Design as a discipline began its journey with mass-production and industrialization, with a focus on products and goal-oriented tasks such as work and utility. With the emergence of postindustrial society, where efficiency and task-oriented activities became ubiquitous and guaranteed, the state-of-art business and design thinking was challenged by the emotional, personal, and social qualities of products and services. 'Experience', as a theme, emerged to address this challenge of shift from 'products' to 'people'. This thesis aims to inquire into the motivations and consequences of 'experience-oriented design', through the merging of two lenses: design thinking and business strategy. It will investigate how the 'experience' theme can create a positive influence on large-scale business enterprises, using the case of TeliaSonera Finland, a mobile communications service provider in Northern and Eastern Europe. The exploration consists of literature review including design and business fields with research and practice perspectives, analysis of experiences with the customer experience management methodology and user-centred research methods, including contextual interviews and surveys. The inquiry will be concluded with the development of an 'experiential platform', which will be embodied with three implementation examples as Sonera / Red Cross Subscription, Sonera Store Experience Scenarios and a Sonera Experience team. During the design phase, affinity diagrams, concept generation, and scenario development were used extensively to create sub-themes that will enhance the experience strategy of the case company. As the CEM framework suggested, proposed examples illustrated a top-down approach, addressing all the sides of the experiences including customers, employees, designers, and business people, which makes this inquiry significant with its holistic stance.
Customer Experience Management, Experience Design, TeliaSonera Finland, Emotional Value, Experiential Platform. Experience Economy
Table of Contents
Background information 1. Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………………1 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 2.1 2.2 2.3 Experience Economy…………………………………………………………………4 Service Economy is Booming and so as Service Design…………..……4 What are Experience Design & Designed Experiences………………….5 Industry Insight: Experience Design in Nokia…………………………….6 Provoke Senses and Emotions to create Customer Experiences…..7 Customer Experience Management……………………………………………8 Customer Experiences and TeliaSonera Finland…………………………9 Research Questions………………………………………………………………….9 Analyzing the Experiential World of the Customer…………………….11 Building the Experiential Platform…………………………………………..12 Implementing the Experiential Platform…………………………………..13 2.3.1 Designing the Brand Experience…………………………………..….13 2.3.2 Structuring the Customer Interface………………………………….14 2.3.3 Engaging in Continuous Innovation…………………………………15 3. Process & Results………………………………………………………………………….………….16 3.1 Analyzing the Experiential World of the Customer…………………….17 3.1.1 3.1.2 3.1.3 Selection of Target Segment………………………………………….17 Preparation of Survey…………………………………………………..17 Analyzing the Survey Results…………………………………...…..18 126.96.36.199 188.8.131.52 184.108.40.206 220.127.116.11 18.104.22.168 3.1.4 - Analysis of ELISA…………………………………...…..19 - Analysis of DNA………………………………...……....20 - Analysis of SONERA……………………………….…...22 - Survey Results Retail Store Experiences…...….24 - Survey Results Web Experience……………...……26
Building the Experiential Platform……………………….…………..……29 3.2.1 3.2.2 Experiential Positioning…………………………………...……….29 Experiential Value Promise Creation…….……...………..…..31 22.214.171.124 Creation of Values by Using Affinity Diagram….…32 126.96.36.199 Explanation of Values Related to Sonera…………...35 3.2.3 3.2.4 Selecting Implementation Theme……………………………......37 Experiential Platform – “Sonera Better Together”..........38 188.8.131.52 Internal Experience – Employees.........................40 184.108.40.206 External Sonera Experience – Customers..............42 220.127.116.11 External Experience – Business Partners..............44
Implementation Ideas for Better Together platform...................45 3.3-1. 3.3-2. 3.3-3. Idea 1- Sonera Experience Scenarios..............................47 Idea 2- Sonera RedCross Subscription............................55 Idea 3- Sonera Experience Team.....................................59
4. Conclusions & Discussions............................................................................60 References.........................................................................................................63 Appendices........................................................................................................65
“Strategic Use of Design to Enhance Customer Experience: Case Study of TeliaSonera Finland”
This thesis aims to inquire into the motivations and consequences of ‘experience-oriented design’ in large-scale business enterprises by examining the case of TeliaSonera Finland, a mobile communications service provider running a telecommunications business actively in northern and eastern Europe. This inquiry will be holding two lenses, those of design thinking and business strategy, through which to explore the ‘experience’ theme.
Within the last two decades, ‘experience’ has emerged as one of the key themes in the design community, as the field moves from designing for task-oriented activities to richer experiences including emotional, social and ludic qualities. Experience design, which can also be considered an extension and projection of graphic, product and service design fields, deals with moments of interaction between people and brands, products, services and systems. As opposed to other branches of design, experience design takes people and their experiences as its starting point.
The business perspective on the other hand looks at the ‘experience’ theme from a marketing point of view and prefers to name it as ‘customer experience’. Customer experiences are often part of the company’s overall experience strategy, and must be planned, managed and aligned with employee experience in order for them to contribute to the company’s overall branding and position in the market.
In this inquiry, both design thinking and business strategies have been utilized and applied to create TeliaSonera’s experience strategy. Schmitt’s framework on Customer Experience Management has been utilized to construct the company’s experience strategy. During the thesis process both qualitative and quantitative research methods were used, such as contextual interviews and surveys. Collected data were evaluated and used in the design and implementation of the experiential strategy.
The final outcome is the ‘TeliaSonera experiential platform’ that can be characterized as “Better together” motto. The inquiry also suggests three implementation examples for the platform, including a Sonera / Red Cross Subscription, Sonera Store Experience Scenarios and a Sonera Experience team.
The inspiration for conducting this thesis research with TeliaSonera Finland came after completing an IDBM (international design business management) industry project. IDBM is a minor study programme held together with students from the Helsinki School of Economics, Helsinki University of Technology and the University of Art & Design Helsinki (TaiK). During the one-year IDBM industry project, our team’s task was to conduct futures research for TeliaSonera Finland. As a result of the project, together with future scenarios, new service ideas were presented. The results were valued by the company, and this success led to discussions with Meeri Haataja, Business Development Manager from TeliaSonera Finland, concerning an MA thesis furthering this topic. During the discussions, it was stated that Sonera is interested in the benefits of design, and I was asked to make my thesis proposal around the idea of what design thinking and design methodology can contribute to the company. As a result of fruitful discussions with company responsibles, the thesis subject has been titled, “Strategic use of design to enhance customer experience; the case study of TeliaSonera Finland.” The thesis work was tutored by Professor Peter McGrory from TaiK and Jaana Honkonen from TeliaSonera Finland.
This thesis aims to unfold the motivations and ramifications of ‘experience-oriented design’ in large-scale business enterprises by investigating the case of TeliaSonera Finland, a mobile communications service provider and mobile network operator active in northern and eastern Europe as well as Spain. This inquiry will be holding two lenses through which the ‘experience’ theme will be explored: design thinking and business strategy.
The notion of ‘experience’ is becoming very popular in both research and practice (industry), including the design and business arenas. Currently many design researchers and companies are conducting research and developing and comparing tools to enhance user experiences. One recent, significant design research example from is a PhD dissertation entitled “Co-experience” (Battarbee, 2004). In a similar vein, Pine and Gilmore (1999) from the business research side suggested the term ‘customer experience’ as an economic offering in their book entitled Experience Economy. In industry there are several companies in the world considering themselves to be experience-oriented, such as Starbucks and Singapore Airlines. This inquiry will be discussing and utilizing both design thinking and business strategies to fully examine TeliaSonera Finland`s customer experience.
How does the design community approach the ‘experience’ theme? How does design thinking shape the overall practice of experience design? Sanders (2001) defines experiences as moments connected with past memories and future dreams (Fig. 1). Alexander Manu (2007) states that experience happens in moments and each moment has to be linked to another to create a unified whole. These moments must be attractive to capture users’ attention, engaging during users’ interaction and extending into different moments.
Figure 1. Experience domain. Source: Sanders, 2001
Moreover, due to the recent rise of a ‘service economy’, more and more design studios are positioning themselves as service design agencies in order to fulfil market needs. In the academic environment more universities such as the University of Art and Design Helsinki are including service design in their curricula, and offering service design courses to BA level students.
It is also said that we are moving to an ‘experience economy’, where experience is the actual business offering: “elements that create customer experiences can be identified and reproduced, which make them designable” (Shedroff, 2007). As a result, there need to be designers to design experiences, and as more designers are starting to involve themselves with the creation of customer experiences, a new field called Experience Design is emerging (Fig. 2). Shedroff (2007) states that “Experience Design is an approach to creating successful experiences for people in any medium. This approach includes consideration and design in all three spatial dimensions, over time, with all five senses, and in interactivity, as well as involving customer value, personal meaning, and emotional context.”
Figure 2. Shift in between economies (Pine & Gilmore, 1999) and its reflection on the design field.
According to a survey by the European Centre for the Experience Economy (Boswijk, Thijssen & Peelen, 2006), common denominators between experiences are emotions. Experiences start with the senses, and emotions are key. Since most experiences are emotional, before designing customer experience, companies must have a clear idea of which senses to stimulate and which emotions to engage during customer experiences. This planning is directly related to the branding strategy of the company. One example is how Google uses humour as a behaviour in its customer experience: through, for instance, April Fool’s jokes, or the ‘I’m feeling lucky’ button.
“Successful experiences are personal and memorable.”(Pine & Gilmore, 1999) Experience can be transformed into memorabilia: this memorabilia can extend the current moment and connect moments. A small replica of the Eiffel tower in Paris serves as a tool to recall a tourist experience. (Norman, 2005) It is therefore important that during the planning phase of customer experiences this notion of memorabilia must also be planned.
Having talked about the design perspective, how does business research approach the experience theme? From a business point of view, experience refers to the ‘customer experience’. “A customer experience is an interaction between an organization and a customer. It is a blend of an organization`s physical performance, the senses stimulated and emotions evoked, each intuitively measured against customer expectations across all moments of contact” (Shaw & Ivens, 2002). Similar to Alexander Manu`s (2007) definition, the total of experiences links moments of contact, thus creating ‘customer experience’.
