Brand and Distribution
Customer strategy and management
Customer Delight Index
(2007: 70.6, 2006: 69.9)
Vodafone endeavours to ensure that customer needs are at the centre of all of the Group’s actions. The Group seeks to use its understanding to deliver relevance and value to each customer and communicate to them on an individual, household, community or business level, with the ultimate aim of encouraging customers to stay with Vodafone for longer and use and promote the Group’s services more.
For this reason, the Group has created a Global Customer Value Management team to support operating companies with their aim to engage with customers directly through a data driven approach, linking all the elements of customer interactions to deliver exceptional service and consistency in the Group’s approach while financially optimising decisions made via a branded customer experience across all touchpoints. Recent examples of this include: rollout of a consistent and innovative store design to eight countries, successful trial of an innovative handset based self service solution and creation of a global training academy for customer facing staff.
Vodafone’s customer knowledge driven organisation aims to make the most of its deep customer understanding by approaching customers with the most appropriate product through a channel they enjoy at a time that is best for them. This approach firmly places Vodafone as an organisation that listens to customers, delivers value and enhances their experience.
Vodafone continues to use a customer measurement system called “customer delight” to monitor and drive customer satisfaction in the Group’s controlled markets at a local and global level. This is a proprietary diagnostic system, which tracks customer satisfaction across all points of interaction with Vodafone and identifies the drivers of customer delight and their relative impact. This information is used to identify any areas for improvement and focus.
During the 2008 financial year, further econometric tools were developed and employed to better quantify the commercial impact of improved customer experience by linking customer feedback directly to business performance. Results from the study are used to generate the Customer Delight Index (“CDI”), which is one element of Vodafone’s short term incentive plan (“GSTIP”), thereby directly linking employee remuneration with customer satisfaction performance. The CDI result for the 2008 financial year was 73.1 points on a 100 point scale, which was 2.0 percentage points ahead of the average competitor.
Marketing and brand
Brand and customer communications
BrandZ UK ranking
In the BrandZ most powerful brands ranking. Ranked 11th globally.
Vodafone has continued to focus on delivering a superior, consistent and differentiated customer experience through its brand and communications activities. A new Marketing Framework has been developed and implemented across the business, which includes a new vision of expanding the Group’s category from mobile only to total communications “to be the communications leader in an increasingly connected world”. Brand and customer experience continues to implement Vodafone’s promise of “helping customers make the most of their time”. The brand function has also developed a methodology to develop competitive local market brand positioning, with local brand positioning projects now implemented in 12 markets.
To enable the consistent use of the Vodafone brand, a set of guidelines has been developed in areas such as advertising, retail, online and merchandising, all including detail on how to make the brand work across every touchpoint. Since June 2006, eight markets have implemented the global retail design.
In September 2007, Vodafone welcomed India with the “Hutch is now Vodafone” campaign. The migration from Hutch to Vodafone was one of the fastest and most comprehensive brand transitions in the history of the Group, with 400,000 multi brand outlets, over 350 Vodafone stores, over 1,000 mini stores, over 35 mobile stores and over 3,000 touchpoints rebranded in two months, with 60% completed within 48 hours of the launch.
Vodafone regularly conducts Brand Health Tracking, which is designed to measure the brand performance against a number of key metrics and generate insights to assist the management of the Vodafone brand across all Vodafone branded operating companies. This tracking has been in place since 2002 and provides continuous historical data against key metrics in all 19 Vodafone branded operating markets. Each operating company manages a study that complies with the standards and methodology set by Vodafone Group Insights. An external accredited and independent market research organisation provides global coordination of the methodology, reporting and analysis. As a result of these activities the Vodafone brand is now ranked number 11 in the BrandZ Top 100 global brands list, recently published in The Financial Times, with an estimated value attributable to the brand of £18.7 billion.
For the 2008 financial year, Vodafone brand preference among its own users reached 81.9%, up 2.0 percentage points on the previous financial year, and a performance level that is 1.0 percentage point higher than its closest competitors. In addition, the brand consideration among non-users of the brand has increased in the 2008 financial year to 33.5%, 1.8 percentage points above its market share.
Vodafone’s global sponsorship strategy has delivered a strong set of results across all Vodafone markets. Central sponsorship agreements, including the UEFA Champions League and the title sponsorship of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 team, have supported multiple business objectives and enabled Vodafone to provide customers with differentiating brand and product experiences.
The strong performance of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 team during the 2007 season enabled Vodafone to maintain a dominant presence in one of the world’s most popular annual sporting events. Vodafone successfully integrated the sponsorship into a wide variety of business activities including communications, events, content and the launch of three bespoke handsets.
In Vodafone’s first year as a sponsor of the UEFA Champions League, Vodafone became recognised as a leading sponsor of the competition (Source: TNS Soccerscope, May 2007) and used this association to showcase a variety of products and services in a manner designed to build greater affinity with football fans across all relevant territories.
In January 2008, Vodafone became a global partner of the Laureus Foundation, which tackles various social challenges worldwide through a programme of sports related community development initiatives. This agreement complements Vodafone’s long standing relationship with sport and aims to help Laureus to use sport as a catalyst for inspiring positive social change.
To maintain a relevant and strategic role for global sponsorship investments, Vodafone is continually reviewing the portfolio to maintain pace with business and customer needs. On this basis, Vodafone has decided to discontinue the UEFA Champions League sponsorship at the end of the 2008/9 competition and increase emphasis in global music opportunities. Music’s broad appeal and product relevance provides a host of new and exciting opportunities for the business and the Group’s customers.
Number of directly owned stores
Vodafone directly owns and manages over 1,150 stores. These stores sell services to new customers, renew or upgrade services for existing customers, and in many cases also provide customer support. A standard store format, which was tested in 2006, was rolled out in 11 markets during the 2008 financial year. The store footprint is constantly reviewed in response to market conditions which resulted in, for example, Vodafone opening a further 90 stores in Spain and 21 stores in Romania during the year. Additionally, all stores in India were rebranded as Vodafone and over 40 stores were refurbished to the Group’s standard format.
The Group also has 6,500 Vodafone branded stores, which sell Vodafone products and services exclusively, by way of franchise and exclusive dealer arrangements.
The internet is a key channel to promote and sell Vodafone’s products and services and to provide customers with an easy, user friendly and accessible way to manage their Vodafone services and access support. As a result, a specific Group wide programme is currently being rolled out across all controlled markets, in order to ensure Vodafone websites have state of the art online capabilities and provide the customer with an excellent and consistent online experience.
Additionally, in most operating companies, sales forces are in place to sell directly to business customers and some consumer segments.
Number of branded stores
The extent of indirect distribution varies between markets but may include using third party service providers, independent dealers, distributors and retailers.
The Group hosts MVNOs in a number of markets. These are operators who buy access to existing networks and resell that access to customers under a different brand name and proposition. Where appropriate, Vodafone seeks to enter mutually profitable relationships with MVNO partners as an additional route to market. During the past year new relationships established include Asda in the UK, Euskaltel in Spain and Carrefour in Italy.