Of course, you know who I’m really talking about. Bond, James Bond. With the latest Bond movie, Casino Royale, hitting the theatres this quarter, Fast Company writes about how companies try to align with the “Bond Brand”, hoping the attributes of Bond shine on their products. They sum it up nicely with “Men want to be Bond and Bond is the man women dream of being in love with.” Gimme that Aston Martin, baby!

Sadly, I had a less satisfying experience with one of the companies trying to cash in on the Bond myth. As I was at the time in the process of buying a shiny new K800i, I noticed that SonyEricsson – as a sponsor of the latest Bond movie, Casino Royale – was coming out with a special silver limited edition version of the phone. Of course, that was what I wanted. The special version was going to be available for a limited time only, Q4 2006 to be specific. Ideal timing, but as you can guess by now, I had to buy a standard black K800i because I could not find the silver edition anywhere in Belgium.

I asked in about 5 stores and checked a host of internet sites. No one at the stores even KNEW about the existence of the phones. “Off to the source”, one would thinks, so I contacted SE’s online support asking where I could get these phones in Belgium. The answer: “we do not have any information about availability or prices, and we have no access to the data of dealers or distributors. Please check our website of ask in the stores” .. After which they gave me a link to their dealer locator. The one I had already contacted before I mailed them and who knew nothing about the phone. So, SonyEricsson in Belgium tells me they have no idea what their phones will cost or even if they’re available in the country. Why even bother to have an office, guys?

A missed opportunity for SonyEricsson. It’s not enough to create marketing hype, you need to follow through in all areas to make sure your products actually get to the customers.

PS if anyone from SE would happen to read this, it’s case 70596715, and I never did get a satisfactory reply.