In the reference book “Welcome to the Experience Economy” (1), Joseph Pine and James Gilmore expound that companies are able to create economic value through a range of activities. The most simple way consist of extracting commodities. The next step is about making goods and products. Another step up bring us to the well-known business of delivering services. Finally, the ultimate stage of value creation and differentiation lies in a company distinctive ability to stage experiences. Pine and Gilmore define the concept of experience : “when a company intentionally uses services as the stage, and goods as props, to engage individual customers in a way that creates a memorable event. Commodities are fungible, goods tangible, services intangible, and experiences memorable”.
Zain (2), the pioneer of mobile telecommunications in the Middle East, started operations in the Kingdom of Bahrain in December 2003 under the brand name MTC-Vodafone. Working in close cooperation with Nokia Siemens Networks from the start of operations, Zain has tapped into a rich stream of telecommunication records, placing itself and Bahrain firmly on the global telecoms map (3). With competition on the rise and a mobile penetration rate over 200%, Zain Bahrain has intensified its transformation from a company offering mobile voice services, internet access and services towards a lifestyle service company.
The Zain Wonders campaign started in May 2010 with the promise to deliver “a wonderful world” lifestyle to all “Zainers” in Bahrain. The campaign included some events such as free entrance to the movies or Water Park as well as specific promotions on Zain services. Supported by massive advertising on traditional media such as radio, billboards and newspaper, a key component of the campaign relied on the Zain Wonders Facebook pages (4). With only a few fans at the beginning of the year, the campaign quickly attracted several thousands of friends on the famous social networking site.
The football World Cup in South Africa gave Zain Bahrain the perfect opportunity to continue its Zain Wonders campaign activities in a country with people truly passionate about football. Set up in the Bahrain City Center, one of the country’s most popular shopping malls, the promotion included Playstation football tournaments, “the Virtual Goal Expereince” (5) and live big-screen showings of world cup matches. Visitors in “Zain Football Zone” were offered discounts and special promotions to activate mobile services.
Nokia Siemens Networks mission is to help Communications Service Providers build more valuable customer relationships. Our collaboration with Zain Bahrain goes far beyond the technology domain: the marketing teams of the two companies worked indeed very closely together to design and deliver the “Virtual Goal Experience”. Using the magic of a ‘green screen’, Bahrain football fans were given the opportunity to show off their football skills and sense of creativity, to later see themselves in a short movie scoring or saving a goal in a packed football stadium. In addition to being given their football video on a USB drive, the best were uploaded immediately to the Facebook site over Zain Bahrain state-of-the-arts 3G networks, generating further traffic and excitement.
Kicked off on 4th June 2010, Zain Wonder Cup Mania proved such a hit with consumers that the promotion was extended from the originally planned ten days to a month to ensure it ran throughout the world cup. During that time, more than 200 videos were shot. “Zain Wonder Cup Mania was one of our most successful events,” says Mr. Emad AL Kayali Marketing Director, Zain. “We want our customers to use social media more as it creates demand for our services and gives us an opportunity to provide an individual communications experience”. With an online community of over 15,000 Zainers today on Facebook, Zain Bahrain has been able to establish a new type of communication experience, wich fosters interactivity between a company and its customers, and perhaps more significantly, among customers themselves.
This post is by Joachim Wuilmet from our Marketing & Communication team in Middle-East.