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Superbrands case studies - Nokia

Since the 1990s, Nokia has focused on superior design and innovative technology to become the world's leading mobile communications company. Its clear leadership in the mobile phone arena has allowed Nokia to constantly challenge traditional concepts of the mobile phone – this 'Human Technology' has led to the manufacture of cutting edge products which not only delight but help to enrich the lives of their users.

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Offerings and Values
Nokia is about connecting people -- to the people that matter to them and the things they find important. Whether a music lover, photographer, fashionista, business professional, or budding film-maker, Nokia develops mobile devices that support everyone's lifestyle. Nokia is dedicated to enhancing people's lives and productivity by providing easy-to-use, secure products.

At the heart of Nokia's handset design is usability: product interfaces are easy to navigate, keypads are pleasant to the touch and the size and shape is comfortable and appropriate -- all adding to the consumer's trust of Nokia as a brand.

Innovations and Promotions
Since the launch of the first hand-held mobile phone in 1987 Nokia has been a technology trailblazer. Nokia handsets were the first to feature text messaging, to access internet-based information services and to include integrated cameras.

Today, Nokia is leading the charge into the third generation of mobile telephony, showcased by its Nseries range of high performance multimedia computers, which brings together mobile devices, internet content, mobile music, still and video cameras, email and games.

Nokia Eseries devices also appeared in the marketplace in 2006, offering optimised solutions such as mobile email to business users.

Nokia has also led the way in the field of mobile music – its first mobile phone with a built-in MP3 player was launched in 2002. Since then, music capabilities have become a fixture throughout the Nokia range – headed up by the Nokia N91 which holds up to 3,000 tracks.

In 2005 Nokia sold more than 45 million mobile phones with integrated digital music players, making it the largest manufacturer of digital music devices globally.

Design is also a fundamental building block of the Nokia brand. Less than a decade ago, all mobile phones seemed to be black. Then Nokia introduced colour and changeable covers to its products and the mobile phone suddenly became a style statement. Its reputation for iconic design has continued with two fashion collections, designed to complement the latest catwalk trends, and the elegant Nokia 8800 which became an instant design classic and one of the most sought after phones of the year when it was introduced in 2005.

Nokia's enduring success is not just down to its products, savvy, innovative and interactive marketing also plays a key role and Nokia continues to communicate with its consumers in an emotive way – using its sponsorships to bring value to its customers, and create desirability for the brand.

Nokia was one of the first technology brands to get involved with the fashion industry, sponsoring London Fashion Week from 1999 to 2004 and working with fashion designers including Kenzo, Louis Vuitton and Donatella Versace.

In the field of music, Nokia first started supporting new talent and live events in 1997 and continues this in 2006 with its third year of involvement with the Isle of Wight Festival and its second year with the Carling Weekend: Reading & Leeds Festivals, where its 'Rock Up and Play' will give aspiring musicians the chance to show off their skills and play on stage alongside big name acts.

In 2006, Nokia UK partnered with the world's leading music promoter, Live Nation, to launch an exclusive new live mobile music service, Ticket Rush, which gives music fans the chance to buy tickets to their favourite gigs and festivals, in some cases, ahead of general release or to sold-out shows. 2006 also saw Nokia sponsoring ITV's The X-Factor for a third year running – putting musical hopefuls through their paces with celebrity judges Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh.

Nokia has also grown its film credentials with the Nokia Shorts film competition which has been running for four years. Since its launch Nokia Shorts has created a new frontier for film makers – to tell a story in just 15 seconds – and has carved a niche for Nokia in the crowded film sponsorship arena.

Market Context
Over the last five years, the telecommunications market has become heavily saturated, with a focus on consumers upgrading handsets, rather than buying for the first time. Even in such a market, however, Nokia has retained its lead on the competition, with over 50% of brand preference in the UK – more than five times that of its nearest competitor.

Achievements and Future Prospects
Nokia has won over consumers, insiders and journalists, recently winning the highly coveted Mobile News Magazine's Manufacturer of the Year Award for two years running, awards for its flagship devices such as the EISA (European Imaging and Sound Association) European Media Phone for the Nokia N90, plus awards for its promotional campaigns like its Marketing Week Effectiveness award for the Nokia fashion collection.

Nokia has also recently launched its own online shop, branching out into a new market – selling directly to consumers.

In the future, Nokia will look to reaffirm and consolidate its position as leader in mobile technology and design and focus on becoming recognised as a credible brand player within new domains such as music.

Things you didn't know about Nokia

  • Nokia is named after the river Nokia in Finland.
  • When Nokia was founded in 1865, Nokia initially manufactured paper, then card, then moved on to rubber.
  • The world's first transportable phone, the Nokia Mobira Talkman came complete with a 10kg charging box the size of a suitcase.


1987 Nokia Mobira Cityman 900 – the first and original hand-held mobile phone is launched.

1994 The Nokia 2100 series is the first digital hand portable phones to support data, fax and SMS (short message service).

2001 The first Nokia camera phone – the Nokia 7650 is launched.

2004 Nokia introduces its first fashion collection of three handsets.

2005 Nokia brings its first 3G device to market – the Nokia 6630.

2005 The Nokia Nseries sub-brand is launched – showcasing cutting edge technology.
Also in 2005, the launch of the first mobile device to allow broadcastquality mobile TV takes place.

2006 The Nokia N91 – the first mobile device with a hard drive allowing space to store up to 3,000 songs – goes on sale in the UK.

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