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Nokia brand bounces back

Finland’s strongest brand grows 56% to a value of €4.4 billion.

Nokia is Finland’s strongest, most valuable and fastest growing brand, a study has found.

Every year, leading valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance values the brands of thousands of the world’s biggest companies. A brand’s strength is assessed (based on factors such as marketing investment, familiarity, preference, sustainability and margins) to determine what proportion of a business’s revenue is contributed by the brand. This is projected into perpetuity and discounted to determine the brand’s value. Finland’s 10 most valuable brands are featured in the Brand Finance Finland 10.

Slow response

Nokia reached a peak brand value of €22.5 billion in 2008, making it the world’s 9th most valuable brand. Its slow response to the emergence of smart phone technology led to a well-documented decline at the hands of Apple and Samsung. Brand Value sunk to a low of just of €1.5 billion in 2014.

However, after a period of consolidation, Nokia is firmly on the road to recovery. After the mobile device division was sold in 2014, the company continued in the networks business (rebranded from NSN) and acquired Alcatel-Lucent in 2016 to create one of the largest players in the sector, further reinforcing the position of the brand. Nokia acquired a controlling stake in Alcatel-Lucent in 2016 to create one of the largest players in the sector. Alcatel-Lucent has since been rebranded as Nokia, further reinforcing the position of the brand.

2017 marks another turning point in Nokia’s saga, as the brand is once again visible on mobile devices following the launch of a range of new smartphones by HMD Global Oy, exclusive licensee of the Nokia brand for mobile phones and tablets (founded by Nokia veterans in 2016). This newfound momentum sees Nokia’s brand value climb 56% to €4.4billion while the fundamental brand equity measures are improving too, which sees Nokia’s brand strength rating upgraded from AA to AA+.

Second-placed Kone grew 23% in brand value to €1.5 billion. Despite a decrease in new orders in China, Kone’s second-quarter operating income increased by approximately 7.2% year on year. Kone has secured various orders in the US and the Middle East, somewhat offsetting the decline in China.

Tampere

Dairy brand Valio enjoys strong demand from abroad thanks both to the quality of its products and the strength of the Finnish national brand. Finland’s governance, heritage and pristine environment creates positive associations for its agricultural, food and beverage brands. However, Valio is the fastest falling Finnish brand this year, its brand value is down 24% to €564 million. Valio cut approximately 200 jobs from its 3,500-strong workforce and shut down a facility in the city of Tampere.

The cause is Russia’s embargo of certain EU food products, imposed in retaliation for western sanctions. This comes amidst global overproduction and weak global demand for milk products. Furthermore, the company was fined €70 million for abusing its dominant market position by selling basic milk at too low a price. Valio is therefore having to explore other ways to leverage its brand. Baby-food is not one of Russia’s proscribed products, so Valio has begun exporting dairy-based baby food to the country for the first time in 15 years. The vast Chinese market, where European food brands are also prized, is another source of growth. Despite this year’s sudden drop in value, there are clearly positive signs for Valio’s brand.

Telecoms brand Elisa posted a 6% jump in revenue in the third quarter of 2016 as a result of an uplift in mobile data revenues, improved efficiencies and the July purchase of regional operator, Anvia. Elisa also added 58,000 broadband subscribers in the quarter. Elisa’s brand value grew 17% to €857 million. In contrast, DNA, the only other telecoms brand in the table, fell 17% to €338 million.

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