An on-going brand transformation story

An on-going brand transformation story

Tele2

Brand strategy
Brand identity
Brand identity management
Service design
Retail design
Packaging design
Content creation
Employer branding

Founded by legendary entrepreneur Jan Stenbeck, Tele2 is a true challenger brand in the Eurasian telecom market. Tele2 is also Kurppa Hosk’s founding client. We’ve been serving the company as a brand and design partner across all its markets since 2009 – from Kazakhstan, Russia and the Baltics in the east, to Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands in the west. We provide brand strategy, corporate identity development and implementation, physical and digital service design. The overarching scope of our partnership is to help transform Tele2 from being a discount brand to become a value-driven brand.

Challenge

Once upon a time, the telecom industry used to feel relevant, interesting and sometimes even appealing to consumers. These days, people rather tend to see telcos as a necessary evil – something you need to get your precious smartphone and tablet going. In many markets, telcos are in fact at the very bottom of the list when consumers are asked what industries are trustworthy – a consequence of many years of overpromises and obscure terms and conditions. Last but not least, constant price wars between telcos have affected profitability. So, how do you reposition yourself to find and keep new customers in such a challenged industry and market – while staying true to your heritage, motivating your employees and finding new talent to keep up the pace of innovation?

Approach

The starting point for Tele2’s brand transformation was two-fold. The first part had to do with the company’s history. Jan Stenbeck was a bold person, and he founded Tele2 to challenge the prevailing Swedish telecom monopoly back in the 80’s. This challenger spirit is still vital and vibrant in Tele2’s internal culture.

The other part was the result of quickly changing market conditions. The number of discount players increased, while consumer demand went from voice to data and from price focus only to more value-driven benefits. After much market and consumer research, conversations and strategy iterations with Tele2 and its other business consultants, this entire team defined two pillars: “The Challenger Spirit” would serve as the brand attitude, and “Value Champion” would be the overarching brand position.

These two components have been fundamental for Kurppa Hosk in creating the brand experience that is being continuously implemented across all of Tele2’s markets and touch points.

Outcome

The first design activity was to articulate the new brand strategy in an updated brand identity. The “The challenger spirit” was of vital importance here, to convey the boldness, vitality and energy of Tele2. It also brought the universe of Tele2 together by means of a monolithic brand architecture. This allowed us to erase visual differences between Tele2’s business segments and between previous local interpretations of the corporate identity. And it made things simpler and more cost efficient.

The new brand identity became pivotal for creating a brand experience embracing all Tele2 touch points: digital service and product design, retail design, product and service visualizations, advertising and even the design of an entire sports arena. Another important consequence of the “Value Champion” positioning was the shift of focus from price offerings – so typical for telcos – to more customer-benefit driven offerings and communications. Kurppa Hosk is therefore continuously helping Tele2 develop and convey such customer benefits.

Based on the new strategy, Kurppa Hosk also developed a new employer value proposition for Tele2, to clarify the refined brand idea internally and to attract new talent. This was summarized in the phrase “We Challenge you to Challenge us” – something that might very well have been an exhortation by the founder himself to those willing to walk extra miles to challenge the telco industry and themselves by bringing more value to the customer. Which is also exactly what Kurppa Hosk keeps putting all our efforts into on a continuous basis together with Tele2.