Mustafa Hussein
Mustafa Hussein

CEO at Real Media

Don’t Be The Next Nokia

The Media has changed the way people do business. Now, your Marketing must change too. If you don’t have an online presence, or if it is not up to date, or if you don’t have the latest marketing strategies, then you must read this article if you don’t want to be the next Nokia. Or Blackberry, Atari, or Kodak for that matter. From the highs of global dominance to the lows of nearing bankruptcy, there are a lesson or two to learn from these corporations.

What Happened To Nokia?

Just about two decades ago, there was no such thing as smartphones, they didn’t exist. Only cellphones that could make and receive calls and texts and with limited features such as calculator, alarm clock back camera and maybe calendar. They just didn’t connect to the internet and certainly did not have apps, touchscreens, or front cameras. One Finnish brand led the mobile phone revolution. By 1998, Nokia overtook Motorola to become the world’s largest mobile phone brand. Renowned for its indestructible build and multiday battery. At its pinnacle in 2007, Nokia had more than 50% of the global market share in the phone industry. To put that into perspective, Apple now has roughly 25% of the global market share.

Why Did Nokia Fail?

What happened to Nokia is no secret and this article presents two key mistakes that led to the company’s decline and what you can learn to avoid becoming the next Nokia.

1. They Underestimated the Importance of Software

Nokia’s development process was long dominated by hardware engineers; software engineers were minimized. That’s because Nokia was at its focus, a hardware company rather than a software company—that is, their engineers were experts at building physical devices, but not the programs that make those devices function. Building a physical device such as a mobile phone is undoubtedly an achievement. However, only focusing on the hardware aspect of the phone without good software in it, wasn’t going to go far especially with where the tech industry was headed. Nokia’s operating system was called Symbian. While iOS and Android were app-based, Symbian was device-based. Nokia was using 50+ different and incompatible versions of its operating system — a complete nightmare for the company.

As Google entered the market in 2008, many competitors jumped ship to the Android operating system. Among them were soon-to-be bestsellers Samsung, and Motorola. While competitors enjoyed an increasing share of the market, Nokia was reluctant to Change operating systems and Adapt. By the time they realized it, Android and Apple already had the first-mover advantage into the app-based software that is now widespread in the phone industry.

In 2011, Nokia finally took the leap. Except they didn’t change for Android. They partnered with Microsoft to implement Windows Phone as Nokia’s primary operating system. This move proved to be catastrophic for the company, with Nokia effectively surrendering its market-leading position in 2013 Finally, in 2014, Nokia came to its senses and made the switch to Android, but it was all well too late. Today, they have only 3% of the global phone market

The Lacked Quickness in Getting Products to the Market

While Nokia was struggling with their already proven too buggy, and unintuitive operating system, they have felt behind in the new marketing strategies. The company hasn’t found a profitable way to market its products. Their competitors have caught up with the new marketing trends and were able to successfully shorten new product release cycles, enabling them to come out with new phones more rapidly than Nokia.

Motorola and Samsung have made Nokia pay dearly for its rudimentary approach in marketing its phones. The aggressive marketing practices followed by Motorola have hit Nokia very hard and it has lost very crucial global market share ever since Android and iOS entered the market.

Do You Remember Kodak?

Did you know that in 2012, Kodak, the world-renowned photography company, went BANKRUPT after more than 100 years in business?

The reason is not that far from Blockbuster’s downfall:

They failed to Change and Adapt to the new change.

In other words, they failed to realize that digital photography would be the new norm. Meanwhile, a little company called Instagram, with just a few employees was bought for $1 BILLION by another giant social media platform we all know, Facebook. Instagram quickly became the go-to platform for taking and sharing photos online. And just like that, Kodak – a company that was worth over $30 billion went extinct. Instagram saw an opportunity and went all in AND they have much to show for it now.

The Fate of These Two Companies

Nokia was a hardware engineering company that needed more software engineers and marketing savvies! And as for Kodak, well, they just refused to go digital and thought that conventional photography would stay forever. Both of these companies may have different reasons for their downfalls, but one they have in common is that they failed to listen to the market. Poorly planned marketing strategies or inadequately getting products to the market are among the causes of the rapid decline.

Your Fate Could Not Be More Different.

How about your business? Your marketing initiatives. Are you Changing and Adapting to the new norm or will your company soon become a thing of the past? It’s often said that more than half of new businesses fail during the first year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this isn’t necessarily true. However, BLS reports that approximately 2 out of 10 new startups fail during the first 2 years of being open, 3 fail within their first 5 years, and 5 out of every 10 companies fall within their first 10 years of being in business. Only about 25% of new businesses make it o 15 years or more. I don’t mean to discourage you but that’s the unfortunate reality

This is What You Have To Understand…

Your customers are on Facebook, Google, YouTube, and Instagram. If you’re not leveraging these platforms to market your services and products to your prospects, then your competitors who are will always have the extra edge over you. This is the harsh truth. TV, Radio, newspapers, and billboards don’t work anymore. You have to go “digital” otherwise you will be losing out on a lot of customers, and your business will find it difficult to prosper in these times.

Right now, at the time of publishing this post, Q4 of 2020, thousands of businesses are going bankrupt because they are too stubborn to recognize the new norm or are too fixated on limitations instead of adapting to this new reality. And thousands of other businesses are going virtual because they have to. The question is, which one are you?

“Stability breeds instability. The more stable you become and the longer you are stable, the more unstable you will be when the crisis hits. Change. Adapt. & Execute!”

“Stability breeds instability. The more stable you are and the longer you are stable, the more unstable you will be when the crisis hits. Change. Adapt. & Execute!”
About The Author
About The Author

Mustafa Hussein is the Founder & Creative Director at Real Media