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Ericsson adjusts its vision

Swedish kit vendor Ericsson made the mistake of giving its marketing people free rein and now it has a new purpose.

‘Ericsson’s new purpose and vision imagines the possibilities of limitless connectivity’ declares today’s announcement. The new purpose is ‘To create connections that make the unimaginable possible’ and the new vision is of ‘A world where limitless connectivity improves lives, redefines business and pioneers a sustainable future’.

It’s genuinely hard to see what the point of fluffy brand tweaks like this are. What new substance has been generated? How is new Ericsson in any way different from old Ericsson? Sure, it presents an opportunity to refresh the corporate propaganda and earn some brownie points for the marketing department but otherwise, who cares?

“For almost 150 years our technology has transformed nearly every sector of society,” said Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm, presumably under duress. “The networks we build have already connected billions of people and soon they will connect almost anything and everything. This era of hyper connectivity is going to help to address major global challenges like climate change and digital inclusion.”

“Our new purpose and vision is anchored in the company’s values of respect, professionalism, perseverance and integrity. We remain steadfast in our efforts to foster a culture of integrity by embedding our values into all ways of working. This important work continues, and we are committed to creating greater accountability, trust and respect with our people, customers and stakeholders, while ensuring sustainable success for the company in the future.”

Whatever you say, boss. Inevitably Marketing Head Stella Medlicott got a say too. “Our vision imagines the future we can help to create for people, business, and the planet,” she said. “Connectivity is key to reducing human impact on the planet and will help bridge the digital divide, but we also see the potential for our technology to touch even more parts of society. This is where things really get interesting.”

The announcement goes on to talk about Ericsson being ‘a positive force in society’ by helping people be connected – in other words doing what it already does. As the quotes above indicate there’s the inevitable claim of eco-virtue but no sign of new, concrete measures taken to earn it. Instead, this minor rebrand is an attempt to conflate the business of making mobile networks with broad-based philanthropy. We’ll let the market decide how successful that is.

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