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Nokia vs Samsung: why magician brands always win

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Nokia vs Samsung: why magician brands always win

How many people do you know who own a Nokia these days? Or a Blackberry? Not many, hey. But turn back the clock 10 years or so, and these brands were top of their league.

What happened to these guys? It’s easy (and true) to say they were overtaken by iPhones and Samsung Galaxies: but what was it about their brands and their culture that lead them to be left behind?

When it comes to understanding how brands are perceived it can be useful to compare each brand’s archetype: that is, the underlying personality that the brand is attributed to.

Let’s compare Nokia: an everyman brand, with Samsung, an example of a magician brand.

Nokia: Everyman brand

Motto: “All for one and one for all”

The everyman is the archetype of the common man and woman: there are no airs or graces and everyone is accepted. Everyman brands are a solid and reliable bedrock that allow their customers to achieve their objectives, rather than having lofty objectives of their own.

The qualities of the everyman are fairness, respect, equality, accountability and personal integrity.

Samsung: Magician brand

Motto: “It can happen!”

Magician brands are visionary - they encourage people to look to the future, dream big and see what can be achieved. The magician brands aim to help people achieve their vision - they offer transformational experiences and help people turn ideas into action. They’re also known for innovation, and constantly transforming their own products and services.

Qualities of the Magician are cleverness, charisma, intuition, great perception and the ability to dream big.

So, what happened?

Now, you can see how an everyman brand works a treat for ‘for the people’ brands like Ikea and Good Guys, but for a mobile brand: no way, José. It’s not hard to see how buyers switched allegiance to the more cutting edge of the two brands.

Want to learn more about brand archetypes and how it'll impact your business? Download our free Brand Archetype eBook now.

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