Hutch, the second largest GSM brand in the Indian telecom market, had been bought by Vodafone. A leading player in the high-growth Indian market, Hutch enjoyed considerable brand equity. It was also a well-loved brand in terms of its unique imagery and award-winning communication. In making the transition to Vodafone, it was important to carry forward this equity and exceed expectations.
The objectives for the exercise were to carry along 35 million customers, 400,000 trade partners and 10,000 employees through the transition and, even more importantly, to enthuse existing stakeholders and potential customers with the possibilities offered by Vodafone.
The entire project including positioning, retail identity, campaign development and implementation was to be carried out in less than four months. Ogilvy & Mather, Maxus and Team Vodafone worked in conjunction to develop the India positioning for Vodafone.
The touch point list alone, for this project, included over 3,000 different elements. Working in conjunction with the OgilvyOne team and Fitch, the Ogilvy team developed and executed the entire list in 45 daysso that from Day One – September21, 2007 – the consumer would experience a whole new brand.
The first task was to internalise the new brand and its tone of voice. Fitch was briefed not to just redesign the store signage but to create a whole new store experience for the Vodafone customer. At every interaction point with the consumer, the brand required a new look in line with the new brand promise. That meant changing everything from the internal forms to the uniform of the security guard.
There was a first of-its-kind alliance with Star (India’s largest TV network) where the entire advertising was bought for Vodafone for 24 hours across all the network’s 13 channels – a 24-hour TV roadblock.
Ogilvy Action put up over 20,000 outdoor sites overnight, using over two million square feet of vinyl. An elaborate Radio campaign had RJs announcing the transition creatively, through contests and other ideas.
A commercial, making use of the Hutch ‘pug’ – a mnemonic associated with Hutch over the years in India – was released to announce the transition from Vodafone to Hutch, to ensure consumers know it is a name change and they can expect an even better brand experience as well.
The launch was the most talked about event in Indian media, with over 450 articles. An entire episode of CNBC covered the transition as a case study. Day-after brand recall for Vodafone was 80% – proclaimed by the industry and media as one of the best brand-launches the country has ever seen. 35 million customers transitioned seamlessly into brand Vodafone. Within six months of launch, it became the brand of choice for over 44 million subscribers.