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Building a strong telecom brand in africa

Presentation by Olu Akanmu at GSM in Africa Conference

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Building a strong telecom brand in africa

  1. 1. Building a Strong Telecom Brand in Africa GSM in Africa Conference Capetown, South Africa Olu Akanmu Olu Akanmu GSM in Africa November 2002 Conference
  2. 2. Origin of African Telecom Brands• Former or current state monopolies or incumbents• Entrepreneurial organizations usually in mobile or the last mile as applicable challenging incumbents• Global brands in Africa– Orange• Focus of presentation on entrepreneurial organizations with international ambitionsNovember 2002 Olu Akanmu GSM in Africa Conference
  3. 3. Consolidation of Operators in African Markets• Pyramid Research – November 2001• True pan-African mobile operators have emerged – MTN, Vodacom, MSI, Econet, Telecel?• Multi-country presence implies defining a consistent brand identity across countriesNovember 2002 Olu Akanmu GSM in Africa Conference
  4. 4. Brand Development in Entrepreneurial Telecom Organizations• Brand Strategy not robust and well defined at market entry• Strategy tend to be limited to “providing a better service than incumbent ” and “pricing”• Tend to be inadequate in a three plus player market – “better service” and “pricing” tend to become industry generic strategies, easily adopted by a third entrant – Brand differentiation becomes blurredNovember 2002 Olu Akanmu GSM in Africa Conference
  5. 5. Brand Development in Entrepreneurial Telecom Organizations• Going abroad to new markets, there is usually a second entrant already staking a claim to “better service” and “pricing” positions.• Marketing communications become generic – the consumer struggles to find “what is different about you” – Commoditization and low industry profitabilityNovember 2002 Olu Akanmu GSM in Africa Conference
  6. 6. Competitive Positions and Strategic Options (Porter)Differentiation Low Cost Broad FocusNovember 2002 Olu Akanmu GSM in Africa Conference
  7. 7. Commoditisation- everyone competes in the same wayDifferentiation Low Cost Broad FocusNovember 2002 Olu Akanmu GSM in Africa Conference
  8. 8. Exploring Differentiation Opportunities- A Robust Brand Identity (Aakers) Brand Brand as Brand as Brand as Brand as Product Organization Person SymbolNovember 2002 Olu Akanmu GSM in Africa Conference
  9. 9. Brand as Product• Product Category • Users – Mobile/ fixed – Who are your users?• Product Scope • Country of Origin – Packages, VAS – France and Orange in• Product Attributes Cameroun – Coverage, VAS – SA for MTN, Vodacom• Quality/Value (headstart in Nigeria, – Perceived Quality***** Congo) – Value for money – From Africa, we know Africa and its needsNovember 2002 Olu Akanmu GSM in Africa Conference
  10. 10. Brand as Organization• What organization attributes have you got that your brand can leverage? – Culture, values and people – Innovation, trust and integrity – Customer champions• Local or International• Very difficult to copy by competitors• Provide credibility to brand value proposition• Drive internal alignment with brand values• Corporate brands and pay offs• Align PR Strategy with this part of Brand IdentityNovember 2002 Olu Akanmu GSM in Africa Conference
  11. 11. Brand as Person • Brand is like a person. – demographic and lifestyle descriptions • Brand Personality can be created by – User imagery -“Vodacom Yebo” – may be different from actual user profile – Sponsorships- be consistent – Age in the market (keep your brand forever young) • Not personality for personality sake. – Create a personality with relevant appealNovember 2002 Olu Akanmu GSM in Africa Conference
  12. 12. Brand as a Person • Personality descriptors – Caring, energetic, upwardly mobile, young, intelligent, funny • Reflects the user’s ideal or actual personality concept • What does it say about me? • Forms an emotional relationship with consumer e.g friendly • Weak telecom brands tend not to have a distinctive personalityNovember 2002 Olu Akanmu GSM in Africa Conference
  13. 13. Brand as Symbol • Visual imageries – Graphics and colors (MTN’s yellow) – Logos – Brand Identity is greater than colors • Metaphors – Mystiques associated with brand – Build positive mystique around your brand – Create stories /allegories that support your brand uniqueness – Most African Telecom Brands lack “mystiques” and “metaphors” • Mystiques can only come out of strong lifestyle associations • Brand Heritage – Do you have a worthy pedigree?. Orange enters Africa with significant brand power due to pedigree – Vodacom / MTN in African CountriesNovember 2002 Olu Akanmu GSM in Africa Conference
  14. 14. Brand Value Proposition• Distill brand identity into a clear brand value proposition – unique and relevant functional /emotional benefits• Strong telecom brands deliver more than functional benefits – they connect with consumer emotions by leveraging the other three parts of the brand identity – From “Bundles of talktime to bundles of love”• Self-expressive benefit – What does it say about me? – How does it make me feel?November 2002 Olu Akanmu GSM in Africa Conference
  15. 15. Define a clear brand architecture• Structure of roles and relationships among the brands, branded packages/ VAS• A defined brand hierarchy is critical to optimal portfolio management and resource allocationNovember 2002 Olu Akanmu GSM in Africa Conference
  16. 16. Define a clear brand architecture• Driver brand(s), Endorsers and Sub-brands – Which network? Am I on the right network? (Driver brand) – Which package? (Branded Package/ sub- brand and endorsement) from driver brand) – Which VAS? (Branded VAS endorsed by branded package/ sub brand or driver brand)• Driver brand(s) should be given priority in resource allocationNovember 2002 Olu Akanmu GSM in Africa Conference
  17. 17. Telecom Brand Leadership • A robust brand identity and clear architecture • Lifestyle/ Emotional connections with target markets • Perceived or Real quality means brand leadership – Deliver quality as defined by subscribers and communicate it • Aspirational image • Innovation leadership and Perception • Align the organization behind the brand – Deliver on your brand covenant/ promise • Brand is more than productsNovember 2002 Olu Akanmu GSM in Africa Conference
  18. 18. Telecom Brand Leadership• A strong play in the mass market with differentiation strategy and reasonable price premium• 360” marketing, multiple media beyond advertising – Sponsorship, PR, Channel, Pricing• Create a brand experience – Events – The Vodaworld – Cadbury theme park• Brilliant Execution and consistency• Persistent investment• Measure brand equity (tracking)November 2002 Olu Akanmu GSM in Africa Conference
  19. 19. Brand Asset Leverage across Africa• Convergence and commonalities of market segments across Africa• Lifestyle values cuts across countries – HNIs, youths, family, fun• Emergence of cross-country media and spill overs – Satellite Pay TV- Supersports, Channel O, TV Africa• International travels and migrations in the continent• International Events and Sponsorship Properties – African Cup of NationsNovember 2002 Olu Akanmu GSM in Africa Conference
  20. 20. Leveraging Brand Assets across countries• A consistent/ robust brand identity and positioning in all markets• International view in developing brand campaigns (a common ad across Africa) – Brand Strategy must be robust as to be relevant across borders• International Brand Management Structures• Appoint endowed countries as centers of excellence for experimentation and learning• Roll out learningNovember 2002 Olu Akanmu GSM in Africa Conference
  21. 21. Conclusion • A strong brand is critical to strong ROI and Shareholder Value • Build, build and build • Thank youNovember 2002 Olu Akanmu GSM in Africa Conference

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