Being able to communicate with family, friends and clients at any given time is often essential especially in cases of emergency or extreme needs. It can be said that mobile phones have ceased to be a luxury product, but an everyday essential. In the UK alone, there are approximately 67. 5 million people that makes use of the mobile phone, many consider it as part of their everyday lives, much like their watches or their coffees.
The mobile phone has become the way to communicate with family, friends and clients, more so for marketing or sales professionals who are always on the go, nearly everyone uses a mobile phone and the convenience and portability it provides make it a clear choice for many users. From the bulky phones that was only capable of making calls to the ones that is able to send SMS to the new ones that is not only capable of making calls, sending SMS but play music and videos as well as access the internet, the mobile phone has become the hottest communication tool of the 21st century.
The mobile phone business has been a phenomenal money spinner. In Great Britain, each of the four licensed operators, Vodafone, Orange, O2 and T-Mobile, have made their fortunes out of the first and second generations of phones and networks, then came the wave of third generation (3G) mobile phones that is internet access ready and video link capable that have sprung out since 2000. Survey shows that UK mobile phone services sales slightly increased by 8. 0% from 2002 to 2006. This also showed O2 was the largest UK mobile phones service company in 2006 with a 25.
6% share of the market. 1. 1 A backgrounder on the O2. While O2 may be recognized in other countries as a big mobile phone brand, it is known in the United Kingdom as one of the leading mobile phone network service providers. The O2 that UK residents know today is an auxiliary of the Spanish-based Telefonica S. A. It has a long history in the telecommunications business, having been formed in 2001 after BT Wireless broke away from the larger British Telecom. O2 in the UK O2 – formerly BT Cellnet – is one of the largest mobile phone network providers in the UK with over 16.
3 million subscribers (as of March 2006) and more than 9,000 workers. They offer both GSM and 3G network coverage all over the United Kingdom, more prominently in and around London. Note that O2 with Tullo Marshall Warren were among the finalists for the 2003 IDM Business Performance Award. Aside from offering GSM and 3G services, O2 also offers lower monthly phone fees compared with other network providers, a straightforward, no contract monthly plan and cheaper roaming rates.
Aside from offering these services, O2 also was able to capture several niche markets, including those who want more than the usual Pay-as-You-Go service but don’t want contracts and lock in periods that tie them up, as well as subscribers who frequently travel around the European Union, and the hi-tech, gadget savvy individuals who is willing to pay inordinate amounts to keep updated with the latest in the hi-tech industry. O2 also has wide-range of content downloads and data services, including a music download service that started in 2004.
O2 also offers a straightforward service plan pricing (tariffs), you also get to choose how long you want to stay in a contract with them. 12, 18 or 24 months, it’s up to you. The details are all there, including the monthly service fee, the amount of monthly minutes and monthly texts included in the package and the respective unlimited benefits, whether it’s unlimited calls or unlimited texts. Once you’ve picked out a service plan, you get to choose your free mobile phone and what extras you’d like to go with it – very simple. O2 offers the following basic plans:
1. Subscribers who don’t want a new mobile phone with their plan. 2. Subscribers who want to be able to terminate plan when they want to do so 3. Subscribers who want a lower monthly fee, O2 offers simplicity. O2 also has something for those who are too busy to visit the O2 store personally. O2 enables its subscribers Online Pay Monthly and Pay as You Go Tariffs for people who wish to subscribe to O2’s mobile services through the internet. O2 also offers roaming services, mobile web services and mobile LAN access for people who are always on the go.
Good deals, straight talk, no hassles, just good network service – that’s O2. Their website offers more details http://www. o2. co. uk/mobilestariffs/tariffs The mobile phone market in which O2 operates has been a fiercely competitive one for some years now – in respect both of hardware and of network services – and customer loyalty, whether to a manufacturer or a service provider, has been hard to come by. The O2 brand rapidly became established in the market place, mainly due to the power of television.
Tracking of Millward Brown demonstrated that in April 2002 till January 2004 O2’s television share of voice was 14% (in the mobile telecommunications category), yet it had an effective share of voice of 33%. O2 was striking above its weight. It seems that the television sponsorships were very effective. By the third series of Big Brother more and people come to associate O2 with TV sponsorship. By the end of the series, a whopping 78% of viewers 16-34 olds named the brand as the show’s sponsor. Sealing its fate in the telecommunications industry.
The net effect is that O2 has garnered a strong awareness and the Millward Brown research illustrates it has become the most preferred brand in the market given the fact that is consistently outspent by its biggest competitors, Orange & Vodafone, and utilizing a smaller launch budget than 3 and T-Mobile. 1. 2 About the Research 1. 2. 1 Research Objectives A. Identify the core competence of O2 within the mobile phone services industry: The primary objective is to investigate the factors that contribute to the success of O2 with its brands and evaluate the use of strategies that O2 maintain their market share.
Taking cue from Thompson and Strickland (2003), a core competence pertains to the company’s capability to complete a specific task in contrast with its rivals. It allows the company to compete more successfully and is thus can be categorised as strength and may also be counted as a resource of the company. B. Examine client perception of O2 and evaluate client loyalty of O2 consumers. This objective is to detect the perception of current users and the realize the points of view of the subscribers with regards to O2 services offered, customer services, and how to maintain the company’s customer loyalty. 1. 2. 2. Aims of the Research
This research through the use of literature review, questionnaire and interviews and use of deductive, inductive approaches and analysis from quantitative and qualitative data collection attempts to evaluate and formulate a conclusion regarding the success of the O2 network service provider with regards to their branding strategies and subsequent customer loyalties that enabled them to amass a subscriber network of more than 25% of the entire market. Their ‘secrets’ to their success and if was a stroke of luck or a well thought of marketing strategy that enabled them to be a successful player in the industry they are a part of.
An attempt to answer the following questions will also be undertaken: a) What makes O2 the choice network of majority of the populous? b) What is the difference of O2 among its competitors c) Does the O2 brand name, the company utilizes have anything to do with its popularity? d) To what extent does the brand affect the final purchase decision of the end user? e) How do the consumers perceive O2 with regards to its them? f) Does O2 promote client loyalty? If so, to what extent? If not, what should be done to promote such? 1. 2. 3. Scope of the study
The study will deal mostly with O2 as a leading network service provider in the UK, its branding and subsequent customer loyalty. The study will also focus on key points that O2 as a service provider extends and utilizes towards its customer base in order to facilitate continuous subscription, especially from subscribers that have been with them for a long time as compared to its rivals in the industry. The study will also focus on the brand name O2 and its subsequent influence to consumers and the reason why O2 has become a popular choice for their mobile needs.