Customer experiences are accepted as an economic offering in Pine and Gilmore’s experience economy. According to B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore, “the Experience Economy is an advanced service economy which has begun to sell "mass customization" services similar to theatre, using underlying goods and services as props.” Today we are in the era of a ‘Service Economy’, where services are commoditized as products. One good example of this commoditization is how mobile phones are given away almost for free in exchange for mobile service subscriptions. Another current example is Nokia announcing its further extension into the service arena through OVI. OVI is Nokia`s upcoming sub-brand created for delivering online services and content.
“In order to deliver the total brand promise, it is also increasingly important that the internal employee brand experience is coherent, compelling and aligned with that of the consumers.” (Ardill, 2007) Virgin CEO Richard Branson argues that good employee experiences must be created in order to provide satisfactory customer experiences. (Milligan & Smith, 2002)
Having mapped out both the design and business perspectives; personal, emotional, and memorable are higlighted as critical qualities in order to reach unified and rich experiences. This resulted in three key qualities. 1) Rich experiences exceed people’s expectations, and they always stimulate and evoke emotions in people. 2) Rich experiences have presence and a sense of happening ‘in the moment’, and the touchpoints of moments are always linked to each other. Touchpoints are the points of interaction between the brand and the target audience (Wheeler, 2006) These touchpoint moments must be tempting before the experience, engaging during the experience and memorable after the experience. (Manu, 2007) 3) Rich experiences should subsequently have the capacity to extend their impact between the customer and company with or without the help of memorabilia. These different moments between the customer and company should be aligned with the customer’s overall journey in order to create a seamless experience. A seamless customer experience means that all the experiences around the same brand are consistent and smooth. In creating seamless customer experiences, an employee’s experience must be taken into consideration as well, as previously mentioned.
To further the findings from the design and business perspectives, Schmitt’s Customer Experience Management (CEM) framework was employed to elaborate the TeliaSonera case. The
CEM framework begins with an analysis of the world of the customer and involves five steps. The framework is further detailed in Chapter One, section 1.6.
1.1 The Shift to the Experience Economy
According to Pine and Gilmore, “in the last two hundred years there has been a shift from an Agrarian Economy, based on extracting commodities, to an Industrial Economy based on manufacturing goods; then to a Service Economy based on delivering services, and now to an Experience Economy based on staging experiences.” An apt illustration of these changes is found in coffee. As shown, figure 3, a coffee can be any of these economic offerings; a commodity (costs slightly more than 1€ per kilo), a product (5 and 10 cents per cup), a service (50 cents to a euro per cup), an experience (2€ to 5€ more per cup). (Pine & Gilmore, 1999)
Figure 3. Coffee as 4 Different Economic Offerings, Source: Pine & Gilmore, 1999
The shift is therefore from commodities to goods to services and then to experiences. Today the service economy is booming; companies in the service sector are however needing to use customer experience as a differentiating factor. An oft-cited example is Starbucks, where customers are being connected in a personal, memorable way.
1.2 The Service Economy is Booming and so is Service Design
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, table 1, it is clear that the rate of growth of services as a proportion of the economy has increased especially last two decades. (DIEC, 2007)
Table 1. Growth of Services, Source: IDEC, 2007
Together with the rise of the service economy product designers have a new role in designing services: to create value for the companies. “Service Design is the field concerned with the development of services to meet specific needs. These services may make use of different communication media (including online, telephone, or in-person modes), may or may not be automated, and may or may not use products as part of the service experience.” (Shedroff, 2007)
Figure 4. Progression of Economic Value: Pine & Gilmore, 1999
As seen in Figure 4, when services are mass-customized and tailored to fulfil personal desires of individual customers, services turn into designed experiences. Designed experiences can be used strategically to differentiate from competitors and gain market share. Early experience-oriented companies include Singapore Airlines, Virgin, and Apple.
1.3 What are Experience Design & Designed Experiences
As previously mentioned, the service economy itself is in the process of being commoditized by an experience economy. While everything, technically, is an experience of some sort, there is something important and special to many experiences that make them worth discussing. In particular, Shedroff (2007) claims that “the elements that contribute to superior experiences are knowable and reproducible, which make them designable.” and “Experience Design is an approach to creating successful experiences for people in any medium, including spatial/environmental installations, print products, hard products, services, broadcast images and sounds, live performances and events,
digital and online media, and the like. As previously mentioned, this approach involves various dimensions, senses, time periods, values, meanings, and emotions. ”
In order to explain Experience Design Ardill (2007) provides the example of redesigning a Sunday newspaper. Experience design approach considers the actual user and its moments of contacts with the newspaper. (Fig. 5) How the newspaper can be bought, carried, read and disposed? What are readers motivations and feelings during these moments?
Figure 5. Moments of Contact in Newpaper Experience, Source: Ardill, 1999
1.4 Industry Insight: Experience Design in Nokia
Experience design is a holistic approach to define the customer journey. As an example Nokia is one of few companies aware of this holistic way of thinking in experience design. Nokia`s Head of Brand Visual and Sensorial Experiences Liisa Puukkola defines experience design as the integration of the design language of the product, the feeling of the product, user behaviour, packaging, use contexts and potential future services. Nokia`s aim through experience design is to surprise and give positive feelings to the customers by creating pleasurable and purposeful products. (Sinclair, 2006)
Figure 6. Photos of Nokia Flagship Store Helsinki
1.5 Provoke Senses and Emotions to Create Customer Experiences
According to the above-mentioned survey by the European Centre for the Experience Economy (Boswijk, Thijssen & Peelen, 2006), over 300 people were asked which experiences
actually changed their lives and they will never forget. The answers are mostly in the personal sphere and the experiences which have high emotional impact.
As a process, Experiences mostly begin as perception through the senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste) which usually lead to emotions and in the end to meaning. Since emotions are at the centre of experiences they are the most important factor in customer decisions. Therefore companies should plan the kinds of emotions they want to be associated with and how to keep these emotions consistent throughout the entire experience journey along physical and digital touchpoints. “Customers want and expect to be positively, emotionally, and memorably impacted at every level of their commercial existence.” (Barlow & Maul, 2000) For example, when buying salt in the supermarket, even though the substance is the same, a customer may buy the more expensive one because its package is more appealing and therefore gives her a nicer feeling.
Today sensorial experiences are not discovered by many brands but in the future this will be the key to create emotional contact and loyalty. (Gobé, 2001) Therefore brands must create their own differentiated taste, smell, touch, visuals and sound. One thinks of the smell of coffee when entering Starbucks, or the smell of a new car. An especially powerful example for many global consumers is the taste and smell of Coca-Cola; this is augmented with the sound of the bottle opening, the texture on the bottle, or its shape with its distinct, red Coca-Cola label. (Lindström, 2005)
The movie industry as well carefully studies the emotional reactions of focus groups to help with film-editing sequencing and even plot endings. Its purpose is to create an emotional impact on movie viewers so that large numbers will return to the theatre to see the film over and over again, tell all their friends about it and then buy a DVD copy for themselves as well as all its accompanying merchandise. (Barlow & Maul, 2000)
Sergio Zyman, former chief marketing officer of Coca-Cola, stated, “Emotional branding is about building relationships; it is about giving a brand and a product long-term value.” Zyman went on to say that, “Emotional branding is based on that unique trust that is established with an audience. It elevates purchases based on need to the realm of desire. The commitment to a product or an institution, the pride we feel upon receiving a gift of a brand we love or having a positive shopping experience in an inspiring environment where someone knows our name or brings an unexpected gift or coffee – These feelings are at the core of Emotional Branding.” (Zyman cited in Gobé, 2001) While customers may think logically, they buy emotionally, and since senses usually lead to emotions, brands must have a clear strategy to evoke emotions through the senses.
1.6 Customer Experience Management
As defined by Professor Bernd Schmitt, “Customer Experience Management (CEM) is the process of strategically managing a customer’s entire experience with a product or a company. CEM has a broader approach to how a company and its products can be related to a customer’s life. Then, after a better understanding of the customer’s life, CEM connects every touchpoint and calls for integration and common customer experiences.”
CEM is not only focusing on sale but also focuses on before and after the sale as opportunities in which to provide value to customers by delivering information, service, and interactions that result in desired experiences. (Schmitt, 2000)
Schmitt describes the CEM framework in the following five steps:
1. Analyzing the experiential world of the customer 2. Building the platform 3. Designing the brand experience 4. Structuring the customer interface 5. Engaging in continuous innovation “Customer experiences are stories: small scenarios of experience. Customers show up at places of business with their own unique histories, remembering events, many times without conscious awareness, that influence the reality of their current experience.” (Barlow & Maul, 2000) The key word in CEM is therefore management, the need for competent interaction with total customer experience.
1.7 Customer Experience and TeliaSonera Finland
Sonera, the oldest telecommunications provider in Finland, was established in 1917 as a state organization called Telegraph Office Finland. Ten years later it merged with Post of Finland and The Post and Telecommunications of Finland was established. Post and Telecommunications of Finland (PT Finland) had a monopoly until deregulation in 1992, when the state granted licenses to competing operators. In 1994 PT Finland divided into two companies, Finland Post and Telecom Finland. During 1997 Telecom Finland was partially privatized and its name changed to Sonera. In 2002 Sonera merged with the Swedish Telecommunications Company Telia and TeliaSonera was established. (TeliaSonera, 2007)
Today it is the market leader in Finland. Sonera’s main strategy is to be customer-centred. (TeliaSonera, 2007) However, competition in the mobile business is increasing. Compared to ten years ago, today more consumer products are being replaced by services, as for example new mobile phones being given away for free by service providers. This may be one result of the transition phase between product and service economies. Today the prices of mobile communication services are decreasing. These price wars will likely continue until the market reaches its limits. In the end service offerings could be commoditized into ‘experiences’. To take the advantage of this Sonera could reposition itself as an experience provider. These experience offerings must be emotional, memorable, personal, and consistent along touchpoints.
