The idea behind targeting this segment can be found inherited in virgin¶s business model. By 2010 this group is expected to contribute 60-70 percent of total revenues. SEEKING YOUNGISTAN: The Virgin Mobile Brand. and chase volumes like the bigger players. There are 215 million people in this age group. . And Virgin mobile has an opportunity to explore this area as well. Virgin decided it need not be everything to everybody. Replacement sales account for as much as 60%. Virgin has promoted itself as the brand for young India." Richard Branson declared. targets Indian school and college going youth aged between 14 and 25 years. but they contributed over 50 per cent of the telecom industry's Rs 50. It is the only service provider which does not hold any bandwidth and mobile setup infrastructure but uses Tata Teleservices spectrum and has attempted to penetrate market totally on its branding and marketing strategy.000cr (Rs 500 billion) revenues in 2007-08.Virgin mobile is a unique player in the Indian mobile market. keeping the Indian youth as its target customer segment. By 2010. Why is this segment so important? Young subscribers may account for less than 30 per cent of the total.000cr (Rs 350 billion). "We are not pursuing scale for scale's sake. this group is expected to earn the industry over Rs 35. People are replacing handsets every 18-24 months. Creating a niche brand and promoting it to specific customer segment with proper marketing has been the key success factor for virgin mobile across the globe.

As the Indian telecom sector already had many well established players. With their targeted youth segment Virgin Mobile has attempted a long term strategy. COMMUNICATION OBJECTIVES Two major objectives behind every communication campaign of Virgin mobile has been to spread brand awareness and create a foothold in this market segment for itself and satisfy some unmet customer needs.which offers a revenue opportunity not just from the entire group switching to a common service provider but also from customised services like closed user groups and so on. c) They have large circles of friends for both making and receiving calls . wallpapers. Virgin mobile had to communicate its brand in a way such that the customers notice it and .under 12 months as compared to two years for people above 25 years of age ± which suits Virgin mobile business of handset with mobile services. mobile shopping and other value added services like ring tones. which means huge billing potential for service providers. d) The usage of SMS. They have tried to break into a segment not specifically targeted by any of the existing players. data services in the form of mobile internet.This segment offers some distinct advantage: a) The distinct mobile phone usage habits of the young users provide a huge advantage to Virgin Mobile as they make more and longer out-bound voice calls. b) Young users have a shorter handset up gradation cycle . caller tunes. Virgin also has realized that this section would in few years would go out to be working professionals with independent income and hence attempted to catch them early. etc are very high in this group which again provides a huge opportunity to be tapped.

offering users the convenience of upgrading their phones without having to change their number or re-entering their address book. features and more affordable handsets as the youth need style but also value. a youth culture that is always on the move.500. Virgin¶s strategy has been to deliver a more tailored..young customers aren't likely to have huge disposable incomes. There has been a potential problem. Virgin offers). Which means a handset upgrade involves an entirely new connection. distinct segment. Virgin found that its users cared more about community than utility. the edgy and the reliable. conversation. Virgin's handsets are therefore named and priced to appeal to its target audience -. Thus Virgin came up with the ³Get paid to receive calls´ offer where its customers are offered a 10-paise credit for every minute of . it's for connecting with friends. more relevant offering for a single. text messaging. but in every way possible . They want to communicate quickly and cheaply.999.vKewl retails at Rs 3. similar to GSM phones. and above all each other.email. which is about half the price at which competitors will sell similar handsets. Frequent handset changes fits in better with GSM technology. while vBling sells for Rs 2. The average Virgin Mobile customers are still in their teens. not only through phones. a culture that thrived on music and art. Nearly 95 per cent of young users are pre-paid subscribers. who typically run out of both talktime and recharging money by the month-end. This segment is characterized by the fashionable and the trustworthy. From its analysis of the Indian mobile market it has determined several unmet needs. For them the cell phone isn't for calling the office or checking schedule. It is for staying in touch with culture. the SIM card is usually embedded in the phone. Virgin had to ensure its offerings were tailored to suit this group's preferences. In CDMA technology (which Tata Teleservices and. Virgin Mobile worked around it by introducing CDMA phones with RUIM (removable user identity module) technology. media.e. although they will demand cutting-edge technology and style i. complete with new number. With its target customer clearly defined. a combination of looks. it was important to be economic . Then. note-passing. therefore. making plans and exchanging stories. and knew it was time to change its image from a pay-as-you-go telecommunications provider to a youth wireless network.perceive it as being a bit different.

