A SWOT analysis can be useful to ascertain the internal and external factors that a situation may present before an entity. That entity may be a multinational corporation or even an individual. An acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, a SWOT analysis is a basic planning technique used to help entities map strategies for the future. A SWOT analysis is one of the basic concepts of management and strategical planning. Even now, seventy years since its inception, large companies still apply SWOT to situations to get a better perspective and map goals accordingly. When done well, a SWOT analysis can provide an accurate picture of an entity’s current state of affairs and where might it go in the future. An interesting SWOT analysis would be that of the technology giant NOKIA a company that has seen both highs and lows. Here, let’s know about Nokia Swot Analysis.
An Interesting beginning to a global phenomenon.
Today we know Nokia to be a recognizable smartphone and technology brand. But like many historical companies, it had interesting origins. Nokia was founded all those years ago in 1865. It didn’t manufacture mobile phones back then. It was initially established as a paper pulp mill. Over the years, it divested into rubber, electronics, radios, chemicals, etc. Along the way, they acquired several subsidiaries, both local Finnish firms as well as large multinational corporations such as Bell Labs. This allowed them to diversify their holdings and also played into their strategies. In the late 19990s and early 2000s, the company began to emphasize digital television and mobile phones. By 1998 it had become the best-selling mobile phone company in the world. 10 years down the line, though, it would find itself unable to compete with Samsung, Apple, and Xiaomi. This makes Nokia’s SWOT analysis a highly fascinating one.
SWOT Analysis- Nokia
While performing a SWOT analysis, one must consider both Internal as well as External Factors. The Internal Factors of the SWOT analysis are the Strengths and Weaknesses. As the name suggests, these are factors that the entity has some degree of control over. The entity is mostly aware of its strengths and weaknesses and may choose to act on them. As against that, the entity has no control over the External Factors of the situation. These include Opportunities and Threats. An organization has to do whatever it can to mitigate Threats, shield Weaknesses, and make the most of Opportunities and Strengths. While Strengths and Opportunities are the positive factors in SWOT, Weaknesses, and Threats are the negative factors.
- More than a century of experience
Having been established in 1865, Nokia has over a century of experience performing in multiple markets and across a multitude of industries. The fact that it has survived for so long is a testament to its resilience and capability to keep on innovating, diversifying, and maneuvering the market. Even its telecom business has been around for almost 30 years, which is to say, since the very beginning of the mobile phone industry. Remember, they have dominated this market before.
- Name Recognition
Before its downfall, Nokia was insanely popular, especially in third-world markets like India. People around the world associate Nokia with mobile phones. Millennials grew up with Nokia handsets and are yet nostalgic towards the brand. Furthermore, Nokia phones are sold all over the world, which makes it’s brand one of the most recognizable.
- Investment in Research and Development
Nokia has always invested heavily in research. They have invested in the range of $4- $5 Billion annually on research and development. This was why they were successful in the first place. This helped them create new products to expand and satisfy their customer base.
Nokia has a strong network of subsidiaries in various industries producing a vast array of products. These ranged from telecommunication, software, the internet, social networking, and mobile applications. This helps Nokia divest its holdings and innovating in different styles and forms. Nokia is also the parent company of Bell Labs, one of its principal entities responsible for research and development. Nokia can use the innovations made at its subsidiaries for its benefit.
- Product Perception
Nokia’s recent products haven’t been as successful as some of its earlier products. The E series has been seen as a flop by many. The upper echelons of Nokia have not been entirely successful in making big decisions with their deal with Microsoft being criticized. Nokia is famous for its basic mobile phones, but its smartphones aren’t perceived in the same league as Samsung or Apple. It will require some savvy marketing and redesigning to reinvent itself.
- Economic Performance
The profitability ratio and Net Contribution of Nokia Corporation are below the industry average. The current asset ratio and liquid asset ratios also suggest that the company can use its cash more economically than it is currently. It needs the financial muscle to be able to compete with the likes of its Chinese competitors as well as Apple and Samsung.
- New markets for manufacturing and selling smartphones
Countries in South Asia have become more receptive to manufacturing locally. As companies begin to think twice about manufacturing in China, newer markets with fewer media restrictions and unnecessary crackdowns have begun to emerge, with the likes of India and Bangladesh being hotbeds of tech usage and skilled labor resources.
- Increased innovation in communication and software technology
A great many strides have been made in Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Natural Language Processing in the past couple of years. The introduction of 5G has also opened up a whole new world to companies and customers. With its many subsidiaries across industries, Nokia finds itself uniquely placed to benefit from the advantages of these innovations. If it plays its cards right, the upcoming decade could be dominated by Nokia just like the previous decade was.
- Wide Variety of Products
Historically speaking, Nokia has produced a wide range of products. This also holds good for the modern era. Nokia produces mobile phones, smartphones, tablets, virtual reality cameras and also provides telecommunication services. This has resulted in the company’s outreach has grown substantially. It also ensures that they can adapt and evolve to future contingencies. Their products also cater to a decent variety of tastes and people, which also gives them the flexibility needed to navigate niche markets.
The company has been at the center of controversies and lawsuits in different countries for a variety of reasons. They had a patent dispute with Apple and faced charges of tax evasion in India. In 2019, the Nokia 7 Plus also suffered from allegations of a data breach. Controversies against tech companies have a damaging impact on the reputation of the brand, especially in today’s tumultuous situation. These lawsuits have the potential to de-rail Nokia’s come-back to relevance.
- Competition from Apple, Samsung, and Chinese brands
Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi have been at the helm of the smartphone market for quite some time. Their products are popular and also cater to people from all walks of life. These companies are insanely profitable and mass-produce accessories as well. Challenging their reigns at the top will require quite a push from Nokia. Chinese smartphones have also begun to dominate third-world markets, which have traditionally been golds mines for Nokia. Companies have shut down shop due to competition before, and Nokia has to remain to vary of its competitors.
Nokia’s primary competitors in the smartphone industry include giants like Apple, Samsung, and Motorola. The rise of Xiaomi, Vivo, and Oppo pose an entirely different threat, with their products being specifically crafted for the everyday joe. Competitors like Doro, NEC, Telefonica also challenge Nokia in IT, broadband, and telecommunications services. Most of Nokia’s competitors can go toe to toe with it on funding, Nokia has to capitalize on its name recognition and innovation if it is to pull ahead.
From an obscure pulp mill in Finland to a global leader in budget mobiles to losing its crown to other better-funded companies. Nokia has seen a lot in its days. There is still a certain amount of nostalgia in owning a Nokia phone. Whether Nokia can use that nostalgia and marry it to innovation is still yet to be seen. Only time will tell if Nokia has what it takes to make a famous comeback. Old is gold, anyone?