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Vodafone India tunes in to a new beat

With a new tagline and revamped visual identity, the telecom major readies for the bruising battle for survival in the Indian market

Romita Majumdar  |  Mumbai 

The new campaign retains the old dancer couple, Bala and Asha, as brand ambassadors.
The new campaign retains the old dancer couple, Bala and Asha, as brand ambassadors.

In the midst of aggressive price wars and pitched battles for subscriptions, India is changing its look and promise. The company has a new tagline that says ‘The future is exciting. Ready?’ that replaces its earlier ‘Power to you’. The communication has a new look and the logo has been given a cosmetic makeover; all this say experts is an attempt to keep customers interested and fight back the predatory advances by the latest brand on the telecom block, Jio.

“As consumers evolve from the era of Internet to digital, mobile to convergence, is evolving from being just a telecom service provider to a total communication solutions partner. As a part of this evolution, Vodafone’s aim is to help customers and communities adapt, navigate and prosper from the remarkable new trends reshaping the world,” said Siddharth Banerjee, EVP Marketing, India.

While the look is new, Vodafone will continue to use the familiar faces of the friendly couple Bala and Asha for their new campaign. Not the most technologically savvy users of mobile services, the elderly couple travels the world and demonstrates the ease of use and the range of voice and data options that the brand offers.

The campaign also introduces (IoT) plans to the Indian customer base with a simple use case. Bala demonstrates how to use the service to do everything from monitoring his blood sugar to informing him whether he can indulge in desserts. “Vodafone is a global leader in IoT with over 59 million connections and our attempt is to take IoT solutions closer to the end customers. Vodafone Business Service is working across sectors like healthcare, automotive, manufacturing, utilities, transportation and logistics in India,” said Banerjee.

The brand is being positioned as a reliable channel or the enabling layer of connectivity that lets customers make the most of all new emerging technologies. The repositioning is part of Vodafone’s global rebranding exercise across 36 countries and it does not have a bearing on the Vodafone-Idea merger process, Banerjee clarified. The brand strategy of the combined company will be developed in due course and will leverage customers’ affinity for both existing brands, built up over the past decade.

The iconic Vodafone logo has been tweaked into a 2D version of its old design. “We are constantly experimenting with new ways of engaging with our consumers, be it with newer formats on mobile advertising, creative assets which are built social-media first or our state of the art SMCC (Social Media Command Centre), we will be ensuring that we embed the philosophy (tagline)in relevant and delightful ways to our customers,” Banerjee said.

Vodafone says that its new brand design and philosophy has been shaped by research conducted along with research agency, Futerra. The study showed that in 20 years, education and entertainment would become more immersive, using virtual, augmented and mixed-reality technologies, thereby creating demand for better and more reliable connectivity. As a telecom brand, Vodafone believes the communication needs to address this specifically.

Vodafone has launched a series of promotional offers to complement this new philosophy, including free national roaming and multimedia subscriptions for a range of plans to drive data usage.

These offers come at a time when the telecom sector is reeling from the twin impact of regulatory changes and Reliance Jio’s attractive gifts and launch offers. It is also packing in more flexibility in its international roaming and data offerings.

Vodafone India tunes in to a new beat

Traditionally Vodafone has been an active brand, keeping customers engaged with regular campaigns and product offerings. The half yearly results, announced on Tuesday also put greater emphasis on crafting the best branding experience. It was awarded India’s No 1 telecom brand in 2017 by International Brand Corporation USA. “We have constantly enhanced our offerings to cater to the evolving needs of our retail and enterprise customers - from voice and text, to data and internet and now M2M &IoT. While there are over a billion mobile phone connections in the country, there are over

500 million people who are still not connected to the Digital world. The potential and opportunity therefore is immense,” said Banerjee.

VODAFONE LOGO GOES 3D

Vodafone’s iconic red logo is getting a bit of a shakedown in the ongoing brand overhaul. It has become flatter, losing some of its curves and embellishments and its 3D format.

The speech mark logo will probably zip down digital highways faster in its new avatar and will now become the centrepiece of the brand’s new visual design. It appears as the central graphical focus overlaid on all marketing and marketing communications collateral. While Vodafone has stuck with the skeuomorphic design, globally designers are discarding such icons and the 3D format for a clutter-free and smoother digital experience. Skeuomorphism is where an object in software mimics its real world counterpart for the sake of familiarity, like the trash can or floppy disk images. Vodafone is retaining the symbol for speech but not its 3D form.

The speech mark will be more visible in the campaigns than it was previously. And while the colour and shape remains familiar, usage will undergo subtle changes. The idea perhaps is to reassure customers that the new look holds the same old and familiar service.

First Published: Tue, November 14 2017. 22:21 IST
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