Orange rethinks marketing in bid to find its ‘voice’

Orange is overhauling its marketing strategy in a bid to get its “voice” back. The changes follow the appointment of Justin Billingsley as UK brand marketing director earlier this year.

Billingsley says he wants the mobile operator’s advertising to help it stand out in the highly competitive UK market. A strategy, which will be introduced in February, will see the France Telecom-owned brand focus more on its multi-media services and converged offers, rather than tariffs and handsets.

Billingsley, who joined France Telecom-owned Orange from Nokia in the summer (MW July 5), says: “Everyone knows what Orange does – we need to be talking about the things that are unique to us. We want to disrupt and get Orange’s voice back again.”

Billingsley adds that rival operators can match 90% of what Orange offers. He says: “We need to be disciplined and talk less about the things in the market that are the same.”

Orange was seen as one of the UK’s most innovative and iconic brands during the 1990s but many feel it has lost its appeal since being taken over by France Telecom in 2000.

Internal research conducted by Orange recently showed that people have as much of an emotional connection with oil and banking brands as they do with mobile phone operators.

Orange was the fourth-placed operator in the UK at the end of September, according to Gartner, with a market share of 21.4%. Vodafone (24.9%) and O2 (24.8%) are leaders of the market, ahead of T-Mobile (23.4%).

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