1.8 Research Questions
The main research question of this thesis is the following: How can strategic design enhance TeliaSonera`s customer experience? The following sub-questions will also be addressed:
1. What does Sonera look like in the minds of its customers compared to its competitors? 2. Where can Sonera be positioned in the market, in order to create better experiences? 3. What emotions could or should be delivered during customer experience? 4. What could the customer experience platform be in order to align experiences around the brand? 5. What short-term actions could be taken to deliver ‘great’ customer experiences?
After a brief literature review, the Customer Experience Management CEM model (Schmitt, 2000) was selected to apply to the Sonera case. Before applying to the case company, the CEM framework’s five steps were grouped and transformed into three phases: Analysis, Building the experiential platform and Implementation. These changes were made in order to explain and apply the framework easily to Sonera. (Fig. 7) In this chapter these three phases will be explained.
Figure 7. Application of framework into Sonera case.
2.1 Analyzing the Experiential World of the Customer
The first step involves understanding the world of the customers. Designers typically start the design process by researching user behaviours and motivations; similarly, to be customer-oriented, customers and their worlds must be studied. The first step is identifying the target customer. This depends on the company business strategy and which segment they want to and can serve. When the customer segment is defined, their world is explored through the study of both past experiences and future expectations. The second step is the creation of experiential values and platform. These values are the brand’s core values and they will be delivered during the experience. The third step is to implement and track the experience along the touchpoints.
During the application of the first step to the Sonera case, a number of questionnaires were used to collect data concerning the positioning of Sonera in consumers’ minds. Surveys lasting approximately 15 minutes were prepared and sent via email to MA students in Helsinki: from the University of Art & Design Helsinki TAIK, the Helsinki School of Economics HKKK and Helsinki University of Technology TKK. This segment (18-30 years old, university-educated, familiar with technology, and working part-time) was selected according to discussions with Sonera. In all 25
participants responded. Questions concerned issues with existing brand experience and Sonera’s customer interface comparing with its main competitors DNA and Elisa.
At the same time as the surveys were sent out to the respondents, in order to better evaluate the Sonera experience, five interviews were held with Sonera employees. Two of the employees were from Design & Usability, one employee from Customer Service and two from the Business Development Department. The interviews lasted one hour and were recorded by voice recorder. The main aim was to evaluate the internal Sonera experience, and how the brand is positioned in the minds of the employees.
2.2 Building the Experiential Platform
Building the experiential platform is the strategy-building phase of the CEM model. The experiential platform connects strategy creation and its implementation. Platform building includes the following tasks: first, experiential positioning of the company; second, creation of experiential value promises; and third, creating and deciding upon the overall implementation theme which will be realized through different touchpoints.
1- The experiential positioning describes where the brand positions itself in the market; this positioning depends on the corporate strategy. During the discussions it was stated that Sonera wants to gain younger customers and refresh the brand. Therefore research was conducted among MA students of the three afore mentioned universities.
2- Experiential Value Promise describes which values will be transferred to customers during the experience. These values must be part of the strategy of the brand in order to help the brand to attain its desired position in the market. (Schmitt, 2000)
3- The overall implementation theme summarizes the style and content of the core message that the company would use across its entire implementation programme. The core message will be implemented to enhance brand experience, the customer interface and future product development. (Schmitt, 2000)
2.3 Implementation of the Platform
Implementation occurs in the latter phase of the CEM platform process. According to Schmitt (2000) the experiential platform must be applied first to the brand experiences, second to the customer interface and third to the continuous innovation, product development process of the company (Fig. 8).
Figure 8. Implementation of the Platform , Source: Schmitt, 2000
2.3.1 Designing the Brand Experience
After the experiential platform is created, the platform must be implemented into the brand experience. In brief, the brand experience includes: the look & feel of the brand, such as logos, signage, packaging, and retail spaces, product experience, and experiential communication, appropriate experiential messages in advertising offline and online, to complete the brand experience.
1- Product experience: The product provides experiential and functional values to customers. Essentially these values are the key part of the experiential platform. (Schmitt, 2000) For instance, the Apple and B&O brands are built around their product experiences, which are very consistent across the products and deliver the key values of the companies. In Sonera case this refers to the Service experience.
2- The Look & Feel (also referred to as brand identity): As stated in the introduction, customers’ motives in purchasing are often emotionally driven and decisions are based on the visual experiential elements rather than product or utility features alone. The look and feel includes the visual identity (name, logo and signage), packaging, store design and website design. Look & Feel also supports the customer interface to create a coherent experience. (Schmitt, 2000)
3- Experiential Communications stands for the ad strategy of the company. This relies on the experiential values and positioning. Emotions play an important role in delivering the message to the customers.
2.3.2 Structuring the Customer Interface
Secondly, after considering the brand experience, the experiential platform must also be implemented in the customer interface. The customer interface is the touchpoint where physical and/or virtual interactions occur. This includes a variety of exchanges and contact points with the customer: examples can be face-to-face interaction in a store, during an exhibition at a fair centre or via a phone service. It is important to structure the content and style of this dynamic interaction in order to give the customer the desired experience. Customer interface deals with the way the company greets, guides, provides information and support before, during and after an interaction sequence. Elements of the customer interface are the following:
1- Face-to-face: Face-to-face includes direct interaction and exchanges between customers and employees in the same physical spaces. In the example of a retail store, the customer interface must be aligned with the brand experience (look & feel) of the company (Schmitt, 2000), For example in McDonald’s, speed is visible both through the interior design and behaviours of the employees during the service. It is a suitable example of alignment of customer interface with brand experience. In the Sonera case, face-to-face interactions occur mainly in retail outlets.
2- Personal-but-distant. Personal-but-distant includes interactions that occur not in the same physical space but still personal, such as over the phone or fax. Like the face-to-face interface, this interface is useful to serve individual customers (Schmitt, 2000). In the Sonera case this interface refers to the phone service for customer care.
3- Electronic. The electronic interface stands for interactions happening on digital channels such as email or sms (Schmitt, 2000),
2.3.3 Engaging in Continuous Innovation
Finally, the experiential platform must be implemented in the innovation process, as Schmitt states, "...engaging in continuous innovation. Innovations include anything that improves end customers’ personal lives and business customers’ work life and can change from major inventions to small innovations in the product’s form, literally and metaphorically. Innovations can attract new customers; most of the time, however, they build customer equity by helping a company sell more products to existing customers. Innovations of all kinds need to be planned, managed, and marketed so that they improve the customer experience."
Since a good customer experience is the critical success factor, a company seeking a breakthrough innovation should integrate the customer experience into the product development process.
Process & Results
3.1 Analyzing the Experiential World of the Customer
During the application of the CEM framework the first task was to analyze and understand the world of Sonera customers in order to define their current experience. The research question is: “What does Sonera look like in the minds of customers, compared to its competitors?” As a research method, online surveys were prepared. 3.1.1 Selection of Target Segment
According to recent market studies, many Sonera customers are from the baby-boomer generation, aged 40 and over. During the first month of this thesis, there were ongoing discussions on how to gain the attention and interest of a younger generation as well as retaining the existing markets. Therefore with my tutor Jaana Honkonen from Sonera, the scope of the thesis was limited to the younger segment, aged 18-30, to which I also belong. For the research, BA or MA-level university students from the University of Art & Design Helsinki (TAIK), Helsinki University of Technology (TKK) and Helsinki School of Economics (HKKK) were selected. The attributes common to all participants is that they were Finnish, aged 18-30, familiar with technology, and a bachelor’s or master’s student from the Helsinki area; some were also working part-time as well as studying. 3.1.2 Preparation of Surveys
During the preparation of the surveys, Helsinki School of Economics expert Sami Kajalo was consulted. Questions were placed in order from general to specific. The survey involved both multiple choice, ranking and open-ended type questions. Through the questions, participants’ opinions, experiences and expectations were elicited about the three main Finnish mobile operators, DNA, Elisa and Sonera. (Survey can be found on Appendix A). By being asked to compare the brands according to various aspects, participants positioned the brands. The surveys had been prepared in Microsoft Word and sent via email to the student list of TKKK, TAIK and HKKK. The survey reached more than 100 students. The expected completion time of the survey was approximately 15-20 minutes. It included six sections:
A) GENERAL INFORMATION: Simple, general questions were asked in this section such as which mobile operator the respondent was using and what motivated the selection of that particular brand.
B) LOOK & FEEL: This section investigated each brand’s visual language and its effect, through for instance how the brand was perceived and what kinds of emotions were engaged through various touchpoints.
C) PRODUCTS & SERVICES: This section questioned how new service offerings were experienced by the participants.
D) EXPERIENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS: This section focused on the online and offline communication ad strategy of the brands. The aim of this section was to discover how brands are positioning themselves through their communication strategy.
E) CUSTOMER SERVICE: Customer service experiences and expectations were sought, such as the first contact option consumers take when there are problems: digital, store or phone service?
F) COMPARISONS: The last section explored the participants’ main motivations when selecting a mobile operator. 3.1.3 Analyzing the Survey Results
A total of 25 participants responded after three weeks’ time. Twenty-three were Finnish and two were non-Finnish. Fourteen were female and eleven male; seven participants were between 18-25 years old, seventeen were 25-30 years old and one participant was over 30 years old. The distribution of each mobile service among the participants as customers was as follows: Elisa 7, Saunalahti 6, Sonera 5, DNA 3, Telefinland 3, and Kolumbus 1.
18.104.22.168 Analysis of ELISA When asked the first keywords associated with Elisa, most participants repeated, “Elisa is neutral, Finnish, refreshing, friendly, basic, innovative.” Secondly all participants remembered Elisa`s brand colour, blue. Most associated the colour blue with Finnishness. When participants were asked to imagine Elisa as an animal, the answers were diverse, from reindeer, Finnish cow, Finnish bear to dolphin, or stupid elephant. Common attributes in these animals are that they are big, flexible and friendly. Therefore, this may be the image that Elisa wants to deliver: established, big but flexible, and friendly. Regarding the question asked about the associations to the name Elisa, participants discussed that it’s a Finnish girl`s name and it gives the feeling of a girl from the next village. On Elisa`s TV advertisements, two ordinary-looking Finns, Sauli & Pauli, are the main characters. Some participants found these advertisements Finnish, nostalgic and funny.
