Will a name change help Uninor as it tries to ride the value for money game?

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Updated: September 29, 2015 5:23:49 PM

Norway’s Telenor Group, which recently rebranded Uninor (its subsidiary in India) to Telenor India, plans on riding the value for money game

uninorNorway’s Telenor Group, which recently rebranded Uninor (its subsidiary in India) to Telenor India, plans on riding the value for money game

Life without a mobile phone is unimaginable today, and with over 980 million mobile phone subscribers in India, telecom brands have a challenging job to stay ahead of the curve.

Bearing this in mind, Norway’s Telenor Group has rebranded its Indian subsidiary brand Uninor – naming it Telenor India, in a move to extend its ‘sabse sasta’ positioning. It will now sport a brand new philosophy of delivering more value for money, through its campaign tagline, ‘Ab life full paisa vasool’, crafted by its agency, McCann Erickson.

Building on the promise to offer ‘more for less’ in each transaction, the telecom company which has been operating in the country since 2009, has always followed its ‘affordability’ mantra in the six markets it has its presence in.

“We attribute our journey so far to our understanding of customers,” says Upanga Dutta, CMO, Telenor India.

Through a new brand identity and ad campaign, it wants to depict the spirit of the Telenor brand that believes in delivering more for less to its customers. “We aim to deliver innovative products to delight customers, be it through most affordable prices, simple services or easy to understand product offers. We believe that this new brand position will appeal to the existing customer segments and will also attract a wider segment of audience,” he adds.

However, the journey hasn’t been a smooth one for the telecom company. Launched in eight circles in December 2009, after completing one of the world’s largest GSM Greenfield launches which was also one of the fastest telecom roll-outs ever in India, it soon added five more circles including metropolitan areas like Mumbai and Kolkata. The brand was built around an ambition to serve the young, aspiring India. But when the Supreme Court of India cancelled 122 licenses of 22 mobile operators, including Uninor in 2012, Uninor decided to gradually scale down its operations with an aim to strengthen its focus on the top performing circles. Despite a variety of marketing campaigns and other initiatives, it is not considered among the top three telecom brands in India.

Apart from the rebranding exercise which will focus on six markets—Uttar Pradesh (East), Uttar Pradesh (West), Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat—the 360 degree marketing campaign will bring to light Telenor India’s distinct propositions to give added value to customers for a differentiated experience. From call drop reimbursements to multilingual self help and renewed rocket recharges, the brand hopes to stay as local as possible though the new identity makes it a part of a global organisation with 160 years of heritage.

“There is no doubt that the competition and challenges will only increase in the telecom sector in the coming years. We spent the last five years setting the business model, and will continue to build on it to increase our market share,” says Dutta.

With a promise to be the best in basic services including voice and Internet for the mass market customer, Telenor India will invest significantly in transforming its network and retail presence across circles. By modernising the entire network for advanced technology solutions, it is preparing to offer high-speed Internet services for mass market consumers in future. Earlier this year, the company had transformed all its call centers and introduced new tools to improve customer service. Whether the rebranding exercise along with revamped services leads to adding new subscribers, is something that time will tell.

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