a young man who has broken traffic rules wins the sympathy of the policeman when his angry father asks for him to be shown no mercy.incoming call. TATA Indicom has ³experience the difference´ while Vodafone has ³make the most of now´. Almost all the existing cellular operators in India have English punchline. In one ad. The 'father' is later shown to be his college mate. ³THINK HATKE´ which would mean think different in English. all along. is what the girl was aiming for. company focuses on transformational appeal which explains what kind of person is going to use this service. In the second TVC.which. parents taken by surprise insist she goes on the trip -. Thus making it a viable proposition for both customers and the business. a girl shocks her parents saying she is not interested in men. They came up with a Hinglish punch line to market their services. Virgin aired two commercials where youngsters find ways to win approval in sticky situations. Virgin mobile devised messages that by itself communicated with youth¶s heart. In the two-week launch campaign. Their initial communications talked of the role of the mobile phone in the lives of young. Instead of using Informational appeal which elaborate on service attributes and benefits. Idea has ³what an idea´. obviously. . COMMUNICATING THE VIRGIN BRAND: With its audience identified. They are: a) ³Think Hatke´ advertisement campaign targeting youth: To communicate its brand Virgin Mobile tried to make youth notice it ads. And in a volte face. regardless of the originating network.

pranks. but professional enough for their parents. crude jokes and different ways of doing the things which is usually not acceptable for matured generation. b) Red and vibrant The brand had to convey the vibrant image consistently being promoted by to be cool enough for its users. the cell phone plays a cameo role. This helped them to directly connect with the target consumer and seek their attention.In both ads. deepening Virgin's trademark red and replacing bright pictures with a darker color scheme. They primarily focused of seeking attention first and then talk about their offerings. No tariff plans are mentioned. Specially customeized for the young segment. although Virgin Mobile's tagline "Think hatke" is prominently displayed. It is a brand truly meant for the young India which is reflected at each & every touch point. that includes the suggestive humor. The site's combined emphasis on product information and culture encourages young customers to check it out. They have clearly segmented their targets and their on-screen presentation shows that. sleek new look. c) Tailor made plans for young segment Virgin mobile has been providing services which were not offered so far. Virgin has extensive data service offers in the form of vbytes (Virgin Mobile¶s data . Like getting paid for incoming calls and 50 paisa for all calls across the country. They have clearly picturized the kind of personal conversation happens between two young people. The site has a young. making it both easier to browse and easier to buy.

e) Events and Experiences Virgin invited students to be brand ambassadors and request them to sell Virgin merchandise such as T-shirts. So it really wasn't too surprising when the billionaire chairman and founder of the Virgin group decided to fling himself down from the roof of a Mumbai five-star hotel to mark the launch of Virgin Mobiles.portal). unconventional maverick entrepreneur Richard Branson is all that. purchasing phone. Since web is a medium where the young spend a huge chunk of their time. recharging and everything. This was one of the strategies Virgin has followed over the years to keep itself in news. and thumb exercises that keep the user hooked. Customers can use online facility for enquiry. Virgin has also installed television sets in college canteens to encourage students to produce content on any subject which is then aired. a collection of SMS lingo and abbreviations. Various excellent value added plans being launched. The microsite is infused with several interactive elements like diagnostic test. d) Publicity Outrageous. f) Getting paid for incoming calls: a source of recharge option for youth. g) Online viral campaign Virgin Mobile has launched an online viral campaign to promote its new µSMS Free After First Three¶ tariff plan under which Virgin Mobile customers can send upto 200 SMSs -. different ways to have fun with one¶s SMS addiction. this viral campaign is an exciting way to interact with them and get them to do interesting activities while . The microsite highlights a web video that chronicles a faux medical condition of living a parallel life on one¶s Virgin Mobile Phone through the use of Short Message Service or SMS and subsequent diagnosis of a girl who is afflicted with the SMS Life Syndrome. Virgin Festival: Virgin Mobile organizes Virgin Music Festivals allowing customers to "Book The Band" by voting for who they want to see in an open show. In return. The microsite is also being supported by a promotional media campaign which comprises a series of web banners that aim to shock a reaction out of users. it invites groups of students for counseling sessions.100 National and 100 Local -daily to any network by paying for the first 3 SMSs on each level (National and Local respectively). flamboyant. and more.

