No Matter How You Sell it, Nexus One Webstore Was a Marketing Fiasco

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Google’s Andy Rubin has good PR skills. This is the conclusion after reading between the lines of Google’s announcement that Nexus One changes in availability. The point of the story is the Nexus One webstore was not as successful as Google expected. There are a few factors that contributed to this fiasco, among others the fact that the webstore couldn’t be accessed from many countries in Europe and around the world. That’s only because Google didn’t have a strong strategy in place for this.

It’s easy to say: it was an experiment. But with an announcement that the webstore will be closed, there comes confusion. Some media outlets erroneously reported that Google will discontinue Nexus One altogether, when, in fact, Google is shifting marketing strategies from direct online sales to sales through retailers and direct sales in stores.

Whether this is a victory for Apple or not, as some analysts insinuate, the point is that it is not a victory for Google.  The company failed its first purpose, that of “reinventing” the way mobile phones were sold (directly to consumers, unlocked) or reinventing the wheel for that matter.

In the meanwhile, Google’s critics rejoice in seeing that yes, they were right. The proverbial “I told you so!” is transparent in titles like Google Drops Direct Phone Sales: Good!

“Nexus One sounded iffy from the start, and in the wake of rumors of feeble sales and canceled plans for additional carriers, the only surprising thing about the company’s change of plans is how swiftly they came,” PCWorld’s Harry McCracken writes. “The turnabout is probably a tad embarrassing for Google, but it’s also a logical move given the store’s failure to make much of a dent in the phone-selling universe.”

My only comment to this is that the store didn’t fail alone. It’s not enough to build it, as they say… Google has a certain blindness when it comes to such endeavors. They live under that impression that everything they build would be lobbed and adopted in a flash. Some things have potential, as much as Google’s fans and users want them to have, other things need a smart marketing push. Nexus One in retail stores makes sense, but without proper marketing I doubt it will gain popularity. After all, its direct competitors have better marketing skills in this industry.

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