Orange Case Study
In the early 1990s, Hutchison Whampoa decided to set up Britain’s fourth mobile phone network. But with three established rivals, and no special technological advantage, how would it attract customers? The answer was: reinvent the market. At that time, mobile phones were seen as flashy gadgets for bankers, estate agents and yuppies: for ‘them’, not ‘us’. By transforming the market – making the mobile a natural part of everyone’s life – huge growth could be opened up. Everyone could live wire-free lives.
Wolff Olins helped Hutchison make this leap, by creating a brand that had nothing to do with technology, and everything to do with simplicity, openness and optimism. We gave the network the name of a colour, not a technospeak name like Vodafone or Cellnet. We created a warm, human communication style that soon became universally recognisable. And we designed the shops that brought Orange into the everyday world of the high street.
In its first five years, Orange attracted a huge and unusually loyal customer base of 7 million people. Year after year, Orange scored highest of the networks on customer satisfaction, and lowest (less than 15%) on churn. By 2000, when France Telecom bought the business, it was worth an astonishing £25 bn – more than double the value of its close rival One2One. Now France Telecom uses the Orange brand for all its internet, television and mobile businesses worldwide, worth £40.59 bn in total. Orange is a multinational brand, operating in 14 countries and serving about 216 m customers.