Outdoor mobile technology manufacturer and provider CrossCall has launched in South Africa, bringing with it an interesting look into its brand and marketing strategies.
Here are the key takeaways:
The key purpose of your product/offering
CrossCall founder Cyril Vidal decided to create his own smartphone after he kept breaking his during his work in the construction industry and in participating in his watersport hobbies. He couldn’t find a smartphone that fitted his needs, so he designed and created his own.
“At the beginning of the brand story, the smartphone was designed for the ‘ruggardised’ market. They were tough, resistant, waterproof, that’s it. No cosmetics, no aesthetics. Just to fit a simple need, to be resistant,” explains CrossCall’s digital marketing manager, Sabrina Montagard.
Fulfilling a consumer need should be the first thing you identify, as it’s the core basis for the existence of your brand.
Targeting niche consumers
The target audience of CrossCall’s phones then evolved and expanded to include all lovers of nature (adventurers and travellers), extreme sports enthusiasts, and outdoor professionals.
“All professionals who need a resistant device can use our smartphone. Gardeners, postman, policeman etc,” she says.
While this move did broaden the consumer base, it simultaneously created a niche audience, which is vital in today’s world where personalisation and targeting are so important.
Brand ambassadors and product feedback
Constant improvement of products and/or services is crucial to continue to enhance a brand and its reputation in the market.
CrossCall utilises two strategies around this. Firstly, they hold workshops, which recreate real world scenarios, with people to test their products. “We work with people to think about our strategies and work on developing the product. We have built a huge community of testers (1 000 people) who work with the products and give us insights and feedback on them as well as accessories they want,” explains Montagard.
Secondly, the brand utilises brand ambassadors, identifying top extreme sports people, outdoor professionals, adventurers, and travelers, who not only give feedback on the phones, but also promote the products. The brand’s most recent ambassador comes from South Africa, explorer and adventurer Mike Horn. At the launch event, another ambassador was present, Teddy Palassy. A former member of the Marine Nationale Special Forces in France, he became a CrossCall brand ambassador, and now works as sports business unit manager for the brand.
Julien Fouriot, sales director for Africa at CrossCall, explains why the cellular brand picked South Africa as its newest market and more about its brand positioning and marketing strategy:
After the formalities, attendees were greeted to a display and hands-on demonstration of CrossCall’s offerings. These included, impressively, a phone submerged in a tank of water and one in a block of ice.
Here are some pictures and a video from the launch event:
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