Figure 9. Animal Abstraction of Elisa Brand
If these pieces are connected together, it could be said that Elisa has a theme of “Finnishness”. All the activities around the brand support the theme Finnishness, from the Finnish girl’s name Elisa to the colours blue and white; from Sauli & Pauli, to the reindeer figures used in the stores. Using a Finnish brand is a very important decision criterion in a young country like Finland. Elisa is emphasizing Finnishness as a strategy against Sonera, since the year 2002 when Sonera merged with Swedish mobile operator Telia.
If we analyze how Elisa stimulates our senses, Elisa’s brand, theme and music draw attention. Elisa’s theme music, played at the end of every Elisa TV advertisement, is also a ring tone available to customers. This is very similar thinking to Nokia, who has used this approach for quite some time. Even without the physical device being seen, Nokia phones can be identified through their default Nokia ring tone. Elisa has taken a similar approach and branded itself through sound. This is a clever way to extend into customers’ daily life from the small mobile phone screen. It supports the Elisa experience and creates a link from television to everyday life.
Regarding the emotions that Elisa evokes, during the survey many participants stated “neutral emotions” connected to the brand. As long as Elisa wants to be flexible and friendly, it does not want to go in any extreme direction. Through its ad strategy it refers to nostalgia and ordinary people from Finland. Participants’ comments on the TV ads included that, “There is a sense of friendship, simplicity and humour.” The elements on Finnishness including the blue brand colour fit perfectly together in Elisa. Moreover experiences are integrated successfully from one touchpoint to another; for example graphical elements used on the website are visible in the stores as well.
Table 2. Strengths and weaknesses analysis of Elisa
Analysis of DNA
During the survey the most associated keywords with the DNA brand were cheap, funny, young, teen, energetic, unreliable and active. Regarding DNA’s logo and name, similar answers were repeated, such as cheap, active, dynamic, and young.
When participants were asked to abstract the DNA brand as an animal, the responses were mainly small, cute animals, such as a ‘pocket’ dog or an overly active squirrel. Common behaviours to these animals are that they are both weak and unreliable, and on the other hand very energetic and active. It can be said that these abstractions describe the DNA brand well, since it carries quite a young image and offers a cheap service.
DNA’s advertisement strategy was described mainly as striking, aggressive, funny and annoying. DNA is very focused on its segment so some may perceive the brand as annoying.
Figure 10. Animal Abstraction of DNA Brand
Considering the results of the survey, DNA’s experiential theme could be described as “forever young”. The brand’s overall strategy is directly derived from its target segment, teenagers and “wannabe” teens. There is also strong contrast and dynamism in the DNA colours of pink, yellow and black. The colours are bright and eye-catching. However, they may become tiring to look at after some time.
By checking its online site, advertisement campaigns, and look & feel the DNA brand seems to be consistent in applying the theme “forever young”. One example is that most employees in DNA stores are aged 18-25. The look & feel of DNA’s website is very trendy and dynamic. However one weakness is, due to the company being relatively new and its low-price (no-frill) positioning, survey participants did not consider DNA to be as reliable as Sonera or Elisa. Most thought that it did not have good coverage and associated its cheap image with a low quality service experience.
Table 3. Strengths and weaknesses analysis of DNA
As a strategy DNA could keep its theme, but the brand might reposition itself from its unreliability and low quality aspects to more high quality associations. Or even DNA can create sub brand opposite to DNA brand targeting for only elder people.
Analysis of SONERA
Many participants first associated Sonera with keywords such as expensive, boring, engineers, reliable, big and traditional. When participants were asked to abstract Sonera as an animal, the answers were moose, buffalo, whale etc. Common attributes to these animals are that they are usually large, strong, powerful, scary, or unfriendly. Sonera’s colour of red engages emotions and memories such as aggression, Christmas, and royalty. Since Sonera is a continuation of Telecom Finland, most of the participants said that Sonera is reliable. However, the most common opinion among the participants was that Sonera is expensive, established, big and reliable, but far from customers.
In comparing all the participants’ answers and looking from a higher level, Sonera’s theme is slightly vague. Sonera’s theme is as not clear along the brand in the way that its main competitor Elisa’s is clear and consistent.
Animal Abstraction of the Sonera Brand
It is also difficult to say that Sonera stimulates the senses and engages emotions. Moreover when questions about the logo were asked, two participants said the Sonera logo with its arc looks like an unhappy face emoticon. One participant recalled that, “Sonera is expensive and fires people.” This is an example illustrating the effect of a company’s strategy on its brand image. In conclusion, similar to Elisa, Sonera targets all segments and does not have focused segments like DNA. Moreover, compared to Elisa, Sonera is vague in its overall theme.
Table 4. Strengths and weaknesses analysis of Sonera
Survey Results - Retail Store Experiences
When participants recalled their previous experiences in mobile operator stores, the look & feel of the store and employee behaviours were criticized most. These criticisms were not specific to any brand; rather they were complaints about all three brands.
Concerning the Look and Feel of the Stores, it was said that the interiors were usually dull and badly designed. The employee clothing was not consistent with each other, nor with the other brand elements, giving a messy image. In many stores, instead of real phones, mock-ups were presented.
There were also major criticisms about employee behaviour in stores. This refers to the employee’s technical knowledge and communication skills with the customers. During the survey, some claimed that the employees knew the technology so well that the customer did not understand and felt insulted. On the other hand other participants said that employees did not have enough technical knowledge about phone models. Since every customer has a different level of technological knowledge and interest, employees should communicate more according to the customers’ needs. Moreover there could be different types of employees for different types of customers.
Another issue was that customers do not trust employees. They perceived a traditional sellercustomer relationship where the aim was only to sell. One example from the survey described how someone’s mother had just bought an expensive 3G phone, even though she was not even able to send an SMS. It has been stated in emotional branding (Gobe, 2001) that interaction between customer and seller must turn into a relationship where helping and understanding is the main issue.
Since there were equal numbers of positive and negative comments on each brand, it was not possible to comment specifically on any particular retail outlet or chain. After collecting the survey results, I visited DNA, Elisa and Sonera retail stores situated in central Helsinki. The employees were friendly and communicative. Below are my comments and comparisons following my visits in February 2007.
Figure 12. View from Sonera Retail Store, Helsinki, Feb 2007
Figure 13. View from Elisa Retail Store, Helsinki, Feb 2007
Figure 14. View from DNA Retail Store, Helsinki, Feb 2007
In Sonera retail stores (Fig. 12) there are usually two employees working and both of them are male. The interior design represents the brand’s look and feel. The employees were friendly during the visit.
Elisa stores (Fig. 13) usually have a minimum of two employees of different ages and genders. Having a female employee might be an advantage in attracting female customers with little technology knowledge. In stores there are real phones for customers to try. Moreover there is a water cooler for customers. Store windows display the same graphical elements as on the website.
DNA stores (Fig. 14) are visible via their striking brand colours. Employees are usually in their early twenties so that they can easily communicate with their young customers. Phone mock-ups are presented instead of real phones. The design is dynamic and consistent with the look and feel of the brand. 22.214.171.124 Survey Results - Web Experiences
Concerning the web experience of each brand, participants did not mention any major issues. However, simplicity and structure are crucial to a better experience. Participants wanted to have simple and clear navigation, in order to pay bills or check subscriptions. Below are the screenshots of each brand’s website during Christmas 2006.
Figure 15. Index page of DNA 21 12 2006
The look and feel is consistent with the overall image. A picture of a middle-aged “wannabe teen” woman is used on the front page. Pink is used in the entire site.
Figure 16. Index page of Elisa 21 12 2006
Elisa has a simple interface design with clear graphics and sections. Each section is separated by different colours. On the image Elisa`s Finnish reindeer cartoon is celebrating the New Year.
Figure 17. Index page of Sonera 21 12 2006
Sonera has a family picture on the front page. Similar to Elisa, phone, TV and internet sections are separated from each other. Sonera has more text than its competitors. Mainly the colour red is used on the site.
When positioning the brands, Elisa`s theme “Finnishness” and DNA`s “forever young” is visible through different elements of the brand. On the other hand Sonera is more vague in its positioning. Participants stated that Sonera and Elisa have the most reliable history. Today prices and coverage are still an important factor in customer decisions. In the future if prices reach their lowest limits, experiences and emotions might be the differentiator.
This research study had its own limitations due to the number of participants and their age segment. It would be unfair to generalize the results. However, this survey included both qualitative and quantitative data. All the survey data was evaluated and brands were placed into a ranking scale in order to visualize and compare them. During the evaluation of the data, the survey results were combined with my own intuition and understanding of each brand.
In Figure 18 it can be seen how the DNA, Sonera and Elisa brands are relatively positioned at the end of the survey. Sonera is traditional, old, large, serious, old-fashioned and reliable. DNA, however, is young, small, friendly and modern, but unreliable. Conversely Elisa is relatively younger, friendlier and more modern than Sonera. Moreover Elisa and Sonera are both established and reliable.
Figure 18. Survey Result, Positioning of DNA, Elisa and Sonera.
3.2 Building the Positioning
3.2.1 Experiential Positioning After analyzing Sonera and its competitors, the next step was to determine where Sonera should be positioned in the future. Five employees from different departments were interviewed during this step in order to understand Sonera’s internal experience. Interviewees were selected and contacted together with tutor Janna Honkonen. The names and the positions of the interviewees are Mika Jussi Mäkelä, Consumer research; Tommi Anttila, Business Development manager; Mihael Cankar, Interaction designer; Pia Bonnici, Business Development manager; and Rami Salminen, Art Director. The interviews lasted one hour and were recorded by using a voice recorder. Similar to the questionnaire phase, Sonera and its competitors were compared during the interviews. The main aim of this study was to evaluate Sonera from its own employees’ eyes, in order to evaluate where Sonera was yesterday, where it is today and where it would be in the future mobile operator business.
