Have you seen the new Lumia phone that Nokia launched yesterday? It looks great. It’s like an iPhone, but brighter. It apparently has a great video camera and you can charge it up wirelessly. What’s more, analysts predict that the pricing for these phones will be “sharp”.

And yet, I strongly believe that Nokia will struggle to jump start its revenues with this launch.

The problem for Nokia is that although this makes their phone just as good, if not a bit better, than what is currently available on the market, people have moved on. Consumers have already created the apps and music downloads for their iPhone or Android handset, and the Lumia’s benefits will be insufficient to make them go through the hassle of changing, not just their phone, but their entire personal entertainment system.

For Nokia to succeed they can’t just be better, they must be different. This could mean targeting certain customer groups (business users, older customers, teenagers etc.) and making something that specifically meets their needs, or perhaps pushing forward certain technological developments to their absolute limit.

It’s the same in other industries – think fast food, coffee shop chains and budget airlines – and it’s the same for your business. You can’t just incrementally improve the market leader’s offering, as it will not be enough to make your target consumers think again. Instead, you need to focus on what the leader isn’t doing, and position your offering as the solution to that gap.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure what gap the new Nokia phone is filling, and I’m unsurprised that the share price fell by 10% yesterday.

What customer needs is your market leader failing to fulfil, and how could you position your product or service as the solution to that gap?

© Stuart Cross 2012. All rights reserved.