Saturday, 2 December 2006


The brand name itself, while sounding exotic, is abstract. The font Nokia as it appears in advertising, is solid, appears dependable and to the point. Nothing frivolous about it.

Not so long ago, the brand was the category. And because the category of cell phones was so novel and sexy, Nokia became the epitome of cool. It helps that among all the phones I have tried, a Nokia phone remains the easiest to navigate and use.

In my view Nokia suffered a double blow with the advent of the ‘clam’ shaped phones from Sansung and the Motorola Razr. Nokia was ‘out-cool’ed. It was not the benchmark in design.

But moving quickly, Nokia now offers eye catching phones; phones for the business user (competing more directly with the Blackberry) and is attempting to catch the mass market in India/ Chine with cheaper/ more robust designs. The brand is spreading its appeal, yet remaining at cutting edge of cool.

This is interesting for me. A Nokia Sirocco range which is clearly great design/ exclusive and looks ‘aspirational’. A Nokia for business which crams business utility on a phone. And the more ‘mass market ‘options, which continue to offer great value and feed off the ‘aspirational’ top end range.

A cell phone helps make a personal point. My Nokia is different from your Nokia. But that’s because I am different from you. Nokia has made it easy for us to accept that difference and flaunt it proudly. Is that then the key to establishing a brand today?

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