Interviewees supported the survey findings. Interviewees stated clearly Elisa’s and DNA’s positioning strategies as Elisa attempting to be a Finnish and friendly brand, and DNA aiming to be cheap and no-frills for the teen customer segment. All employees mentioned that Sonera is a traditional operator with a definitely reliable image in the market. This was also found during the surveys. Also similar to the survey results, employees found Sonera expensive and thought that Sonera is no longer a market leader in developing new technologies.
As a corporate strategy, every interviewee agreed that Sonera needs to be customer-centred. For instance Tommi Anttila described his ideal brand: “What I don’t like today is that we need to be more innovative, more ability to change, we should be customer-focused, not so much technologically focused; How to get elements in [the] Sonera brand that we do care for our customers and what kind of services they like to use, combined with reliability, would be ideal”. To be customer-centred, Rami Salminen emphasized that technology and innovation must be humanized; in his own words, “in the future, instead of going and saying you get this and this phone with a lot of technical details, we need to come up with new methods both to use and to present technology easier than today. Today a lot of people don’t understand the tech side of it. We have to explain to people more the human side of technology. For example instead of saying short message service ‘SMS’, we should say 160 letters of message to the customers.”
Emotions and feelings in Sonera were also discussed together with the employees during the interviews. Pia Bonicci said that today the situation is more selling-oriented and does not include positive emotions. In her own words: “Of course in shops, sellers don’t have time, I think there should be both a selling person and showing person to show and explain.” Bonicci also stated that Sonera must use the power of internet communities, since it is so easy to share positive and negative experiences on internet forums.
The interviewees painted very similar portraits of Sonera as in the surveys when asked to describe Sonera as a human. Interviewees referred to a middle-aged, male, serious businessman or engineer. In the end employees agreed that Sonera must be flexible, friendlier and customer-centred.
Figure 19. Photos of interviewees
Interviewees also found Sonera`s image slightly too traditional. While having a traditional image, Sonera must refresh itself to attract younger customers. Interviewees appreciated the thesis scope and previous survey conducted among the younger segment. Tommi Anttila said, “We have a higher market share in the market segment aged 40 and up. We should get young customers definitely. I would say that it is a key challenge to gain more by keeping existing ones.”
Later discussions led to the issue of sub-branding. A sub-brand is a product or service brand that has its own name and visual identity to differentiate it from the parent brand. (brandchannel, 2007) Either Sonera could focus on one specific market segment by using a sub-brand or Sonera would serve for all segments. Another complaint from employees concerned Sonera’s pricing strategy. It was a common feeling for all the interviewees that in some situations customers are not sure how much they are paying and for what.
In a nutshell, during this phase, it was found that Sonera must change its serious, distant customer relationship. Instead it must be more friendly, modern and reaching out to younger customers as well as existing ones. These ideas were combined and Sonera was repositioned in the previous ranking scale. The figure 20 shows the repositioning of Sonera, which was used as a basis for further phases of this study.
Figure 20. Future Experiential Positioning of Sonera. 3.2.2 Experiential Value Promise Creation The Experiential Value Promise describes which values will be transferred to customers during the experience. These values must be part of the brand strategy in order to gain the desired position in the market. (Schmitt, 2000) As explained in the previous section, Sonera could reposition itself closer to the customers. Before creating new ways to be closer to customers, however, Sonera’s values must be defined. These values should also be aligned with each other and must be delivered consistently through all touchpoints of the brand. These values can be both emotional and sensuous. As a result these values will help Sonera to be friendlier, younger and more modern. Therefore these experiential values are the bones of the experiential platform and the new Sonera experience. During this phase, the survey results and employee interviews were evaluated by using an affinity figure process. Affinity Diagram: Affinity diagramming is a common tool to increase creativity during brainstorming sessions. When issues are complex to review and difficult to interpret, an affinity diagram can be used (leanyourcompany, 2007). Affinity diagramming allows large numbers of ideas to be sorted into groups for analysis. The process involves six steps: 1. Arrange a brainstorming meeting 2. Write / draw ideas and issues on post-it notes or cards
3. Gather post-it notes/cards into a single location (e.g. a desk or wall) 4. Sort the ideas into groups based on participants thoughts. 5. Title each group with a description of what the group refers to and place the name at the top of each 6. Capture and discuss the themes or groups and how they may relate. If there is any relation create super groups and title them.
126.96.36.199 Creation of New Values by using Affinity Diagrams:
Firstly, important sentences and quotes from both interviews and questionnaires were extracted and written onto the post-its. Different coloured post-its were used for each interviewee and one colour for all questionnaires (See Appendix B). Later post-its were scattered into groups depending on the relations with each other. After the groups were formed, each group was given a title (Fig. 22). For instance, sentences such as, “As working here things can be very slow sometimes,” were grouped together with sentences such as, “Sonera is slow”, “When we are doing something it usually takes quite a long time” and “the people buy things from the operator who gets to the market first”. Conversely examples such as, “I don’t like long waiting times in stores” were entitled Fast. In the end all sentences were grouped, and all groups were titled depending on their contents (Fig. 22). As a result, there were twelve titles: Positive & Optimistic, Friend, Caring, Warm, Finnish, Together, Inspiring, Updated & Trendy, Fast, Simple, Straightforward, and Reliable. In the next step, these keywords were grouped once more to form super groups. Later the super groups were titled by evaluating the relations between the keywords. The titles of the super groups were Emotional, Competitive and Industrial values (Fig. 21).
Figure 21. Sonera Experiential Value Pyramid
As emotions are the key part of experiences, emotional values were placed at the core of experiential values. Moreover since many customers buy emotionally and justify logically, emotional
values are most critical in purchasing decisions and in keeping loyal customers. However emotional values are often difficult to measure. The second part of the pyramid is the competitive values, ‘inspiring’ and ‘updated & trendy’, which Sonera must have in order to compete and innovate in the market.
On the base of the pyramid, industry values were placed. Mobile service providers must have values such as ‘reliable’, ‘fast’, ‘simple’ and ‘straightforward’ in order to exist in the mobile communications market. Industry values are more visible and measurable. In the example of Fast, it is possible to measure how long a customer waits on the phone line. Similarly how fast the customer email is answered through the web system is also measurable.
Figure 22. Affinity Diagram and Experiential Values
188.8.131.52 Explanation of Yalues Related to Sonera Caring: As a value Caring was repeated many times in the interviews and survey. In order to be customer-centred, Sonera needs to take “caring” as an emotional value. However the concept of caring must be taken in at a broader level. It must be utilized so that Sonera cares for employees, customers, the environment, Finland and world issues. For example, in commercial videos, the internet-based company Google shows how employees are treated in “Google plex” and how the food and sport facilities are arranged.
Positive: As stated in the book Emotional Design (Norman, 2005), people work better when they are in a positive mood. Since Finland has dark, cold and long winters, positivism could be one of the points of difference for the new Sonera experience. Positivism must also be visible inside the company. For example employee seminars can be held about being positive.
Friend: One of the key values in emotional branding is to turn services into relationships. (Gobe, 2001) It means that helping one other is at the centre of the relationship. In the examples of Google and Flickr, the business idea was to first make a community around the brand, increase loyalty and business would follow. In the long run this relationship can benefit both partners. It was stated during the interviews and surveys that in the stores Sonera staff are not friendly and they are merely trying to sell product rather than offering help. Good friends listen to each other, care for each other’s feelings, are trustworthy, give gifts, joke, share sad moments and enjoy life together. Having Sonera as a friend can be an apt description of the new Sonera approach. Together: “Togetherness” represents the main function of Sonera, which is to connect and bring people together. Warmth: Warmth has been a Sonera value from the first day the Sonera brand was created. According to the survey, it presently cannot be said that Sonera is warm. This value can also be delivered through the senses, through for example a heated air wall while entering the Sonera store. Alternatively during the cold wintertime, the smell of hot coffee could fill the stores. Finnish: During the interviews it was stated that Finnishness has a great effect on the brand. Finnish people tend to prefer and protect their own brands over foreign ones. For this reason it is important to keep the brand as Finnish as possible. Inspiring: Mobile service provider companies usually inspire customers by providing cuttingedge technology. However as mentioned by Rami Salonen, “inspiring should not only be technically inspiring but also humanized. Therefore Sonera could inspire its customers in a more human way”.
Updated & trendy: Sonera can update its current traditional image into a more modern and younger version. Currently the brand is mainly associated with its old customers. Branding must follow trends, be up-to-date and refresh itself regularly. Holidays, seasons, fashion trends and societal changes must be projected into the Sonera brand. Moreover the Sonera experience must be refreshed regularly so that customer expectations can be met and even exceeded. Fast: The concept of ‘fast’ can be both measurable and abstract. How rapidly are customers reached in the stores? How quickly does customer service pick up the phone? How fast can products be released to the market from the first day the project started? ‘Fast’ can be implemented in the customer interface, brand experience, and the continuous development phase. Straightforward: Being honest and straightforward is very critical in order to gain customer loyalty. However during the interviews it was stated many times that some customers are not sure about the prices of services, such as mobile internet usage prices.
Simple: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” claimed Leonardo da Vinci. As has been accepted by many companies, simplicity is key to customer satisfaction. Simplicity is also currently one of TeliaSonera’s values. However today, it is not easy to see simplicity in many Sonera touchpoints.
3.2.3 Selecting the Implementation Theme: Following the creation of the experiential values, the next step was to select the implementation theme of the experiential platform. As described in the methodology section, the overall implementation theme summarizes the style and content of the core message that the company will use across all implementations. (Schmitt, 2000) From the twelve keywords, “Togetherness” was chosen as a common theme for the platform. The reason why “Togetherness” was selected is because it represents the main function of Sonera, connecting and bringing people together.
customers + friends (Service point of view)
Sonera customers are always connected together (virtually) with their relatives and friends through Sonera services.
customers + employees (Product development)
Sonera employees work together with customers in order to design for them.
employees + employees (Management)
In order to create successful employee experiences, employees from different departments must work together.
