as the old one instead of looking for something better. Maybe this is just because he got used to having the phone, but still he describes it as “the easiest to navigate and the most reliable ever”. I have much more examples for customer's loyalty, because this is what I call loyalty, but if I have to continue, I will not finish my topic soon. Of course, there are people who like changes and who would try something new and “fresher”, as they say. Not all of them put Nokia on pedestal. Some of them think that the company reached the absolute maximum of its potential and this will bring them to a standstill. This is the innovator's group of people, people who rarely would stay loyal to a brand. I, personally, don't know someone who has not heard about Nokia, and even more, I don't know someone who has a bad opinion about the company. I made a little online research that confirms my statement. Most of the people are well-informed about which is the best on the market and they strongly believe that this is Nokia.
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In conclusion, Nokia is the company that gives customers quality assurance, good design and modern experience and this is recognized not only by Bulgaria, but the whole world. Nokia knows how to deal with customer's needs and how to build loyalty and this is an important part of being successful. Their unique ideas, together with stable aims and strategies, shoot them on the top wherever they go. Bulgaria is a country with growing economy and this opens many doors and gives lots of opportunities to do business there. Nokia has managed to grab that chance and to give Bulgarian customers the best they could ask for.
Bulgarian business leaders forum, Nokia Bulgaria EOOD, CSR Profile Book
Regal (2007), Ekaterina Ancheva, “Coca Cola, Nokia and Sony - the most influential brands in the country”
ExpertBG (2009), “Bulgaria invited Nokia to produce on their territory”
www.Factbook.com , Bulgaria country commercial guide, Mobile telephone market
www.novinite.com , Superbrands Bulgaria Picks Top 500 Business-to-Consumers Brands
ExpertBG (2009), “Nokia started a mobile e-mail in Bulgaria”
ExpertBG (2009), “Nokia presents their work in Bulgaria”
The Sofia Echo, “Bulgaria's first TETRA operator launched”
www.index.bg, “Nokia Bulgaria”
www.news.sagabg.net , Nokia Picks Bulgaria for Regional Hub on the Balkans
www.mobilebulgaria.com , “ Nokia tends to keep their market share till the end of the year