Taking A Page, And A Lesson, From GM: Nokia Successfully Uses Platforms

Last week I
wrote about how
Nokia is applying what I call pattern #7 – force your
competitors onto a multi-front battle.
Nokia uses this strategy so
perfectly that I decided to continue with that focus in today’s blog.


Nokia has
uniquely learned to leverage its “platforms” as much as possible. It has
identified a group of hardware products, and then it uses different software
programs depending on the consumer need (from a $20 phone to a $1000 mobile

Just as most
multi-brand car companies like GM and Toyota build multiple cars from the same
platform, Nokia works hard to produce multiple phones leveraging several
well-designed platforms.

The risk, of
course, is that you will dilute the uniqueness of your products as, arguably,
GM has done. The advantage is that by doing it correctly, one can complicate
competitive efforts and leverage this pattern to one’s advantage.


effectively utilizing platforms to produce other products or services, a
company can keep its overhead low while producing more income relating to a new
product. Ask yourself this question
today: Is there a platform from one of my product “A” that would help me create
a product “B” or give my product “C” an advantage?


About the author

Author of Outthink the Competition business strategy keynote speaker and CEO of Outthinker, a strategic innovation firm, Kaihan Krippendorff teaches executives, managers and business owners how to seize opportunities others ignore, unlock innovation, and build strategic thinking skills. Companies such as Microsoft, Citigroup, and Johnson & Johnson have successfully implemented Kaihan’s approach because their executive leadership sees the value of his innovative technique. Kaihan has delivered business strategy keynote speeches for organizations such as Motorola, Schering‐Plough, Colgate‐Palmolive, Fortune Magazine, Harvard Business Review, the Society of Human Resource Managers, the Entrepreneurs Organization, and The Asia Society