The theme of the platform is “better together”, as it connects customers, employees and business partners. Therefore, all of the emotional, competitive and industrial values are central to the “better together” platform.
3.2.4 Experiential Platform
“Sonera, better together”
After selecting the theme for the experiential platform, the next step was building the platform. During this task the main challenge was to keep both internal and external experience parallel to each other. Internal experience is the experience of employees. External experience involves customers and business partners.
The platform was built by integrating the main elements observed and digested from the literature review, questionnaires and interviews. As previously mentioned, experiential values are at the core of the Platform and will be delivered during the experience. Looking from a higher level, there are three main partners with whom Sonera interact: internal employees, external customers and business partners. These partners also interact with each other; Sonera customers interact with Sonera business partners and also with employees. Therefore the experience must be the same among all these partners (Fig. 23).
Figure 23. Sonera, better together platform.
The main advantage of the platform is that it can be used as a strategic tool to create more ideas. By connecting the experiential values with internal and external partners and merging with subthemes, new questions can be produced. For example if the following keywords were selected from the platform, such as “Caring” as an emotional value, “Employees” as a partner and “enjoy together” as a subtheme, these three keywords can be transformed into a question: “How can Sonera show that it cares for its employees by making them enjoy their work?” More of these questions can
be generated from the “better together” platform and they can be used to track and measure existing experience.
Another example question can be generated by selecting “Warm” and “Finnish” as values, “customers” as a subject and “be together” as a subtheme. The question can then be, “How can we transfer our values of Finnishness and warmth to the customers through the face-to-face customer interface?” These questions can be asked during the idea generation phases, or later to the customers in order to track experience. In the following section are more question examples created using the platform.
o o o
How can we create a warm and positive work environment inside the company? How can a fast, warm and updated feeling be created in the retail store experience? How can Finnishness and Friendliness be visible through social activities under the “live together” subtheme?
How can Sonera create ideas fast, when its employees work together with customers?
o o o
How can we create friendships between employees? How can we make it visible that Sonera is a Finnish company? How can we keep all departments aligned with each other and keep the company together?
Although it is not necessary that all experiential values be delivered at once, all values must be placed at different parts of the customer journey. Likewise, even though experiential positioning and experiential value creation are both outside-in processes, implementation of the platform starts with employees and is an inside-out process. Virgin CEO Richard Branson explains it as follows: “I create the best experience for my employees and they deliver the best experience to the customers.” (Milligan & Smith, 2002) For this reason it is very crucial that implementation begins from inside the company. Experiential values are at the centre of implementation. 184.108.40.206 Internal Experience - Employees Learn together: From Schmitt’s CEM framework, the “learn together” subtheme refers to “continuous innovation”. This subtheme has three different aspects. One is between employees and customers, one between employees, and the last between different departments.
Learn together from customers: A customer-centred approach requires higher involvement of customers in the innovation process. This kind of approach is called participatory design, where actual users join in the process of designing. This method includes tools such as video observations, user diaries etc.
Learn together from other departments: Sometimes companies suffer from ill communication between different departments. It is very important to align and keep different departments up to date with each other. A good example of this kind of approach is Google tech talks. Google tech talks are a series of meetings where the employees present ideas and projects to different departments. This helps to keep company together. These types of meetings must be set regularly in Sonera and employees must be encouraged to know what kinds of projects are going on in different parts of the company. This kind of approach helps to keep the Sonera experience cohesive, both internally and externally.
Learn together with other departments: After keeping different departments aligned through lectures etc. the next step can be to create multidisciplinary teams inside the company. For example the model of the IDBM study programme can be taken for some projects to see if marketing, R&D and customer service people can group together in teams to create solutions.
Enjoy together: The “Enjoy together” subtheme deals with employee activities inside the company, such as places to drink coffee and places to relax. These elements are very important in designing the employee experience. Improved employee experience can improve employee performance and motivation. Moreover, activities such as parties and trips may be arranged to allow employees to enjoy and share together. There have been many different examples around the world of activities intended to increase the motivation and commitment of the employees. One extreme example is from Virgin. Every year CEO Richard Branson arranges large parties in which all Virgin employees are invited to his island. Every level of employee and their families join this event. This is very important to giving the feeling that every level of employee is part of the company and that Virgin cares for them. It also has the effect that outsiders admire and even envy Virgin employees. However, presently Sonera does not have that type of “cool” image regarding internal experience. One negative example comes from the survey when asking for initial keywords that come to mind about Sonera: one respondent said that, “Sonera is expensive and fires people”. This clearly shows that employee experiences affect brand perceptions. Customers usually prefer to support companies that have a better reputation for employee treatment.
As mentioned, in order to implement the platform easily, it was broken into four subthemes for customers. These subthemes are “be together”, “share together”, “enjoy together” and “live together”.
External Experience - Customers Be together: (Sonera + customers) The “Be together” concept refers to the brand experience
and customer interface from CEM framework. The “Be together” sub theme is used to emphasize the touchpoints where Sonera is actually together and interacting with its customers. These touchpoints are the store, web and phone service. Some touchpoints have two dimensions. One dimension is the customer interface, such as how to greet, interact and communicate with customers. The second is the brand experience, such as the graphical identity, visuals and communications. In the example of McDonald’s, the customer interface is synchronized with the brand experience. As employees are speaking and moving fast, the brand colours and visuals support the emotion and feeling of speed.
At a higher level, if we take the “be together” concept and compare touchpoints, there are several common moments between the phone service, web and store experiences. These similar moments can be more strongly linked in order to create a consistent and seamless experience. This can be achieved even though experiences in different customer touchpoints vary due to the medium and context. However, all experiences begin with greetings and continue to the post-experience phase. The figure below shows the common points in these interactions.
Figure 24. Similarities and links in moments of contacts.
In conclusion, to keep the customer experience consistent, these moments of interaction must be aligned and planned to maintain uniformity. For example greetings in the store can be linked with greetings on the website. Through small presents or memorabilia, customers can be guided from one experience to another. For example if a customer visits the Sonera website first and later goes to the retail store, they must be engaged with the Sonera experiential values and emotions.
Share together: (customers + customers) In the CEM platform, one of the most important issue is the product/service experience. As Sonera is a mobile service provider, the aim is to determine how Sonera services can give emotional values to customers. The “Share together”
subtheme stems from the idea that sharing is the basic element of communication. During communication we share our emotions, ideas, information and feelings with our friends, colleagues and relatives. So “let’s share together”. It is not only customers who are sharing, but Sonera also needs to share and promote its own products. Sonera must share its products, services and emotions with its customers in order to start the relationship. For example in summertime, Suomenlinna could be covered by free wi-fi. On a hot, sunny, summer day someone in Suomenlinna, full of positive emotions, opens a laptop on the green grass and sees the Sonera logo. This kind of story and positive feeling repositions the Sonera brand.
Figure 25. Visaul example of Share together subtheme
In the example of Google, the reason Google makes April Fool’s jokes or celebrates important holidays is to help us to see the brand as human. If this example is extended, Sonera could make a point of celebrating Mother`s Day. It could be as easy as changing the default Sonera text on the screen to “Happy Mothers’ Day”. This would be more emotional, human and friendly. Enjoy together: (customer 2 community, brand community) Presently we are living in the web 2.0 era, in which communities build common knowledge. In this era it is very important to use the power of communities in order to deliver successful experiences. During the surveys, 70 percent of the participants said that they consume depending on reflections and recommendations from friends. Therefore it is obvious that we discuss with friends their experiences before purchasing. When I am waiting for a YouTube video to download, I usually read the comments of others to assess if the video is worth watching or not. Currently, whether online or physical, community branding is a very important issue. Apple started to use its flagship stores to create a community around the brand. In Apple Flagship Stores workshops are held to inform customers about products and to position the brand closer to customers even after a sale is made.
Another interesting example of community branding is from Orange, a telecommunications service provider in Europe. In Switzerland Orange sponsors a movie festival next to a lake where all customers are invited to join. In the UK, if a customer buys one ticket to an event a second one comes from Orange. Basically these kinds of brand community ideas, built around music, sports and movies,
can be explored under the theme “enjoy together”. Enjoy together refers to experiential communication in the CEM model. Live together: The “Live together” subtheme refers to experiential communications from the CEM framework. The subtheme of “live together” is an integration of experiential values with Corporate Social Responsibility. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) “Social responsibility (is the) responsibility of an organisation for the impacts of its decisions and activities on society and the environment through transparent and ethical behaviour that is consistent with sustainable development and the welfare of society; takes into account the expectations of stakeholders; is in compliance with applicable law and consistent with international norms of behaviour; and is integrated throughout the organisation.” (Hohnen P, 2007) Mobile service provider Orange is a good example of a company using both ethical and social values. Orange has printed a book for parents to show the risks and abuses of mobile communications. The book is designed to show that Orange respects and cares for its customers. However under the “live together” subtheme, Sonera not only focuses on its own corporate social issues, but it also helps its employees, customers and business partners to care. Moreover experiential values are at the centre of the experience.
220.127.116.11 External Experience – Business Partners
The final part of the CEM framework deals with Sonera’s business partners. While this thesis work is constrained only to the business-to-customer service, in order to complete the CEM platform, business partners were included. Although the scale is much larger, Sonera’s business partners are part of the Sonera experience. Compared to customer and employee experiences, emotional values are not overly important for business partners. However competitive and industrial values still play an important role and they must be delivered to all business partners. When talking about business partners, co-branding is an important issue as well. Sonera’s business partners can be seen as an asset to gain market position. For example, if Sonera were working with Google, it could reposition its image in consumers’ minds.
3.3 Implementation Ideas for a “better together” Platform Concept Creation
After the creation phase, the “Better together” platform was presented at the Sonera premises to Sami Grönberg, director of the R&D department. Sami Grönberg appreciated the “better together” platform idea and hoped to continue in further implementation. During the discussion we agreed to make two implementation examples of the platform. The “be together” and “live together” subthemes were selected for implementation examples.
