Virgin Mobile unveils new brand identity and strategy with focus on customer retention

Virgin Mobile Australia has unveiled the most significant change to its brand in its 12-year history. A new strategic direction sees the telco grow into maturity and focus primarily on customer retention rather than acquisition, through a new brand identity and theme for campaigns using the keyword ‘Irresistible’.

Virgin Mobile’s positioning strategy will revolve around the statement ‘We look after our own’, with the focus now on customer satisfaction. The brand has been named the number one telco for customer satisfaction, and, according to David Scribner, who is now head of the business and was previously CMO, it’s the only telco with a positive Net Promotor Score.

Previously Virgin Mobile’s branding focus had been ‘A fair go for all’, as embodied by the campaign ‘Fair Go Bro’ starring Doug Pitt. That campaign saw the company enjoy its most successful year ever in 2012, but Scribner says he didn’t want to take the easy option and continue using a popular campaign beyond its lifetime. “We like the fact that when we used him it really really worked for us and I think there’s a tendency to overuse, but also, strategically, when you focus on your customer base you don’t have to do the acquisition work that the Doug campaign was focused on.”

“The change from ‘A fair go for all’ to ‘We look after our own’ is about the fact that we, through the Doug Pitt campaign, grew our base to a [certain] level… Now it’s about making sure we are loving that base and retaining it,” says Scribner. Virgin Mobile’s website claims its customer base now numbers over one million in Australia.

The new ‘Irresistible’ campaign will encompass out-of-home advertising, online, and Virgin partnership materials such as promotion on Virgin Australia boarding passes. The brand’s customer magazine, distributed in stores, has also been redesigned and will now feature more editorial content such as user reviews. Director of brand and communications Nicole Bardsley says the campaign spend will be on par with last year but, given the change in strategy, will be spent in different ways.

Virgin logos

The new brand identity sees the logo simplified and more akin to other members of the Virgin group of companies. Brand materials have gained a splash of purple and silver and black and white photography. Retail staff will wear a uniform that’s ‘classic rock with a splash of Virgin red.’

Product-wise, Virgin Mobile is talking up its ‘Irresistible Plan’, which sees partnerships with other members of the Virgin family in Australia come to the fore. The $130/month plan includes a flight to Vanuatu, Fiji or New Zealand with Virgin Australia, free voicemail, unlimited calls and text and the option of an upgraded phone every year, as long as the customer signs on for another two. Virgin Mobile is a subsidiary of Optus and makes use of its network in Australia.

Virgin Mobile Irresistible Plan

 

Brand identity and some strategy work was done by Generation Alliance, a global agency that had previously done work on Virgin Live and hotels in the US.

Virgin Mobile’s PR and social is handled by One Green Bean, media by Starcom and creative duties are performed by Havas.