Examining Nokia's brand identity and positioning

Topics: Brand management, Mobile phone, Brand Pages: 17 (785 words) Published: October 19, 2014

TONY TRUONG / 16757686

This report will discuss the differences in branding strategies between Apple and Nokia with specifically with regard to the range of mobile products which both brands offer to their respective target markets. It will begin with a brief overview of the identities of both brands and how they have changed and evolved since being introduced, before exploring the equity of both brands using Keller's model, as sourced from his text Strategic Brand Management. (Keller 2013)

In addition, it will provide recommendations for a brand in Nokia’s position, again drawing upon elements from Keller’s brand equity model, as well as more specific details surrounding Nokia’s current place within the context of the modern smartphone market; a market that, it could be argued, is currently in a state of flux while also constantly expanding in various parts of the world, and which is still rife with opportunities for an established brand to re-emerge. (Einhorn 2014)

Apple brand identity and brand positioning
Apple is known for its unwavering focus on style and simplicity, an approach which has allowed it to effectively appeal to consumers' emotions rather than requiring technical expertise from their audience. (Stiefel 2013) Since its introduction in the 1970s, the brand has always been aimed at people who were not the usual computer-savvy big business customers who drove the computing industry at the time. The envisioned target market included "unique and creative people", with the promise that their products provide a means of "self expression". (Brown 2013) This is captured in their famous tagline: "Think Different".

Apple has long been considered one of the most valuable existing companies in the United States (Ingraham 2014), thanks in part to an extensive history of new and innovative ideas through which it has made its mark on the computer and mobile phone industries. Its characteristically simple marketing philosophy hinges on core principles such as endeavouring to understand consumers' needs and refusing to focus on any "unimportant opportunities" to produce the best products possible. (Fell 2011) An overarching business strategy puts focus on creating brand loyalty via a "halo effect" wherein users who have bought one Apple product might be enticed to purchase more. (Adhikari 2014)

Apple's brand equity is best exemplified by how its personal computers are not the most powerful in the market in terms of technical specifications despite their high prices; equally powerful laptops and desktops by other companies are far cheaper and, in some cases, more powerful. The apparent difference in value is compensated for with functionality which existing Apple users would be able to familiarise with quickly and easy, compatibility with other Apple devices, and, very importantly, the association with the Apple brand and its reputation for innovation and high quality. With this in mind, the premium pricing is simply another appealing characteristic of the brand, while cheaper competing products, by contrast, appear inferior and less luxurious. (Nair 2014)

Nokia brand identity and brand positioning
Nokia is best-known for having produced many successful mobile phone products during the 1990s (German 2012), with some even arguing that the company was "synonymous with the cell phone industry". (Siegal 2014) In 1998, the company managed to sell over 40 million phones around the world. (Pavitt 2001) This success came during a time when mobile products were first being marketed as personal fashion accessories, emphasising aesthetic and style alongside functionality. Nokia understood this shift in the industry and acted swiftly to capitalise on it; consequently, their products at the time were marketed to "poseurs, trendsetters, social contact seekers, and...
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