Consumer Products & Services 2021

In a market flooded with competitors, Vodafone was losing customers at an alarming rate. The company needed a reset – and their quest started and ended with the customer. 

No cry over wifi

The challenge

Vodafone customers were being lured away by smaller entrants growing in market share (11 percent in 2019 to 13 percent in 2020). The company was trapped in the business of short-termism and still losing market share, which declined by three percentage points in one year. The financial implication was considerable. Vodafone’s home broadband business wasn’t stacking up and the company demanded action that would return the segment back to profitable growth. 

Research showed seven out of 10 households experienced inconsistent home internet. Vodafone wanted this resolved with bold customer-first innovation. They decided to invest in technology that would fix the issue. SuperWifi, with its next generation Wifi 6 Mesh technology, was an easy-to-set-up product controlled by an app, ensuring customers had reliable, whole-of-home Wifi coverage. Not only would it solve a customer problem, it also had the benefit of priority device management and parental control options. 

The Response

The first stop was the customer service team, who were fielding over a third of calls on the topic of home internet. Then, through an overarching comms platform, ‘Go You’, Vodafone drove a richer emotional conversation via a time-travelling character who waxed lyrical about SuperWifi’s benefits. Before launch, Vodafone’s Commercial and Legal teams agreed to a guarantee should the product not live up to its wall-to-wall coverage claim. Extensive product testing was undertaken, and a guaranteed credit of $100 per customer was agreed. This was a first for Vodafone and signalled enormous confidence in the product. 

Agreeing to aggressive incremental sales targets was key to getting sign-off for the launch across OOH, TV, Radio, High Impact Digital and Retail channels. To provide further differentiation in the market, Vodafone chose not to charge monthly rental fees for Mesh technology. Two Mesh units are included on eligible broadband plans when customers stay for two years. By factoring in the amount of customers they’d stop from churning, Vodafone was able to get this through commercially. 

The result

The decision to invest in new technology was a risk that paid off. Even with a mid-January launch – when Kiwis are more interested in their summer than home internet coverage – SuperWifi resonated from the get-go. Total sales for the initial launch phase surpassed target. SuperWifi launched in Q1 2021 and Chorus data confirms Vodafone have held share vs Q4 2020. Given that SuperWifi only launched in the final quarter of FY21, Vodafone can expect a bigger impact on churn mitigation through FY22. 

The launch of SuperWifi also increased the overall convergence of Vodafone’s customer base, therefore increasing overall average revenue per user of customers. Website traffic to Vodafone’s broadband pages increased by 38 percent year on year. Redemption of $100 coupons were zero. Vodafone is still the only provider offering guaranteed wall-to-wall Wifi coverage with SuperWifi. While others have started offering a Mesh Wifi unit at an added cost, Vodafone’s competitors aren’t willing to guarantee their offering. 

Ultimately, SuperWifi met a consumer pain point and allowed Vodafone to rebuild customer trust.  

Category: Consumer Products & Services

Company: Vodafone

Marketing Initiative: No Cry Over Wifi

Marketing Partners: DDB, Track, Wavemaker

Judges’ Comments:“Refreshing to see some good solid, sensible, holistic marketing, resisting short termism, starting with real consumer insight through to bold product innovation and alignment across all stakeholders.”

Finalists: Coca-Cola Amatil

This article was first published in the 2021 December/January issue of NZ Marketing magazine. You can subscribe to the magazine, here. Or read the other winner stories, here.

Avatar photo

About NZ Marketing Team

One of the many talented NZ Marketing team writers made this post happen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *