Airtel Case Study

This case study looks at the strategy of Birth Retailer to promote its brand with a focus on the youth and how it has very effectively used the brand elements to connect with the users and added the social dimension to it. This case study illustrates brand building of Retailer through the sports sponsorship and youth oriented campaigning. This case highlights how ‘Sports Sponsorship’ has emerged as a unique medium of brand building because of its standout presence and youth appeal.

Sports sponsorship is by far the most popular sponsorship medium, offering high visibility, extensive television and press coverage, the ability to attract both a broad cross- section of the community and to serve specific niches, and importantly the capacity to break down cultural barriers COMPANY PROFILE Barr Retailer Limited, commonly known as Alerter. Is an Indian multinational telecommunications service company headquartered in New Delhi, India. It operates in 20 countries across South Asia, Africa, and the Channel Islands.

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Retailer has GSM network in all countries in which it operates, providing 26, 36 and G services depending upon the country of operation. Retailer is the world’s fourth largest mobile telecommunications company by subscribers with over 275 million subscribers across 20 countries as of July 2013. It is the largest cellular service provider In India, With 191.

39 million subscribers as of July 201311]. Sun” Barr Imitate founded the Birth Group [21. In 1983, Imitate was in an agreement with Germany’s Siemens to manufacture push-button telephone models for the Indian market.

In 1 986, Imitate incorporated Birth Telecoms Limited (BTL), and his company became the first in India to offer push-button telephones, establishing the basis of Birth Enterprises. By the early sass, Sunnis Imitate had also launched the country’s first fax machines and Its first cordless telephones.

In 1992, Imitate won a bold to build a cellular phone network in Delhi. In 1995, Imitate incorporated the cellular operations as Birth Tell-ventures and launched service in Delhi. In 1 996, cellular service was extended to Himalaya Pradesh.

In 1999, Birth Enterprises acquired control of JET Holdings, and extended cellular operations to Karakas and Andorra Pradesh. In 2000, Birth acquired control of Cycles Communications, in Achaean. In 2001 , the company acquired control f Spice Cell In Calcutta.

Barr Enterprises went public In 2002, and the company the cellular phone operations were refrained under the single Retailer brand. In 2004, Birth acquired control of Hexagon and entered Restaurants. In 2005, Birth extended its network to Madman and Nicolai.

This expansion allowed it to offer voice services all across India. In 2009, Retailer launched its first international mobile network in Sir Lankan. In 2010, Retailer acquired the African operations of the Kuwait based Continental.

Len March 2012, Retailer launched a mobile operation in Rwanda. BUSINESS MODEL OF COMPANY Birth Arête’s innovative business model has now become the norm not Just in Indian’s telecoms industry but also in the telecoms industries of several other emerging and developed countries.

Birth Retailer is a telecoms company that requires: An extensive telecommunications network that has to keep up with emerging technologies, A similarly extensive and up-to-date Information Technology infrastructure to administer nationwide operations handling a huge volume of customers and A superbly effective marketing setup for acquiring and retaining customers in a highly competitive environment. Instead of doing all these three key activities in-house (with the danger of doing all at less than required effectiveness) Birth went in for unbinding the three activities I. . Separated them and made them responsibility of different entities[3]: Birth decided to focus on marketing and customer relations, and outsource telecoms network and IT infrastructure to external partners with requisite expertise Telecoms network operations were outsourced to Ericson and Monika Siemens Networks IT infrastructure operations were outsourced to IBM and transmission towers are maintained by another company (Birth Inflate Ltd. N India) Thus, In the case of Birth Retailer, Mr…

Imitate decided to focus on its core capabilities I. E.

Understanding customers’ needs and building brand value Birth Retailer organizational structure has two distinct Customer Business Units (CUB) with clear focus on: BBC (Business to Customer) – The BBC business unit comprehensively service the retail consumers, homes and small offices, by combining the business units of Mobile, Delimited, Digital TV, and other emerging businesses (like M- commerce, M-health, M-advertising etc. ). B (Business to Business) segments – The B business unit provides end-to-end telecoms solutions to corporate customers and national and international long distance services to telecoms through its nationwide fiber optic backbone, last mile connectivity in fixed-line and mobile circles, Vast, ISP and international bandwidth access through the gateways and landing stations COMPETITOR ANALYSIS With new players coming in, the intensity of competition in the industry has increased, especially over the last 4 years.

The market share of telecoms operators of the telecoms companies reflects the fragmented nature of the industry, with as many as 15 players. As of April 30, 2012, Birth Retailer led the market with 19.

94% share, Reliance (16. 58%), avoidance (16. 41 Idea (12. 4%), BOSS (10. 51 -rata (8.

77%), Attract (6. 93%), with the remaining share being held by other operators.

Key Take Sways: Rate of growth has stagnated for all major telecoms companies Period prior to IFFY-10 growth rate among the major telecoms companies Operating profit margin has a falling trend due to higher advertising expenses and decreasing ARPA This is due to higher advertising expenses and d Net profit margin has also a decreasing trend for all telecoms companies This is mainly due to higher advertising expenses and decreasing RAPID REGULATORY FRAMEWORK & EMERGING MARKET FACTORS AFFECTING THE BUSINESS: The Indian telecommunications industry is one of the fastest growing in this world.

Government policies and regulatory framework implemented by Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India (TRAIT) have provided a conducive environment for service providers. This has made the sector more competitive, while enhancing the accessibility of telecommunications services at affordable tariffs to consumers. The Indian telecoms sector has witnessed tremendous growth over the past decade.

Today, the Indian telecoms network is the second largest in the world after China.

A liberal policy regime and involvement of private sector have played an important role in transforming this sector. The total number of telephones as on 31st April 2013 was 879 million. The telecoms industry has witnessed significant growth in subscriber base over the last decade, with increasing network coverage and a competition – induced decline in tariffs acting as catalysts for the growth in subscriber base. The growth story and the potential have served to attract newer players in the industry, tit the result that the intensity of competition has kept increasing.

In 1999, the Indian Government established the National Telecoms Policy 1999, which played a key role in shaping the sector and later in 2000 introduced the Communications Convergence Bill that setup the autonomous commission called the Communications Commission of India (CLC) that acts as the super/regulatory body to regulate telecommunications, Internet and Broadcasting sectors Key objectives set during the Eleventh Plan period have been set so as to promote the industry: To reach a telecoms subscriber base of 600 million. To provide 200 million rural telephone connections by 2012, that is to reach a rural tell-density of 25%.

To provide telephone connection on demand across the country at an affordable price. To provide broadband connection on demand across the country by 2012. To facilitate introduction of mobile TV. In India, though telecommunications has grown rapidly, it needs to achieve more in terms of telekinesis as compared to other countries.

Though the policies of the Indian Government are meant to improve the growth of the sector, the effectiveness of the implementation falls short in many aspects. Thus, the co-relation between the Government policies and regulations with respect to the growth of telecoms companies is weak.

With plenty of strong potential, the sector requires much more attention and a robust policy framework to address the challenges that exist and help to capture the opportunities that the sector holds for the country. India needs to improve its “Critical Infrastructure Status along with uniform policy and single window clearance”. There’s also a need address civic issues such as zoning regulation & Single window clearance.

BRAND STORY: BIPARTITELY- BRAND BUILDING THROUGH SPORTS SPONSORSHIP With the advent of a new era of fierce were focused to increase the customer base of Birth Retailer ensuring loyalty.

One of the major factors that contribute to the success of Birth Retailer has been its brand building. It is one of the major brands that have the highest visibility in India. Its success of brand building is major attributed to the unique marketing initiatives such as sports sponsorship. (Exhibit 5,6) Birth Retailer has a huge focus on sporting events. Apart from exclusive video rights for FAA Euro 2012, it has similar 5 year tie p with Manchester United, under which its subscribers get exclusive access to mobile content related to one of the world’s richest football clubs.

Retailer also has a tie up with Manchester United club for organizing Retailer Rising Stars’ – Indian’s largest under-16 soccer talent hunt which will give 11 promising youngsters the chance-of-a- lifetime to train with Manchester United Soccer School and possibly kick-off a career in professional football[l a]. Lot is the title sponsor of Delhi Half Marathon and has a three-year tie up with BCC for branding activities. SPORTS SPONSORSHIP Sports sponsorship has emerged as a unique medium of brand building, which could fulfill the marketing communication objectives of Birth Retailer because of its stand out presence.

Brands all over the world are trying to come out from the clutter. Sports sponsorship is by far the most popular sponsorship medium, accounting for at least three-quarters of all sponsorship spending in both the I-J and the US and offering high visibility, extensive television and press coverage, the ability both to attract a broad cross-section of the community and to serve specific niches, and importantly) the capacity to break down cultural barriers.

It is well understood that advertising provides mass-market media exposure for the brand.

Retailer has used sports sponsorship in following ways: Event sponsorship: It has been sponsoring Delhi marathon every year. Many celebrities along with athletes take part in the same. Retailer also links the event to a social cause by projecting it as social marathon. It supported the cause of women empowerment through the event.

In a metro like Delhi where crimes on women has been rising lately, such initiative was taken in a positive way. It was also won the title sponsorship for the Indian grand PRI.

Retailer saw brand synergies with Fl Grand PRI and hoped to strengthen its association with the young audiences. [l b] Team Sponsorship:Retailer has also associated itself with English premier league by becoming local sponsor of the most popular team in the world- Manchester United. Association with local culture through sports: Be it marathon or rugby Retailer has been expanding its wings by supporting sports with limited sponsorship. The loyalty which gets created by such an act, can run for life time.

Many global brands are viewed as status symbols, so developing thoughtful links with home brands and athletes may enhance the credibility of all, playing into both local pride and global prestige. IMPACT OF SPORTS SPONSORSHIP ON THE BRAND EQUITY OF RETAILER The Retailer has consistently grown as a company and a very dynamic brand. Sponsorships also create brand differentiation. This is especially important for a foreign entity that wants to break the mould ” not only in local sports sponsorship, but also in local brand preference.

If all local sponsors, including the dominant ones, purport only tried and tested athletes in popular sports, then some global brands the similar strategy.

It sponsors the Junior rugby for the western province (Sardinia). A sport which may not be very popular among the mass, but certainly carries a special meaning for the local people of Sardinia. L It also portrays a image for the company that the company wants to serve the society and does not associate itself for the exposure. Sports’ marketing is an excellent tool for companies who are on the verge of entering into a new geographical region.

Sports have no language and culture. This paves way for the companies to offer their products and services without having to negotiate with linguistic and cultural barriers.

In normal scenarios, a company has to adjust its advertising and marketing campaign as per cultural and regional barriers, but in case when a company goes for a sports sponsorship, all it has to do is to select the sport with highest premiership or team with maximum following and associate itself with the event at each possible venue. Once that is done, the immense reach and much sought after emotional connect with the target audience is next to guaranteed.

INDIAN TELECOMS INDUSTRY If one intents to analyses the impact of this move of sports sponsorship then it will be worth to note that Retailer has climbed from 282 to 89 in overall brand ranking. The brand is getting even stronger among the telecoms brands. Only two Indian brands – Retailer and CHIC Bank – have made it to the Brands Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands list for 2013.

Mobile phone giant Bipartitely made it to 89th position, ahead of global telecoms players such as 02. Although MATS has overtaken Retailer this year Arête’s brand value is at $10. 05 billion.

Though Retailer has been a leader in the electro industry in India, but competition is fast catching up and brand equity and brand differentiation can be enhanced to a greater extent in this competitive environment through sport sponsorships. So, Retailer started increasing its budget for the sports sponsorships and at the same time Avoidance has also been using the sports sponsorship to a great extent. It was a title sponsor for the England cricket team for a long time.

England was going through a phase of mediocrity and even the brand of Avoidance took a hit in India. So, it also explored other sports like formula one.

It associated itself with the leading F-1 team McClellan. The partnership will remain intact till 2013. The company is considering moving on, by not renewing its contract.

Retailer: Brand Performance 2012 2011 2010 2009 Brand value $521 m $36th-n $mm Brand rating A+ Enterprise value $39th-n $28861 m $27th-n $runner Value/.NET. Value 12. 80% 1 1. 40% 11. 70% Retailer appears in the following brand league tables: Rank 187 in the Global 500 2012.

Rank 27 in the -rope 500 Telecoms Brands 2012. Rank 33 in the Top 500 Telecoms Brands 2011. Rank 283 in the Global 500 2011. Rank 5 in the India 50 2010.

Rank 287 in the Global 500 2010. Rank 30 in the Top 500 Telecoms Brands 2010.

Rank 215 the Global 500 2009. BRAND COMMUNICATION AND SPORTS SPONSORSHIP Retailer has evolved as a brand. It has very effectively used the brand elements to connect with the users. The Jingle was widely publicized across all media. At one time it was ubiquitous and every third phone ringed with that as the ringing tune. From its campaign of ‘Express yourself to ‘Friendship express’, youth has always been its main focus.

Sports sponsorship portrays a very dynamic image of the company and is mainly targeted towards the youth.

This sync between the two has been the primary reason for Retailer to take up the sports sponsorship route to promote its brand. The change has also helped the new brand identity of Retailer to evolve. It has not tried to counter the brand character campaign by Avoidance. It only strengthened its forte by coming out with promotions targeted towards youth. The success of Zoo-zoos was taken in a positive way to maintain its connection with the existing users.

SPORTS SPONSORSHIP: PITFALLS Though Retailer has largely benefited from the sports sponsorship, but the cost of advertising through this route is more expensive.

It has more than doubled the advertising spending to stay ahead in the competition as players like Avoidance, Dotcom etc. Are fast catching up. Spending on sales and marketing more than earlier (2010). 2 This spending has also adversely affected the profits as Average revenue per user, a key metric of performance in the telecommunications industry, fell 12 percent in India to 194 rupees a month. Sports sponsorship has not completely evolved in India.

There are still loose ends to it, which may create problems for the company later.

While there are advantages to several companies aligning themselves with an effort upon which their reputations rest, and striving towards excellence as part of the team, acrimonious disputes can arise where interests diverge and the ownership of the whole becomes less clear. So several sponsors may work together and this can lead to other fruitful, commercial benefits, but when relationships unravel, the distinction between team owner, sponsor and creditors becomes most blurred. Retailer has been very intelligent in maintaining its niche by taking up mostly telecoms partnership to avoid any such conflicts.

TEAM SPONSORSHIP: RETAILER-MANCHESTER UNITED DEAL Manchester United is the world’s most popular football club, with an estimated 333 million fans and was recently named by Forbes magazine as the most valuable sports club in the world. Founded in 1878, the Club has won a record 19th English league championships to add to its record 11 English FAA Cups, 3 European Cups, 1 European Cup Winners’ Cup, 1 FIFE Club World Cup, 1 Intercontinental Cup and 4 English League Cups.

Its Manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, is the most successful manager in British history. Off the field, the Club enjoys similar success with record turnover for a

British club and the highest operating profit levels in world football. In 2009, telecoms services provider Retailer became top English Premier League club’s first Sub continental sponsor. The Indian telecoms giant Bipartitely signed a five-year $1 5 million sponsorship deal with English Premier League side Manchester United. It was the first sponsorship Manchester United had struck with an Indian firm. As per the finalized negotiations, Arête’s 92 million mobile phone customers in India, Sir Lankan and the Seychelles will get access to matches and interviews from Manchester

United media business on their phones, and get some opportunity to take part in the club’s soccer schools, which are run in Hong Kong, Seattle, Toronto and Dubbing as well as Manchester.

Rational behind the deal The deal was intended to allure the nascent but potentially huge football base among youth of the sub-continent. Indian subcontinent has been a predominantly cricket playing geography, but with time and overdose of the game, cricket is losing its luster and charm which used to entice younger generation.

The young people are finding football as a more enthralling alternative to cricket. Football is the new youth status symbol’ in Indian subcontinent and it makes all the more sense to catch this first generation of this huge potential fan base at its nascent stage to kick in the aspect of loyalty in long run. A new survey, designed to underpin the global commercial push that has driven the club’s revenue growth in the Glazer era, has revealed that Manchester United have 659 million “followers” across the globe, an increase of 98% on the last comparable survey in 2007. With this exorbitant fan base, Manchester United is clearly the most popular club of the most popular sport relied.

Thus, by connecting 92 million user base directly, the sponsor ship deal platform provided by Manchester United fan base. Emotional connect with target audience: The competitive advantage associated with sports sponsorship is the emotional connect it provides with the fans. It has been witnessed worldwide that only few other things accessible to companies can create an emotional connect with target audience.

The adrenaline rush generated in a football sport binds the followers and fans with their teams on a mental landscape where they associate their success and failure with their team. When a company associates itself with a team at the caliber of Manchester United, it automatically becomes part of that emotional relationship between the followers and sports or fans and their respective teams.

To have an emotional connect with the target audience is the prime object of any marketing campaign, which is provided quite logically and easily through sports sponsorship.

Extent of reach and WOMB: Teams participating in European football leagues, Spanish football leagues, Indian premiere leagues etc. Have their own sets of ardent followers which automatically get connected to the team sponsors. They take pride in associating themselves with anything which brands them as an esteemed follower of their team and identify them as a member of an exclusive family (followers/fans of that team). This concept can be compared to Harley Davidson riders who have their own coterie and take pride in their exclusivity.

The major advantage of such groups is the word of mouth publicity which a company gets.

Through common discussion platforms, followers discuss their views and feelings and if a company intends to change their positioning or intend to convey any change in its offering/ advertising sausages, it is relatively easier in such groups due to higher mutual connectivity between group members on an emotional level. The deal provides Manchester United activities to 92 million fans in Indian subcontinent. When this segment interacts with other followers of Manchester United (non-Retailer users), they automatically create word of mouth publicity for Retailer.

This is because of the common platform which the English premiere team provides to all its followers. EVENT SPONSORSHIP: RETAILER AND INDIAN GRAND PRI Formula one has got a huge fan following in India.

The adrenaline rush of the speed ND related extremeness attached with the sport has given this sport a lot of media attention. Stars have been born and legends created through this sport. It is considered a sport which is most technologically intensive. Despite the importance of best parts and technologies, role of the driver never ceases to decrease.

So, is it the love for the engineering marvel in terms of the car or the passion for the speed or both? But in true sense, it has not remained a niche sport. Indian companies have already penetrated after sensing the cult status attached with this sport.

PUB group as launched its own team- Force India for the championship. Drivers like Marin Carthaginian have reached the ultimate arena. India finally got its first racetrack in Nomad. Retailer got the title sponsorship of Indian grand PRI for approximately $14 billion.

The title rights would mean that the Indian Grand PRI will now be called as the ‘Retailer Indian Grand PRI’ across all media and communication.

Additionally, they and passes for their key guests. Unlike the Manchester United association, this one will not grant any mobile rights to the telecoms major, an alternative source of venue. Retailer has been able to create a very strong link with the Indian grand PRI. Indian grand PRI is more associated with Retailer than any other brand. Retailer is not new to Fl sponsorship.

Retailer is an investor in Singlet, the title sponsor of the Singapore GAP, which is why their signing up for the title rights of the Indian GAP shouldn’t surprise many.

They probably know the benefits of such an association and know how to exploit them. The association with the Indian GAP will enhance Arête’s global brand presence and put the Indian telecoms major on the world map. Arête’s erect competitor in India, Avoidance, is the title-sponsor of the McClellan Mercedes team. 4 Partnership with Mercedes In the second year of the motivators at India, Retailer also partnered with Mercedes to further strengthen its position and brand visibility.

Mercedes has the best track record and association can further give the brand of Retailer a youthful image. The alliance will also give Retailer access to the team along with rights to develop co- branded merchandise, use the race partnership logo, offer exciting mobile content, organize exclusive driver meet-and-greet sessions for consumer promotions among there initiatives.

5 Retailer will also offer its customers mobile content and instant race updates on race orders as well as team and driver standing information.

As for the Mercedes OMG Patrons team, this association will offer increased access to Indian Formula fans and engage them further on Arête’s telecoms networks, which include mobile, broadband internet, digital TV and more. Content and its accessibility are key in Formula, but with restrictions put forth by the FOAM, fans get little content to access and consume other than Grand PRI content. Mercedes OMG Patrons have enervated some good content over the years and Arête’s platform would be best suited to distribute it amongst Indian Formula fans.

RETAILER DELHI HALF MARATHON The telecoms major is leveraging the annual half-marathon to strengthen brand salience in its largest market.

Ever since they were introduced in India in 2004, marathons have become something of an annual event on the social calendar, not least because they provide a huge networking opportunity for anyone who is reasonably fit – from common or garden executives to page three and corporate Celebes. For Birth Retailer, Indian’s largest telecoms company by subscriber numbers, the 1. 09 km Delhi half-marathon provides a unique opportunity to build the brand in its largest and oldest market, Delhi.

The fifth Retailer Delhi Half Marathon also aimed to create health awareness among Deathliest and at the same time raise charity money to benefit Nags across the country. The event’s main sponsor was Retailer and charity partner was Concern India Foundation.

In the past four marathons a total amount of 13. 74 scores has been raised. That’s because the Delhi half-marathon, for which Retailer has the title sponsorship for the second year running taking over from its impetigo Avoidance (formerly Hutch), provides its brand focused exposure to hundreds of thousands of people from around the world, for several reasons.

First, with total prize money of $210,000 – men and women standing first will win $25,000 received the International Association of Athletics Federation (FAA) Gold Label Award, the highest rating the international organization offers to road races, the Delhi half- marathon attracts runners from around the world. (Oafs ratings take into account various parameters such as participation rates, racing standards, TV coverage and organization standards. The event is graced by celebrities and business giants from various fields.

Actress Aphasia Bass, cricketer S Sergeants and big shot Nail Mambas were present for the marathon.

Gull Pang and Rural Bose also put on running shoes to urge Delhi to run. Nail Mambas who often takes part in running events, Rural, Raman Birth Imitate (PVC, MD PAR Ltd), Jay (Chain-man, MD PAR Ltd), Fontainebleau Miss India Housecleans all were confidently running too. Consider the numbers: This year’s run, organized by sports management company Procom International, saw over 32,000 people running, up from about 26,000 last year – and hat doesn’t reflect the number of people who still wanted to register but couldn’t.

The event draws participation from 30 nationalities, not to speak of the lakes of people who come to see and be seen.

For Retailer, these numbers are only part of the attraction. As important is the opportunity for brand positioning that the event provides. “All marathons, whether in Iambi, New York, Boston or Delhi, have three basic characteristics. One is breaking barriers by testing your endurance with all its connotations of fitness and good health; Second is the coming together of people room different walks of life and nationalities; Third is showcasing the characteristics of the city and its vibrant youth culture,” All of these offer a “perfect fit” with Arête’s tag line “Barriers break when people talk”.

The half-marathon also provides a unique opportunity to raise funds for charity with participants raising contributions, including by the Birth Foundation.

Since 2005, over 200 Nags have registered for the event. 7 The event also provides an opportunity for some internal brand-building with HRS initiatives such as a “super loser” contest that offers a prize to whoever loses he most weight ahead of the contest and a medal of honor for whoever runs the fastest.

Last year’s event revealed that the brand return on investment were huge when measured on a range of parameters such as recall, intention to purchase and so on. The idea is to showcase the culture of Delhi, in which Bipartitely has been present since 1995. In the year 2009, Birth crossed the 5 million subscriber mark in the city and NCR region, but it is operating in a crowded market that is expected to see more competitors soon with aggressive pricing strategies. In such a market, it will require a marathon effort to ensure brand loyalty.

Another three advantages of Delhi half marathon for Retailer has been following: Memorable experiential marketing Sport sponsorship also provides a range of benefits which, depending on the property, may include a combination of entry tickets, corporate hospitality, onsite presence to provide experiential marketing, exclusive access to sports stars and use of facilities outside of event times. Usually, this involves creating a “money can’t buy” experience for attendees that one cannot recreate Just by buying a general admission ticket to the event.