Virgin Mobile gets their customers to top up more often. or twice in one month. ‡ Tie-up with MySpace: Virgin Mobile has tied up with MySpace for providing social networking services. Such insiders are sent free phones and other swag. h) Online/Sales Promotion Internet portal: The official portal of Virgin gives a lively feeling and has a very jazzy look. Virgin Mobile Insiders may be asked to evaluate and provide feedback on a promotion or phone before it is released to the public. ‡ ‡ Online Purchase Schemes Virgin Mobile Insider Program: Used for research and development of new products. It clearly represents the company¶s idea of targeting the youth. By offering promo codes for free minutes. and to reclaim old customers who have not topped up in a while. But such type of a look of the website would definitely keep other age groups away. Such kind of publicity drags the attention of lot of people but at the same time can act as an encouragement for minors to perform the same act.providing a feel of the µhatke¶ brand. Customers by provided instant access to world's largest social networking site at no extra-cost. . you could watch a short commercial and earn a minute of airtime. The fun and cheeky delivery of the texting addict's way of life has helped Virgin to further build a youth connect. i) Events/Publicity Most of the publicity campaigns held by Virgin mobile are highly dramatized as it can be seen from the way Virgin mobile brand was unveiled. This is a win win situation for the customer and Virgin Mobile. He jumped of the 15th storey of the hotel. Analysis of the various online programs launched by Virgin mobile are:‡ Online Participation: Virgin Mobile allows customers to earn free airtime by participation in online advertisements and media. ‡ Free Virgin Mobile Minutes: Virgin mobile releases codes in order to encourage customers to top up more frequently. For example.

CHALLENGES : CUSTOMER ACQUISITION AND RETENTION The company knows that they are trying to position themselves into a very established and competitive market. Such type of events are held to personally involve consumers and hence make the communication more relevant. Virgin mobile has made customer care as one of its differentiation strategy. Company targets only 10% of the above mentioned segment and have plans to acquire and retain them by various innovative propositions. These events are implicit in nature as they indirectly result in µsoft sell¶. some of them arey The tie up with Tata Teleservices enables it to fight competition as the network quality of Tata Teleservices was ranked first by DOT. All customers are personally welcomed to Virgin Mobile. quality. Brand engagement can be the only differentiator. In return. They are providing Innovative. They understand the fact that they cannot start making profit from day one neither they have plans for it. y The customer care personnel are always available to assist and customers were satisfied with the kind of responses which they get form the staff. Using the bandwidth owned by Tata Teleservices.Virgin invites students to be brand ambassadors and request them to sell Virgin merchandise such as T-shirts. Schemes like try before you buy help in creating faith in . According to the patron. game-changing value-added services.´ Various steps that Virgin is taking to add value to the customer are on price. technology and social front. actually helped Virgin in making its presence in the market. y The company is spending huge chunks of money to promote their VAS services. it invites groups of students for counselling sessions. The quality of the network is very good. To set a strong holding in the highly competitive Indian telecom market Virgin Mobile has to market itself as a potential brand. Sir Richard ³We want to deliver a more tailored and relevant offering for a single segment. Virgin has also installed television sets in college canteens to encourage students to produce content on any subject which is then aired. they anticipate to achieve a subscriber base of 5 million in next three years and will make profit afterwards they will be able to break even in three year or so.

The company is spending huge chunks of money to promote their VAS services. Therefore they should try to build up an image that is cool and links with youth but not offending to other segments. Virgin mobiles projects its image as that of a brand for youth which may not go well with the conservative Indian consumer . innovation and exciting new offers will help in devising a differentiation strategy. Vodafone and Reliance are the dominant players.consumers. Finally. Making customers aware about latest pricing will increase its market share in terms of cost effectiveness. . CONCLUSION Virgin Mobile has entered into a very competitive industry where Airtel. to keep up in the highly competitive market. Virgin should try to promote its latest plans more prominently in their advertisements. Getting involved in social activities can help Virgin in projecting a serious and responsible image. Virgin Mobile have taken a µhatke¶ route and launched the brand in the youth segment. A real returns policy allows customers to exchange and replace faulty items in their pack without any hassles. The tie up with Tata Teleservices enables it to fight competition as the network quality of Tata Teleservices was ranked first by DOT. Virgin Mobile faces stiff competition from Reliance CDMA phones.

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