I just had a brief look at the Puma phone with Jerome Nadel of Sagem Wireless today. Nadel spoke about the complexity of capturing a brand’s soul across multiple platforms at our MEX Conference in December 2009 and the Puma phone launch at MWC shows the first fruit of Sagem’s work in this area.
After seeing so many trite brand extension exercises which have amounted to little more than pasting a logo and a colour scheme on an existing handset design, the Puma phone has established a new benchmark for how a brand’s true identity and purpose can be enhanced by a mobile device.
While it supports Puma’s visual identity, the real brand linkage comes from companion services and features, ranging from a solar panel which will charge the device from a special shoulder mount built into Puma apparel to GPS-based sports tracking applications.
The next challenge in this area will be taking functional user experience links ever deeper into brands’ back office operations.