As part of Vodafone Group’s repositioning, Vodafone Romania launched a new brand positioning campaign, which represents a significant evolution of the brand strategy and visual identity worldwide and is built around the strapline “The future is exciting. Ready?”. BR talked with Laura Barbu, brand and marketing communication director at Vodafone Romania, in order to find out more about the recent changes and the company’s plans.

By Romanita Oprea

What determined the repositioning?

The new positioning strategy comes as an opportunity for Vodafone to underline its belief that new technologies and digital services will play a positive role in transforming society and enhancing individual quality of life over the years ahead. It addresses an insight resulting from research conducted by the Vodafone Group, which shows that people are excited about the future, but at the same time, feel anxious about it. This is valid for consumers in Romania as well. In this context, Vodafone’s new brand role is to invite and partner with customers on the exciting journey towards the future.

What were the first steps taken?

The process started with a thorough analysis of the cultural and technological evolution and with the customer insights about how they relate to technology and how it can improve their lives.

Tell us more about the strategy repositioning, please.

We see the repositioning as a significant evolution of the strapline and visual identity and it is the first change since the introduction of the “Power to you” strapline in 2009.

The strategy is implemented across all 36 countries in which the Vodafone brand is present and focuses on the theme of optimism about the future. The new strapline is “The future is exciting. Ready?” and its first part is presented in local languages – in our case, “Hai să ne bucurăm împreună de viitor”, while the second part – “Ready?” – is presented in English across all markets.

As the repositioning is happening at the same time in 36 countries, what were the main challenges of the project?

Such a vast project usually brings challenges in terms of alignment and readiness. In this case, it was a very successful one, with the alignment being assured by cross-country teams, while the very careful planning and coordination assured the readiness.

What part does Romania play in the new strategy? What will change locally?

All the changes brought by the new positioning are also implemented in Romania, as well as in all the other markets. The new logo, the new strapline and the new brand character will be present across all executions.

With what agency/agencies did you work to create the new repositioning campaign?

The campaign was developed at group level; Vodafone worked with WPP agencies MEC, Santo, Brand Union and Kantar to develop the new brand positioning strategy.

What is the creative idea behind the campaign and how did you get to it?

The strategy and the advertising campaigns are based on extensive research and concept testing, including quantitative and qualitative inputs from nearly 30,000 people in 17 countries. The TV commercial is a 60-second film focused on how human interaction remains constant while technologies evolve over time to improve people’s lives. The commercial was produced by Ridley Scott Associates.

What can you tell us about the new visual identity? What inspired it?

The new visual identity emphasizes our iconic ‘speech mark’ and this represents its biggest change since it was created in 1998. The ‘speech mark’ now appears in a new 2D design and is the central graphical focus overlaid on all marketing executions.

CV LAURA BARBU

With over 14 years of brand building, marketing and communication strategies, sales and online experience, acquired in companies such as Elvila, Sarantis, PepsiCo and Vodafone, Laura Barbu is results driven, focused on profitable brands building through winning teams. She is Chief of Graduatees Series in Marketing at ASE (1995-1999) and has EMBA, on General Management, Diploma with Merit from the University of Sheffield.