Nokia case study

New brand strategy for Nokia

Snake. Polyphonic ringtones. The unbreakable 3310 with its bright smile. Those were the days when Nokia was on top of the world. Unfortunately, Nokia is not doing so great anymore, with its shares dropping close to 80 percent. That is the reason we, a group of four students, chose Nokia for an elective (Q1 2012) where the aim was to develop a brand strategy for a company that is not doing good at the moment.

We found that Nokia was lacking both in- and externally. Internally, the communication with employees was not optimal. With a lot of fragmented departments and the lack of integration across those, its responsiveness to market changes was very slow. Resulting in falling (years) behind its competition, due to not sharing a shared mission and vision across the workfloor. This lack in coherency could also be seen in its product portfolio. Therefore confusing the consumers, externally, and losing brand focus. On top of that, Nokia joined Microsoft in the ecosystem war (e.g. Android, iOS and Windows phone), where Windows phone was the clear underdog. Even by combining two giants (Microsoft and Nokia) in this all-or-nothing effort, a clear reason of existence was missing.

The first step of the solution was to strengthen Nokia internally. Having a more organic and horizontal structure (including great leadership) would improve the coherency, motivation and developments. The second step was tackling the brand identity. Again, consistency was nowhere to be found. Our proposition included Nokia to focus, thereby differentiate itself, on expressing the playful, happy and personal Nokia. Structuring Nokia’s portfolio was the third step. With over 26 different phones, design language was lost. We proposed to trim down the amount of products and make them all coherent. This was achieved by looking at curves of the current Nokia logo. Have you ever noticed, that the only curved letter is the O? The rest all has sharp edges. These details were translated into product design. The last step was a strategy to exclusively stick with Windows Phone, also applied in the Asha series (low-end phones). We also designed an exclusive Nokia-styled version of the Windows Phone software. Of course we have done more than I could shortly describe above. Please contact me if you want more information or just a closer look!