For all the hype, glamour, networking, sales pitches and case studies that Social Media Week had to offer, what really sticks with me is the absence of an interactive experience. This goes against everything I’ve been taught about the nature of social media, and what we’re constantly hammering on about on a daily basis.
So on the final day of #smwldn, James (@LusherJ) and I (@bnfx) decided to head down to the Nokia Lumia House in Soho to see what the Business Lounge was all about, and more importantly, check out the much talked about Foursquare-enabled Gift Machine.
James and I are tech geeks. Therefore, our short walk from the office was a conversation about expectations. We thought Nokia was very much a 90’s brand; we weren’t sure what it had done in the last five years that could be considered innovative; and we imagined that the company would probably just accept the fact that iPhone would be dominating both the sales and conversational market in the foreseeable future.
Our expectations were pretty low, so we were amazed by what we saw. To refer to my original point about interactive experiences, Nokia’s open-door Business Lounge provided us with a great one, from our opening tour of the Lumia design story with Emma, to sending a tweet and winning prizes on the pin-board in reception, to an in-depth look at the stunning Lumia range, to using the impressive Gift Machine (which drops presents from a vending machine after a Foursquare check-in).
Nokia has a bright future if this experience was anything to go by. Previously, I would have never thought of the brand as a recent hub for innovation and creativity, but now my perception has completely changed. I saw the Lumia for what it is – a brilliantly smooth and simple smartphone that isn’t just functional, but also incredibly modern in design. Leonardo da Vinci once said, “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”, and Nokia Lumia House really underscores the importance a positive experience can have.
The only disheartening part of the story is that I hear Nokia House could well be closed within the next month. Something they might well want to reconsider, as it’s exactly the type of venue needed to keep consumers engaged and interested in a saturated jungle of noise.