BARCELONA: Technology firm Nokia gained worldwide attention last week when it announced the reintroduction of its iconic 3310 handset at the Mobile World Congress, but the company's CMO says the brand is about much more than mobile phones.
Speaking to Marketing Week, Barry French explained that Nokia, which Finland-based HMD Global acquired from Microsoft at the end of last year, has moved away from being a purely mobile phone business over the past 12 months.
"If you look at Nokia today we are so much more than a lovely 3310 or Nokia 6, the vast business of Nokia is making networks work really well," he said. "We're a $24bn business and the amount that comes from mobile phones is fairly small."
French said that Nokia and HMD have a vision of "enabling the possibilities of technology", which is seeing Nokia move increasingly into the growing markets of virtual reality and wearables.
Nokia is not aiming to be the biggest player in wearables, he added, but instead is exploring the possibilities of connected health while playing into the "quantified self" trend as consumers seek to use technology to monitor all aspects of their lives.
The company also expects to see future licensing opportunities in virtual reality, based around OZO, its premium 3D, 360-degree camera.
These, among other developments, show that Nokia is repositioning its brand in collaboration with HMD, but – as the reaction to the 3310 relaunch demonstrated – the "passion" for the brand still exists and remains strong.
"People feel like Nokia and 3310 are something they grew up with and the amount of fond memories that go along with that is just extraordinary," French said.
"There's a risk of alienation, all these things, all these devices, that connect us makes us less connected as humans and when you see the response for a simpler phone it taps into some of that," he added.
Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff