Everything Everywhere were the company behind two strong brands: Orange and T-Mobile. With a combined 23 million UK customers, they were the dominant player in a market that had become static and entrenched, with competition hanging around price.
Change was on the horizon. New waves of mobile technology were making life easier for the tech-savvy, who had adapted to new devices and were now ready to see what was possible with a faster network. Meanwhile, many others were left stranded in the wake of advances, aware of new possibilities but unable to make full use of them.
The big players were failing to do much for either group. But in the summer of 2012, Everything Everywhere would be opening the UK’s first 4G network, which meant a huge opportunity to change the market for good.
Down to business from the start
Everything Everywhere asked us what a third, all-new, game-changing brand could do for Britain. There was no real pitch, and instead, a series of working sessions in which we built the business case for this new brand. With a collaborative, cross-functional team in place – and senior engagement from the offset – we made quick strides to achieve sign-off and the ‘no pitch’ mentality shaped the relationship on the project.
A central idea
Together, we created EE: a brand to help you do things you couldn’t do before. The central idea became, ‘Now You Can’.
This helped drive major investments into the UK’s first ever 4G network, as well as fibre broadband and film. ‘Now You Can’ inspired a new way to serve customers on the high street, on the phone and, most importantly for the new brand, online. It was an idea that spoke powerfully to people who were technological ‘haves’, as well as the tech ‘have-nots’.
“The process of change wasn’t a linear one. We were constantly reacting, standing back and recalibrating”Chris Moody, Chief Design Officer, Wolff Olins
The brand idea was supported by a creative expression that focussed around the benefits of a network. A system of particles formed and re-formed to bring messages to life, and the tone of voice was both playful and purposeful.
Launch year was huge. As 4G was being turned on in 11 cities across the UK, more than 700 stores became EE branded overnight. In co-ordinating more than 20 partner agencies, we saw the value in setting out clear roles, relationships and responsibilities early on. Our close working relationship with the client and the partner agencies helped us find solutions quickly, and EE were eight times as productive as usual.
“A truly momentous journey and we could not have done it without you. We have landed in a very good place.”Steven Day, Chief Marketing Officer, EE
EE achieved their goal of a million 4G customers by September 2013, beating the target by three months. And 4GEE is already helping people do more with their technology: 42% more customers download apps on the go, 37% of customers use less or no public Wi Fi, and 26% of customers use mobile banking services.
The new brand has proved compelling to partners: EE were able to secure exciting and exclusive new devices for launch, as well as being the UK’s first and only 4G network ready for the iPhone 5.
They’ve recently pledged to help build the digital skills of one million people through a series of new initiatives, making good on their promise that ‘Now You Can’. And in February 2018, The Sunday Times named EE as its Best Big Company to Work For in its annual survey.