Nokia continues to clean house. On Monday Nokiaannounced that the head of its smartphone division wasleaving. This follows a change in CEOs. Rumors are that
Nokia’s chairman, Jorma Ollila, will leave later this year.
seem very appropriate given Nokia’s
stunning collapse. Several years ago, Nokia was one of the dominant global players in the world of mobilecommunications. Today, Nokia is being left behind by
Apple and Blackberry. The company’s stock price has
fallen from a high of about $40 per share to less than$10 per share, reflecting the decline in the business.One of the reasons Nokia has fallen so fast is that it has a
simple branding problem: Nokia isn’t a distinctive brand.
It is a brand with positive associations and high
awareness, but it isn’t unique.
For many years, Nokia seemed to successfully do what
marketing experts say you can’t do: serve all segments
in a market. Nokia sold very high-end, technologicallyadvanced phones and simple, inexpensive phones, allunder the Nokia brand. The branding structure was verysimple: the Nokia brand with a product number, such as
N8, the company’s newest smartphone, or E7.
Of course, many branding problems only surface overtime. And that is certainly the case for Nokia. By playingin all segments of the market, Nokia watered down itsbrand, eroding its meaning. What is Nokia, anyway?