Giffgaff. The people powered launch
I’ve been keeping an eye on a new O2 company called Giffgaff for a few weeks. Then, out of the blue, I received an email a few days ago from a lovely chap at Splendid Comms telling me about one of their clients called GiffGaff.
“Welcome to the launch day of the UK’s newest brightest mobile network, backed by parent company O2, giffgaff and you’ve guessed it we’re unveiling our social media campaign to spread the people-powered love with our zany range of tools!”
Anyhow, have a gander at what giffgaff is here…
Here’s the blurb;
Defining a new mobile network business model, giffgaff, an online only business, is the first of its kind. It taps into existing online behaviour where people get involved by creating content, suggesting new ideas or product innovation and supporting each other with queries on forums or blogs, on behalf of the brands they use.
Operating as an independent company, virtual network operator giffgaff will deliver its service using the network of parent company O2.
giffgaff, which means ‘to give and receive’, will operate with a low cost base, without the overheads of high street stores, handset subsidies and running large call centres. It offers a simple SIM only tariff and a range of online tools to allow members to self-serve and suggest answers to each other’s questions in online user groups. As well as that, members will be rewarded for things like referring giffgaff to a friend or relative, creating user-generated marketing, or voting on business decisions. The more that members get involved the greater the reward and they will be able to get up to 100 per cent of top-ups back.
giffgaff members have a choice of what to do with their rebate; they can use it for mobile calls and texts, take the cash, or donate it to their preferred charity or fundraising group.
The giffgaff people-powered business model has been made possible by the growing trend in online participation. The statistics show 40 per cent of 16-34 year olds comment on blogs at least monthly, 28 per cent contribute to forums and 64 per cent of active internet users have created and managed a social network profile.
The launch marketing campaign will have a digital and viral focus, hinged around an engaging people-powered concept.
The email I received was specifically around their launch last week. Here’s another video on their campaign called ‘tool hire’;
Essentially they’ve got a load of items or ‘tools’ which would help people create stunts which they then want people to film and publicise throughout their networks.
It’s pretty smart and tonally it’s nice too. They’ve got some fun ‘tools’ ranging from gimp outfits to ‘the musicle’ to the ‘human hand dryer’. You can take a look at all the videos explaining each tool here.
Now, what else is pretty smart, is their targeting. This is (supposedly) a marketing blog . As such, Splendid will have this site in an excel spreadsheet that probably has the tab name ‘PR/marketing’ at the bottom. They realise that I may or may not particpate in the actual tool hire launch, but there is a pretty good chance I’m at least going to write about the launch because the whole business strategy has resonance within my field of interest. I’m also a pretty good bet for then going to go on and create a video with one of the tools; I mean I’m already narcissistic enough to maintain a blog, so approaching people who are already creating content for the web seems like a better bet than those who are not.
The problem I have is that I’m also probably called an ‘influencer’ because this is often PR justification for ‘reaching out’ in the first place- that I, for whatever reason, hold influence over a client’s customer purchase decision.
I think the clever people at giffgaff have been reading the Harvard Business Review paper which Chris pointed me in the direction of this week; ‘doing and saying customers’. Have a read of the link then can come back.
Hi again. So, OK, the customer lifetime value does not apply quite so well here as the business is a start up and is still in the process of acquiring a customer base. But the interesting point is around customer referral value. For many of the people I imagine are on Splendid Comms outreach list will over-index in talking about brands, digitalness, crowd-sourcing, t’internet trends, etc. This group is not a group of ’influencers’ in the traditional sense in terms of purchase intent of a mobile phone network. You’re not going to go to PSFK to find out the best tariff to be on.
If you wanted to know this, you’d dig around online and go to a mobile network specialist or a review site to find opinions. However, this is a launch. The objective of the activity will be to ‘create awareness’ in some capacity. Conversion comes later down the line.
Perhaps because of their occupations (clued up about brands) and the fact they are already putting a piece of themselves out there on the internet (opinionated), the aforementioned interest group over-index in
a) likelihood to participate in the campaign and thus create awareness amongst their friends
b) influencing brand perceptions amongst their social circle; particularly perceptions of a brand being introduced for the first time? What’s the value of your nerdy cool blogger mate telling you about a new mobile phone network and getting you involved in this little film he’s making for it, versus seeing an ad about the new brand whilst watching Corrie? Can ol’ McLuhan’s medium is the message be applied here?
c) referring potential customers to brands. Particularly if b) holds true that not only do they over-index in making recommendations about brands but that that opinion is more valuable in shaping brand perceptions than traditional creative executions of branding (this actually becomes self-referential as this group would probably be quite heavily influenced by branded creative executions in the first place).
Giffgaff’s launch seems like a smart way example of targeting to help spread the love; Let’s go after people who might, already, give a shit, are more likely to be interested in getting involved and who will probably influence how our brand is perceived.
We can think about influence over conversion later. But for now, hat tip to all involved. Looks like it’s going to be fun.