Nokia to kill the Ovi brand after burning billions trying to get people to pronounce it correctly

Back in the summer of 2007, when the first generation iPhone was barely two months old, Nokia gave birth to the Ovi brand. Finnish for “door”, Ovi was supposed to be the the umbrella brand that brought together N-Gage (discontinued), Nokia Music (discontinued), Nokia Maps, and the various other online services that would launch between then and now. Starting this summer Nokia will not be using the Ovi branding anymore and will instead just call their services “Nokia”. How much time and money was wasted trying to get Ovi to become an internationally recognized and appreciated brand? While we don’t have the numbers, we’re going to assume billions of Euros. So now the important question, why?

“We have made the decision to change our service branding from Ovi to Nokia. By centralizing our services identity under one brand, not two, we will reinforce the powerful master brand of Nokia and unify our brand architecture – while continuing to deliver compelling opportunities and experiences for partners and consumers alike. The reasons for this decision includes the fact that Nokia is a well-known and highly-loved brand the world over. Our mobile experiences are tightly integrated with our devices – there is no longer a differentiation. For example, if consumers want the best mobile navigation experience, they know it’s a Nokia that they can rely on. These last few years, and moving forward, our mission remains unchanged: we will continue our work to deliver compelling, unified mobile service offerings and next-generation, disruptive technologies.” — Nokia Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Jerri DeVard.

There’s a catch to all of this of course, and that’s Microsoft. Now that Nokia is going to use their operating system, Windows Phone, what room do current and future Nokia services have to grow when nearly everything on your new smartphone is tied into an already existing service from the folks at Redmond? The answer is none.

[Anssi Vanjoki pictured above. He sadly no longer works at Nokia.]

  • Anonymous

    Nokia is over, move on

  • Anonymous

    I suppose Nokia felt OVI would be a better, neutral brand for its Qt-Symbian-Meego platform.  A services door to an Open Source ecosystem. With the failure of the Qt-Symbian-Meego strategy and seismic shift to Windows Phone, it makes complete sense to end this approach and focus on the Nokia brand.  I never really liked the OVI branding concept to begin with.  It was too cute by half and failed to offer other OEM’s and potential ecosystem participants a compelling entry point. I doubt it cost BILLIONS…but tens of millions is more like it.  I recall a large multi-national I had worked for in the past adopted a massive re-branding campaign at the corporate level…the cost was less than 50 Million.  In the end, the OVI services will revert to Nokia…and those that remain under the MS ecosystem with continue to generate revenue…so this is not complete sunk costs.

    • Marcus Christopher McFann

       I believe it was originally meant to reach more than just Nokia devices. But renaming it back to Nokia’s brand is a good idea, since I believe Nokia wants to deal with services more than hardware. I expect them to join MSFT’s services and spinoff a new company, reaching more OSes with Qt down the road. Windows8 will be perfect ecosystem for that as long as Qt support is continued.

  •  “The reasons for this decision includes the fact that Nokia is a well-known and highly-loved brand the world over.” – Dah!

    No doubt they were just as “confident” about the silly OVI concept when launched. “Brand and marketing experts”, gotta love them..

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