In an increasingly competitive market, PPP decided to adopt a classical marketing approach and to develop a clear brand identity and proposition. This involved shifting consumer perceptions of PPP from a monolithic health insurance company to a “modern, caring” company to whom customers could talk about ” healthcare for life”.
The product portfolio was simplified to a range of four and two new highly targeted products were introduced. Trained staff met customers at their place of work and brand awareness was increased through associations with healthy food products.
A common brand identity was applied across all aspects of customer communication and a multimedia strategy was developed using TV, press, posters and tube cards. The “shadow” mnemonic was created which evolved into the single-minded proposition of “we’re there to support you”.
Individual customer enrolments increased by 61 per cent year on year and PPP healthcare’s share of the market has risen steadily during 1996 to 24 per cent.
In 1996, against a background of difficult market conditions, Sky set itself aggressive targets for both subscription and profit growth.
Communications focused on a month-by-month programme of events which would highlight the exclusivity of its programming. Ten campaigns were launched, including one at the start of the new football season and one before Christmas, when customers were offered a free Sky System if they spent over 299 on electrical goods.
Britain’s first pay-per-view event – Bruno v Tyson – made its debut in March and other tactical activity included the availability of 40 channels on the multichannel package.
Posters announced the events; radio and press provided more detail ( including a retail promotion ); and cinema was used to add drama.
1996 was a year of milestones for Sky. It exceeded 5 million subscribing homes, a 20 per cent growth year on year, and reported operating profits of 317m – a 30 per cent increase. In the week before Christmas, a record 45,000 subscribers signed up in one week.
In a turbulent market, The Sun has benefited from strong, brand management and a consistent strategy directed at increasing trial and regularity of purchase. The tone and style of the paper now claims to be more accessible and entertaining, evolving from what could be described as “having a go” to “having a laugh”.
Three principal marketing tactics have been adopted – price, promotional offers and advertising support. After using price reductions to boost trial, the paper returned to a non-discounted price in 1996, yet average weekly sales have been maintained for most of the year.
Promotional campaigns such as “Lottery syndicates” provided additional reasons for purchasing and The Sun has consistently invested in advertising to support the brand or flag specific editorial features and offers.
Average weekly newspaper sales revenue has increased by 28 per cent in two years, while circulation and readership levels have helped boost advertising sales revenue by 30 per cent since 1994. The Sun’s market share has grown from 45 per cent to 51 per cent.