Providing support to Garmin to drive app downloads

Providing support to Garmin to drive app downloads

Back in 2011 XL Communications helped Garmin launch the A10 smartphone, providing a reviews programme to support the product’s launch.  In those early days of touchscreen smartphones, Garmin was one of many companies looking to generate market presence, but the company quickly realised that the market was dominated by other players and withdrew.

Moving to apps

The challenge for Garmin was it had previously charged a premium for navigation devices (in car satellite navigation devices) and this market was quickly being overtaken by apps.  Indeed, one of the new companies to provide low cost competition for Garmin was Navmii, with a free navigation app that XL also launched, which went on to generate more than 50 million downloads.

Garmin created mobile apps designed to deliver a higher level of quality than free navigation apps at the time but at a lower price than the premium applications.  Garmin tasked XL with arranging reviews online and in print publications.

Rise to the challenge

This was a challenging brief.  Journalists at the time tended to be in one of two camps: those that felt free navigation was perfectly adequate and could see no reason for paid products and those that wanted premium products at premium prices.  By carefully positioning Garmin as the brand delivering the premium product but at a keen cost point, XL managed to achieve positive reviews with the likes of T3 Magazine, Stuff and several new free print publications such as Shortlist and Stylist.

XL also provided support for Garmin at key events such as Mobile World Congress and IFA, facilitating a series of interviews with Garmin executives to enable them to articulate Garmin’s strategy clearly to national and international media including FT, The Times and Wall Street Journal.

Garmin apps remained some of the most popular downloads in the navigation section of the relevant app stores until the company pivoted to the sports accessory market.


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