As previously explained, the “be together” concept refers to the brand experience and customer interface of Sonera. ‘Be together’ is used for emphasizing the touchpoints where Sonera is actually together and interacting with its customers. These are the store, web and phone service. The implementation and ideation part of the interview and workshop were conducted for idea creation.
The one-hour interview was conducted with TAIK student Ryan Sohlden (USA), who previously worked in Starbucks. As Starbucks is a leading company in experience design, the interview was very interesting and fruitful. During the interview Sohlden mentioned that in Starbucks, most of the conversations between customer and employees were formulized, from how to greet customers to how to make recommendations. Employees were asked to make personal connections with customers. When employees know a customer’s name and favourite drink, then this regular drink can be prepared even before the customer orders. If a customer asks for a different drink from the regular one, then the one which has been already prepared is given for free. The store experience starts with the senses. In this case, the smell of the coffee, the perception of the space and the music create an experience. This continues with the interaction with employees. Moreover the Starbucks experience can be prolonged outside of the store through the Starbucks music albums. During the creation of the Sonera store experience scenarios, some of these ideas were benchmarked to see application possibilities.
In the ideation workshop, the aim was to evaluate the experiential values and use them in idea generation. The workshop was conducted on the 3 of April 2007, in the University of Art & Design Helsinki building. Participants of the workshop were all design students from different departments of University of Art & Design Helsinki: Antti Pitkanen (Industrial Design student, Finland), Bjorn Saunes (Industrial Design student, Norway), Ida Blekeli (Media Lab student, Norway), Ben Cox (Industrial Design student, Netherlands), Rodolfo Samperio (Applied Art student, Mexico), and Ryan Sohlden (Industrial Design student, USA). The workshop was recorded by video camera. The results were taken as a basis for scenario creation.
The workshop included two main parts. The first part was to explore experiential values, to evaluate and consider possibilities in the store experience. Meanings of the values were discussed and examples were taken from daily life. It was an open brainstorming session. Post-its were used to take notes of all the ideas and the keywords. Different colours were used for each experiential value. The second part of the workshop was to place these ideas into moments of interactions. For example “fast” was placed in orientation with the Store Experience. Regarding the value “warm”, some
participants preferred that in wintertime there could be a hot air curtain when entering the store.
Figure 26. Ideation workshop
In reality the workshop was not particularly successful as it was too abstract. The aim to encourage people to think in an abstract way during ideation was difficult to achieve.
Data from the questionnaires and interviews, as well as from the workshops, were evaluated together to create experience scenarios. For the scenarios, two diverse characters were created to show different points of view. The first character was Hanna (the tech-free), a 29-year-old nurse who is not good with technology. The second character was Riku (the tech-freak), a 20-year-old, young computer science student at university who can deal very well with technology. The survey answers were taken as the basis for the creation of the characters.
In general stores are a mixture of brand experience and customer interface. No matter how well the store interior is designed, customer interface, such as the employee’s communication with customers, must be aligned with the company’s overall experience strategy
3.3.1 Implementation Idea 1
Sonera Retail Scenario 1
Idea 1 – Sonera Store Scenarios Scenario 1 - Hanna the tech-free
1 gggggggproperly and she is now going to the Sonera store to buy a new phone. She is not very
familiar with new technologies, so she is a bit nervous.
Hanna is 29 years old. She is working in a hospital. Her five-year-old phone is not working
While entering the store, her phone beeps. She receives a new message. She opens her phone to see the message: “Welcome to Sonera, you are the 100th customer who has visited us today.
You have won 100 free SMS’s. Let’s share together! ☺”
Inspiration: In this example the customer is greeted via different media the customer did not
expect. This leads to surprise and a positive feeling. In this case the experience begins in the moment the customer is greeted, and it is very important to exceed expectations. Moreover the greeting style must be very consistent in different parts of the company.
likes dddddd here is that she can touch real phones, not models. Moreover each phone even has a SIM card. The Sonera name is visible on their screens. It is so easy to review new models.
Inspiration: During the survey there were many complaints about the phone mock-ups
Thanks to Sonera, this is her lucky day. She now makes her way to the phones. What she
shown in the stores. The respondents felt the company does not value customers enough to put real phones in the store.
She selects two phones and cannot decide between them; which one is better? The best way is to ask help from the staff.
Hanna: Excuse me, which one do you suggest? Staff: I have used both of them, and that one is better for battery performance and the other
has a better camera.
Inspiration: For a better knowledge of technology, staff members are encouraged to try as
many mobile phones as possible, from cheaper to more expensive. This is so that staff can become experts and make recommendations. This idea comes from Starbucks where workers are encouraged to drink as much as they want. As a result they become their own customers and staff can make recommendations to the customers, not as workers, but also as friends. This can help to transform the service into a relationship.
Hanna: How about the sound quality?
Staff: As talking is the main function, we give our customers a chance to try mobile phones. So
you can now pick one of your friends and make a “SONERA TEST TALK” to check the sound quality of this new phone.
Hanna is surprised. She thinks about her mother who always complains about the low sound quality of her phone.
Inspiration: In the survey, participants complained about not having the chance to try the
user interface of mobile phones in many retail stores. Sonera is a service provider and its main strength is the service. What if all of the phones were real and contained SIM cards? Customers could then try what they are buying. Furthermore, if we continue with this idea of trying, Sonera could provide a test talk for customers. A phone’s main, most crucial function is spoken communication. As hearing ability is very personal and changes from one to another, testing is even more worthwhile. If Sonera gave the possibility to customers to have a test talk for sound checks, customers would not forget that moment. Additionally, when a customer makes a test talk to his or her friend or mother, then Sonera is advertised to those friends and loved ones too. This is the first step in creating a community around the brand.
Hanna: Hello mum, I want to ask if you can hear me easily with this phone? No, I have not bought it, I am just trying it out in Sonera.
Mum: Hello honey, I can hear you very well with this phone, my dear.
After a short talk with mum, Hanna buys the phone. In addition, she receives a free content lllllllllllllll as a present. With the card she can download one game or song from the Sonera
site. She is thinking of giving this card to her 20-year-old cousin Riku, who is very interested in games.
Inspiration: The Sonera content card idea extends customer experience to another
touchpoint. This is so that the customer continues to experience different parts of the company. This card can help to link these moments.
She is now excited to tell her friends about her memorable Sonera experience. Therefore Sonera needs to provoke customers to create stories about their experiences.
3.3.1 Implementation Idea 1
Sonera Retail Scenario 2
Scenario 2 - Riku the tech-freak
Riku is a 20-year-old Finnish student. Today, while at university, he received a reminder sms jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjSonera saying that this was the last payment day for his phone bill. He always forgets
about his bills, so this is very nice of Sonera. In order to pay the bill he decides to visit the nearest Sonera Store.
2 he llllllllllllllllllllprefers to check Sonera’s fastest internet connections, in order to see how quickly he can
watch his friend`s video on YouTube.
At the Sonera Store there are always new technologies to try. Instead of waiting in a queue,
Inspiration: This idea is an application of a new term called try-vertising, where products and
services are advertised through trying. In this example customers can try out Sonera`s fastest internet connection. The idea is an implementation of Sonera`s experiential value “fast” into the store experience.
ssssssssApple store and Apple provides its high design computers to Sonera.
Inspiration: Co-branding is extending a brand into new markets-geographic, demographic or
Through an agreement with Apple, Sonera now provides its fastest internet connection to the
otherwise-by complementing or supplementing another brand's strengths can also contribute to growth. (Hogan S, 2007) One example of this kind of approach is the LG-Prada mobile phone designed by the fashion company Prada and produced by the Korean manufacturer LG. In this scenario Sonera, the most reliable Finnish service provider brand, works together with Apple, a company known for its high-designed products and services.
Riku comes and logs in to the computer by using his phone number. On the menu he selects
self-service for paying bills.
Inspiration: The idea is similar to the self-service approach in a bank. Today many banks have
internet kiosks so that customers can make basic transactions and payments. This decreases the amount of queuing in branches. The same approach can be used in telecoms stores so that customers can make basic transactions. Customers can enter the system by using their phone number.
Today retail stores are becoming a place to create physical and emotional connections with customers. Last year Apple computers opened 150 stores in the United States. Apple stores are more than a just a store, as they arrange seminars and workshops for their customers.
4 5 tkkkkkkkkkkktogether”. This is a tool for customers to create their own ring tones and themes in the
Just before leaving Riku pays attention to a new section in the store called “create
store. By recording his own voice and then transferring it to his phone, he can make a really cool ring tone. He cannot wait to tell his friends about his new ring tone.
Idea sources: This idea is to create a unique experience in the store environment. Moreover, the
experience can be shown to other people through gifts and memorabilia. In this example a ring tone is a piece of memorabilia specially created in the Sonera Store.
Figure 27. Summary of, Moments of contacts in retail scenarios
3.3.2 Implementation Idea 2
Idea 2 – Red Cross Under the subtheme of “live together”, a Sonera / Red Cross subscription concept was created. The idea is to implement experiential values, especially the emotional values, through the service offerings.
Inspiration for this idea came from the questionnaires. During the questionnaires, when asked “Would you like to have free coffee in the store?” participants said they would prefer the money to go to charity instead of coffee.
As “caring” is accepted as one of Sonera`s emotional values, it must be shown that Sonera cares for its employees, customers and world issues. Additionally, it is important that it appreciates that its customers care about global issues. This is an opportunity for customers to support the Red Cross by using their Sonera subscription. The Sonera / Red Cross subscription involves positivism, caring and Finnishness.
The Sonera / Red Cross subscription includes three steps:
1- Customers can upgrade their current subscription to Sonera / Red Cross via the internet or by going to a Sonera Store.
2- When using the Red Cross subscription, a certain amount of money goes to the Finnish Red Cross, for example one percent of the monthly bill.
3- The Red Cross can then help with issues both in Finland and internationally with the collected money.
