Who is Vodafone?

Vodafone is an international telecom-brand that originates from the UK. The brand Vodafone originated in 2002 in the Netherlands, from the brand Libertel. Since 2017, Vodafone forms a joint venture with Ziggo. This has led to a large amount of new customers, especially in the last period. The advertising campaign “The Future is Exciting. Ready?” has been running in the Netherlands since the ending of 2018.

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Research questions

Vodafone customers have ended up at the company through many different ways. This raises the question in what way the brand ‘Vodafone’, the network of associations, is placed in the head of the consumer at the moment. What are the real pillars on which the brand rests in the Dutch market? And to what extent does it match the international brand strategy? In what way do customers and non-customers differ from the way the brand image has established with them? Also: can we -already- perceive effects of the new advertising campaign, or in other words can the so-called ‘hidden power of advertising’ be proven?

The Brand Memory Assessor applied

De Brand Memory Assessor ™ (BMA) has been used to answer all of these questions. The BMA creates the absolute unique situation in which people are not capable to identify the brand name but they process the meaning of it in the meantime. In this case: people do not know that others have perceived the brand name Vodafone, but meanwhile we can interrogate the brain on the meaningful relations that are or aren’t associated with ‘Vodafone’.

Another method that is able to do this, does not exist (!): delivering a pure, clear image of the brand because the test takes place ‘double implicitly’: people do not know it’s about brands, let alone the brand in question and that is why people can only reach an answer based on their intuition controlled from the brain. It’s not about response time but about whether or not something (an aspect) is there or not. Moreover: ‘lying’ is not possible is you do not know what about, rationalizations or pleasantries are excluded. The BMA provides hard evidence in what way the brand is in the head. Besides, effects of the advertisement are made visible directly. This is different than assuming that the advertisement works fine for the brand because the advertisement itself is well rated…(!)

Results

In total 60 telecom users, Vodafone customers as well as non-customers, have been selected to participate in a ‘perception test’, a controlled experiment on a central location.

It was proven that Vodafone rests on 4 pillars, Leadership, Adventure, Positivity and Excitement. This corresponds with the brand strategy to a great extent, although ‘Partnership’ and ‘Future-oriented’ could be indicated in the brand image insufficiently. However the latter aspects could be seen with the people who were confronted with the new advertising campaign. It was also proven that Vodafone customers are especially drawn to the ‘Positivity’ that the brand radiates; for non-customers ‘Leadership’ was prominent, which is something that current customers do not catch on anymore. Ultimately, it was demonstrated that the last campaign was executed delivered better results because the aspects ‘Excitement’ and ‘Inclusivity’ were stronger visible in the brand image than with the previous one.

Beneficial use of the results by Vodafone

For Vodafone these results meant that there needs to be more focus on either one of the campaigns to strengthen the brand on especially the aspects that at the moment seem to be insufficient pillars for the brand. This was not known before. Moreover, certain (negative) aspects were more evidently with non-customers, an indication that these aspects are possibly in the way of becoming a Vodafone customer. Presumptions about this were suddenly proven. It also became clear what terms would do the best in the briefing process for the collaboration with brand professionals, to communicate the meaning of the brand clearly.