This week has seen the re-branding of Vodacom South Africa from their familiar blue livery to a vivid red. The change of colour will bring the South African mobile giant in line with its UK-based parent company, Vodafone, which is standardising its image worldwide. Vodacom unveiled its new slogan “Power to You” at the same time.
“The change in colour is the tip of the iceberg, just the outside indication of a much bigger change at Vodacom,” Vodacom Group CEO Pieter Uys said. “The role we play in our customers’ lives has changed – connectivity has gone from a convenience to a basic need, and we need to turn our business on its head to make sure that we cater for this.”
“Power to You” isn’t just our advertising slogan – it’s a new approach and new direction for Vodacom. This isn’t a once-off change, it’s a journey and I’m confident that as the weeks and months unfold, you’ll find the changes run much deeper than simply turning from blue to red.” Uys said.
Speaking about the changes to Vodacom’s network, Pieter Uys said “We currently have the most extensive network in South Africa, but we can’t stop here. We are going to more than double the number of Vodacom 3G base stations in the country, which will take connectivity to more people than ever before. We’re leading a revolution to connect the entire country – this isn’t about cherry picking a few people in cities for an elite service, it’s about getting a decent connection to everyone and ensuring that nobody gets left behind.”
Network, service and value are all being transformed as part of this process. Technological innovation will remain a key part of Vodacom’s network strategy as well. The company currently has more than 4,300 3G sites in South Africa, half of which are 21 Mbps enabled and fewer than 1,000 of which are enabled for 42 Mbps. To put this next generation 42 Mbps technology in perspective, with compatible modems the theoretical peak speed achievable by customers is more than 100 times faster than Vodacom’s original 3G offering launched in December 2004.
Moving on to the service and value changes underway at Vodacom, Pieter Uys said:
“Our customers expect the best service to match our leading network. We’re rolling out totally redesigned stores to make the entire experience of Vodacom fresh and inspiring – and we’ll of course showcase the latest technology. Customer service is also undergoing a revamp. By building on the success we’ve had opening new channels like support via Twitter seven days a week; we’ll make it faster and more convenient to deal with us. Delivering tangible value to customers is the third part of the new Vodacom customer promise and will be backed up by the introduction of new products and services.”
The changes in the South African operation coincide with similar changes at Vodacom Tanzania which announced that it will also be embracing Vodafone’s colours and the “Power to You” slogan.
“I believe that any change should start from within. We are repositioning without losing our core values,” Vodacom managing director Dietlof Mare told a news conference yesterday in Dar es Salaam. “Power to you is more than just an advertising slogan for us, it is a journey and in the days to come I believe you will feel the impact,” he said.
By Angela Meadon