How an Unlikely Ad Endangered a Company’s Future and Put Apple on Top

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Ten years ago, two companies were at the top of their game. One was the traditional reigning champion, while the other was the underdog that had something to prove. The former was Nokia, and the latter was Apple. In 2007, Nokia released a commercial called “The exec.” The commercial showed a high-powered executive trying to get work done on his train ride into the city, but he couldn’t because his assistant kept interrupting him with phone calls. The executive then pulled out his Nokia phone and saw that he had missed a call from his boss. The assistant then handed him a Nokia phone, which he used to call his boss back. The commercial ended with the tagline, “Connecting people.”

Little did Nokia know that this commercial would come back to bite them in a big way.

In 2007, Apple released the first iPhone. The device was revolutionary; for the first time, people could access the internet and all of its content on a mobile device with just a few taps of their fingers. The iPhone’s success was due in large part to its user-friendly interface; whereas most phones at the time had clunky menus and small buttons, the iPhone’s large touchscreen made it easy and fun to use. This was in stark contrast to Nokia’s phones, which were starting to look increasingly outdated.

Nokia had been slow to embrace touchscreens, and as a result, it lost market share to Apple year after year. By 2012, Nokia’s once-dominant position in the global mobile phone market had dwindled to less than 10%. In an effort to regain market share, Nokia partnered with Microsoft and released a line of Windows Phone devices. However, these phones failed to gain traction with consumers due in part to their high price tags and lack of popular apps. As a result, Nokia continued to lose market share until it finally sold its phone business to Microsoft in 2014. Microsoft then discontinued the production of Nokia-branded phones in 2016. 

If there’s one lesson to be learned from Nokia’s story, it’s that complacency is dangerous. At one point, Nokia was the undisputed leader in mobile devices; however, they failed to innovate and adapt as consumer preferences changed, and as a result, they fell from grace. On the other hand, Apple took huge risks with the iPhone—risks that paid off handsomely—and as a result,.It solidified its position as one of the world’s most valuable companies. Who knows where Nokia would be today if they had taken similar risks?

So if you want your business to succeed, don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. Who knows? You may just come up with the next big thing. Do you know someone who would find this post helpful? Share it with them now!