Ask any 80’s or 90’s kid to describe a mobile phone; and instantly, the classic Nokia handset, with its “Connecting People” tagline pops into their minds. Or, the notoriously engaging “snakes” game. Nokia is the undisputed, former champion of the mobile world. However, on the 26th of February 2023, Nokia was all over the news for its brand-new look and feel. The redesigned logo announcement is indicative of a new Nokia – on that is leaving its legacy, and mobile phones behind – for bigger and better things.

Credit: Quartz

Nokia once ruled the mobile industry, but things took a drastic turn when it couldn’t compete with the smartphones developed by Apple and Google. Not to forget, it has been passed on by several companies, including Microsoft – that lost a whopping $8 billion dollars in 2016 after failing the “Nokia experiment” (ie. trying to carve an identity for itself in the mobile world).

Today, Nokia reclaims its identity by making significant alterations to its logo to help shift the perspective of individuals who still believe it to be a phone company. In actuality, it’s a business technology firm. Revealed at the Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona, Nokia’s fresh logo has formally ditched the classic Nokia typeface, replacing it with a more geometric, chopped and abstract look of the five letters.

This simplified logo version is an attempt to help people see the aspect of evolution. At the same time, be able to recognize the brand without having to rely on clues.

The demise of mobile phones, but the success story continues

All my old NOKIA phones collection - YouTube
Credit: YouTube | Nokia classic phone model display

So, when did Nokia dissolve its phone brand identity?

After the ambitious Microsoft-Nokia acquisition fail, the same year, the Nokia mobile brand was sold to Finnish company HMD and iPhone manufacturer Foxconn, founded by former Nokia employees, HMD Global. Since then, Nokia has managed to achieve plenty of milestones and the public was informed of its three-phase strategy plan  – reset, accelerate and scale, led by Pekka Lundmark, President and CEO of Nokia.

With the reset stage officially done and dusted, the company is accelerating to its scale phase, which re-establishes its purpose effectively –

“a B2B technology innovation leader pioneering the future where networks meet cloud”,

as Lundmark puts it on the Nokia website.

Lundmark has also announced that the Nokia websites are about to undergo a transformation to accommodate the new look and feel.

Nokia has its heart on networks and industrial digitalization

As Nokia is venturing into the network and industrial digitalization market as well as growing its telecom equipment business, it is also aiming to become a common name in selling gear to other businesses.

To achieve this target, Nokia has six strategic pillars put in motion:

  • Grow market share with service providers, driven by continued technology leadership.
  • Expand the share of Enterprises within our customer mix.
  • Continue to manage our portfolio actively, to ensure a path to a leading position in all segments where we decide to compete.
  • Seize opportunities from sectors beyond mobile devices to monetize our IP and continue to invest in R&D for Nokia Technologies.
  • Implement new business models, such as as-a-Service.
  • Develop ESG into a competitive advantage and become the “trusted provider of choice” in our industry.

Moreover, Lundmark states that Nokia will review its growth plan in the foreseeable future and map its partnership prospects with different businesses, whilst considering alternatives like divestment opportunities.

“The signal is very clear. We only want to be in businesses where we can see global leadership,” Lundmark says.

Not only that, Nokia’s interest in automation and data centres demonstrate that they are at cross swords with Microsoft and Amazon.

Credit: Interesting Engineering

“There will be multiple different types of cases, sometimes they will be our partners; sometimes they can be our customers and I am sure that there will also be situations where they will be competitors,” says Lundmark.

Asserting leadership in a world full of technology

The demands of the metaverse are never-ending, and Nokia sees this as an opportunity to integrate traditional networking – since people are highly reliant on connectedness, with the flexibility and scalability of the cloud.

“We are uniquely well positioned to lead this evolution in networks through our technology leadership and best-of-breed portfolio across fixed, mobile and cloud,” says Lundmark.

“Our innovation is propelled by Nokia Bell Labs, winner of multiple Nobel Prizes and global leader in disruptive research on networks, software, AI, automation and IoT.”

The brand’s new logo look isn’t just a gesture for public validation, but it’s about their strength in networking, innovation, collaborative partnerships and technology leadership. “It’s about our value propositions in current and prospective markets.”

But, most of all, Lundmark credits the unusually talented bunch of people that make Nokia such a great place and business to work.

The refreshed brand look is an investment into the future, however, “this is Nokia … but not as the world has seen us before,” says Lundmark.

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