2013 was a tough year for Bell. Despite growth in its wireless division, Telus surpassed Bell in total number of wireless subscribers for the first time. Bell’s media division will be shut out from national NHL broadcasts over the next 12-years as its largest competitor Rogers won the exclusive rights in November of last year. To top it all off, the Canadian Government considered relaxing its foreign ownership restrictions to create a more competitive wireless segment.
Despite the headwinds, Bell managed to increase its brand value by 9% over 2012, topping the list in the media/telecom segment.
What has Bell been doing right? One clear answer is the Let’s Talk campaign. Bell has embraced the kind of issue most companies shy away from. It is leading the charge to break the stigma around mental health, and doing so in a way that fits naturally with its core offerings. The campaign is an excellent example of investing in brand to connect with customers through shared values instead of product features and benefits.
Bell needs to continue coming up with daring new ways of putting people at the centre of everything it does. It should focus attention and energy on increasing likelihood to recommend and likelihood to stay indicators rather than faster internet speeds, broader networks or smarter smartphones offerings.
Keep thinking beyond the functional, Bell. Be relevant to your customers in ways that reflect their values. Achieve leadership by earning a loyal, committed and satisfied customer base.
Give them something positive to talk about.