Figure 28. Visual example of Sonera Red Cross subscription
This subscription can be used in experiential communications; it can have its own ring tone and phone themes etc. (Fig. 29)
Figure 29. Visual example of Sonera Red Cross subscription
The main advantages of such a subscription are listed below. • The Sonera public image will be changed towards a more positive, caring, warm and friendly image. • Sonera and the Red Cross both have a distinctive red colour. This increases Sonera’s visibility. • • • The Red Cross has similar emotional experiential values, such as caring and friendly. Sonera and the Red Cross operate both locally and globally. It is easy to implement and a good start to repositioning the company.
The Sonera / Red Cross subscription can be implemented easily and would help to decrease Sonera’s cold engineer image. Moreover Sonera could also work with the WWF or other NGOs. Sonera customers could upgrade their current subscriptions to add the Red Cross, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), or the Finnish local environment protection organization Suomen
Luonnonsuojelulitto. Customers could select which charity to support (Fig. 30). In the end, Sonera can increase social awareness and help its customers to care for local and global issues.
Figure 30. Sonera subscription Add on’s idea
Idea 3 – Sonera Experience Team
Managing the Sonera experience is as important as the creation of it. An internal Sonera Experience Team must be built in order to control and manage the implementation of the platform. The team must consist of employees from different backgrounds and departments (Fig. 31). The mission of the team should be to check if the Sonera experience is consistent both internally and externally. For example, the Sonera Experience team can check if the marketing campaign is delivering the desired emotions or new service idea by R&D involves planned Sonera experience. Basically, the Experience team works closely with all departments. It is also a link and a bridge to combine different departments. (Figure 31). Due to the confidentiality of the Sonera’s organizational structure, below figure is created just to give clue about the basic idea to align experience creation process in different departments.
Figure 31. Sonera Experience Team
Conclusions & Recommendations
This thesis applies a multidisciplinary approach to analyzing and revitalizing TeliaSonera`s Customer Experiences. During the thesis I combined business and design methodologies in the Sonera case. As a basis of the thesis, a CEM framework was utilized. The work concludes with proposals for design solutions.
The main result of this study is the “Sonera Better Together” experiential platform. The platform can be used as a strategic tool to create new experiences. The thesis ends with the three implementation ideas of the platform. These three ideas are: firstly, the store experience scenarios; secondly, the Sonera / Red Cross subscription; and finally the Sonera Experience team. Due to time limitations these ideas are not overly evolved. They were created to explain and illustrate examples of an experience-centred approach.
As a common denominator between experiences are emotions, senses and emotions are key aspects in human experience. For this reason emotional values are placed at the core of the Sonera Better Together platform. Sonera should trigger planned emotions and senses during the experience.
Compared to five or ten years ago, increasingly consumer products are being further commoditized by services, as services become value-added priorities in the transition from a product to service economy. Ultimately, services offered will likely be commoditized in turn by experiences. Sonera should therefore reposition itself as an experience provider. The Sonera ‘Better Together’ experiential platform is created to meet Sonera`s future strategic needs.
This thesis has received positive feedback from the case company. It has been presented three times inside Sonera, each time provoking great discussion. Despite positive feedback from the company, the thesis recommendations have not been taken into a real implementation phase.
In the future the platform and experiential values can be evaluated and improved through larger-scale customer research. Further surveys could be conducted with different market segments to determine their needs and opinions concerning Sonera. This would affect the experiential platform. Moreover the Sonera employee experience could provide an interesting subject for further study.
In this study, a survey methodology was used. Through surveys both qualitative and quantitative data was collected. However it was problematic to access and measure participants’ feelings and emotions towards each brand.
During the process company commitment was very high. It was a wonderful opportunity to be inside the company for five months and experience life as a Sonera employee. Sonera gave me the support to meet and discuss with many people from different backgrounds.
Time and language were the main limitations affecting this thesis. Most of the material related to Sonera is in Finnish. This meant that at times it was difficult to access information. Due to the limited timetable of the thesis, it was not possible to create more detailed concepts and scenarios to further explain the experience-oriented approach. Furthermore, even though customer experience is a very popular subject, as a new topic there is relatively little literature.
Finally, it was an excellent learning process and a chance to synthesize my design background with my minor studies in business. While the basis of this thesis is a business framework, in the end design solutions were created for the company. For Sonera I was the first designer dealing with future business strategies.
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Appendices Appendix A – Survey
Finnish Mobile Operator Analysis Questionnaire
NOTE: This questionnaire is designed as a part of MA thesis at University of Art and Design Helsinki. Purpose of this, is to analyze and compare Finnish mobile service operators from the perspective of brand experience. Core idea is to figure out how dna, elisa and sonera brands are positioned in the mind of consumers. Language: Recommended language for filling the questionnaire is English, however if you are experiencing any problems when remembering English words, please use Finnish instead.
Age: ( ) <18 Gender: Male / Female Occupation:
( ) 18-25
( ) 25-30
( ) 30<
A) GENERAL INFORMATION 1- Which mobile service operator are you using? ( ) DNA [None] 2- What were your primary motivations when selecting an operator? (please select one or more) o Cost competitiveness/Price o Coverage o New Services / innovations o Recommendations from Family/Friends o Other…………………………………….. ( ) ELISA ( )SONERA ( )Other? ......................
3- How long have you been a customer of this operator? o o o o o less than 1 year 1-3 years 4-5 5-10 10+
5- Have you ever switched in between different operators? [YES/NO] If YES ... What was the reason? 6- What are your primary future expectations from a service operator? (please select one or more) o Cost competitiveness/Price o New Services / innovations
o Mobile internet experiences o Other…………………………………….. B) LOOK & FEEL 1- What is the brand that comes FIRST to your mind when thinking about a mobile service operator? ( ) DNA [None] 2- What keywords comes FIRST to your mind when thinking about each of the following brands? (you can also select from example keywords) [e.g.: youthful, innovative, established, boring, nothing ,very expensive, cheap, playful, Finnish, hi-tech, unreliable, old, fun, trendy, cool, simple, friendly, positive, cheerful, efficient, rigid, smooth, slow, fast etc.] o o o DNA……………………………………………………………………………………… ELISA…………………………………………………………………………………… SONERA………………………………………………………………………………… ( ) ELISA ( )SONERA ( )Other? ......................
3- What colour or colours come to mind when you think about the following brands: DNA, ELISA, SONERA? What does this colour / colours represent to you? o o o DNA……………………………………………………………………………………… ELISA…………………………………………………………………………………… SONERA…………………………………………………………………………………
4 – i - How often do you visit the website of your mobile service operator? give time categories o o o o o once in 3 months once in 6 months once a year more than a year never
ii - When was the last time you visited the website?
iii - What was the reason for visiting the Website? ........................... ( ) to check new price offerings ( ) to check your bills ( ) problems with existing subscription ( )others ..................................... iv- Was it helpful (i.e. did you get what you were looking for)? ( ) Yes, it was helpful ( ) No it wasn’t helpful, explain…………………… v- Could you suggest ways in which this experience could be improved? ……………………………………………………………………………………….
5 – i- When was the last time you were in a mobile operator’s retail store? o Less than 3 months o With in 6 months o With in a year o More than a year o never ii - What was the reason for visiting the store? ( ) to check new price/phone offerings ( ) to have a new subscription/phone ( ) issues with existing subscription ( ) others .....................................
iii - Was it helpful [i.e. did you get what you were looking for]? ( ) Yes, it was helpful ( ) No it wasn’t helpful, explain…………………… 6- If you remember your experiences, what do you appreciate / dislike about mobile operator retail stores?
7- Could you suggest ways in which this experience could be improved; What would be nice a retail store gives/offers? eg: it would be nice, if they give me free coffee in retail store
8- What are your feelings about brand names, logos and colors of DNA, ELISA, SONERA?
C) PRODUCT & SERVICES 1- Do you use the internet or 3G/GPRS services from your mobile phone? [YES/NO]
2- If yes, Are you familiar with OPERATOR SERVICES such as: music download/ mobile tv or other services? [YES/NO] If YES ... (Which services do you prefer to use most)?
3-Could you describe a dream mobile service or services you would like to have in the future? eg: showing discounted food offers from supermarket, when I am passing byt etc...
D) EXPERIENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS 1- Do you remember any of the current ad’s of DNA, ELISA, SONERA? [YES/NO] If YES, what are your feelings about the AD or AD’s? e.g. Humorous, Informative, Boring, the Usual ...
2- Which AD did you like most? Name the BRAND — DNA, ELISA, SONERA? ( ) DNA [None] ( ) ELISA ( )SONERA ( )Other? ......................
3- If DNA, ELISA, SONERA? were animals what kind of an animal would each be? e.g. FAT CAT, Friendly but Stupid DOG, Wood Worm ... o o o DNA: ELISA: SONERA:
E) CUSTOMER SERVICE 1- What is your first Choice or Option to gain access to Customer Service when you face a problem with your connection? o o o o Internet help (provided it is possible ...) Phone help (provided it is possible ... ) Visit the retail store Other ...................
2- i - Have you ever faced problems with your operator? [YES/NO] ii - Did you get the help/support/solution you needed? [YES/NO]
iii - If YES ... How was the problem solved?
F) COMPARISONS 1- Could you arrange the following keywords according to their level of importance to you? Write the #1 beside the most important, #2 beside the second most important, and so on until the last and least important. SIMPLICITY, EASE OF USE, FUN, INNOVATIVE, USER FOCUSED, MEMORABLE & DIFFERENT, COHERENT, PERSONALISED
2- If DNA, ELISA and SONERA offered the same price offering for a service, which one would you select first, second, third if any? Please briefly explain WHY?
3- Which Marketing Communications channel is more important/suitable for you, when choosing a mobile service operator. Could you arrange the following keywords according to their level of] importance to you? Write the #1 beside the most important, #2 beside the second most important, and so on until the last and least important. TV / print ad’s, friends Retail store, Web site, Service offerings, Reflections from
Appendix B – Experiential Value Creation
Figure 32. Extracted comments/ideas from interviews and surveys
Figure 33. Clustering and grouping the comments/ideas
Figure 34. Creation of values, titling the groups
Figure 35. Sonera Experiential values Pyramid