The stark reality of Nokia’s fall from grace was laid bare in brand value figures released this week.
Buried beneath a flurry of headlines about how Google has displaced Microsoft as the world’s most valuable brand was the shocking statistic that Nokia’s brand value fell $9.9 billion (€7 billion) in 2010, the largest decline of any name in the BrandFinance Global 500 listing.
Even BP fared better, with its value slashed almost $5 billion despite having to deal with a costly oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico during 1H10.
BrandFinance chief David Haigh said Nokia’s figures highlight how tough it is to “stay at the forefront of such a dynamic industry,” however it also clearly shows the mountain the Finnish vendor now has to climb.
Nokia has always prided itself on the value of its brand and, arguably, been trading solely on that value in recent years as competitors first pegged, then overtook it in the smartphone market.
That said, BrandFinance’s latest listing suggests 2010 was a bad year for incumbents, with Coca Cola dropping out of the top-ten for the first time. And we’ve yet to see the full effects of Nokia’s decision to appoint its first chief marketing officer – Jerri DeVard – in November, to focus on raising brand awareness.
Part of DeVard’s brief is to boost the vendor’s stature in the US – a market where it has always struggled to gain traction. She will have to tread a careful path given that the firm is still a big name in emerging markets. Indian consumers, for example, rated Nokia as their most trusted brand for the third year in a row in 2010.
Now, though, the gloves are off, and Nokia will have to come out swinging to recover some of the value lost over the past 12 months, and to ensure it doesn’t lose more value when its first Windows Phone 7 smartphones hit stores.