NBN Co is making a shift in its marketing strategy and ramping up investment in branding as it looks to quell negative associations consumers have with the brand and tackle what it believes is the “biggest marketing challenge in the country”.
AdNews understands NBN Co could drop between $20 and $30 million on a national brand campaign, although a spokesperson for NBN wouldn't be drawn on spend.
The shift signals a u-turn in its previous strategy of relying on local marketing campaigns with a functional message, alongside geographic roll outs.
Functional messaging is expected to lighten up, with more emphasis put on brand building.
The brand marketing boost is in line with NBN's strategy shift following the appointment of former Vodafone boss Bill Morrow as CEO a year ago, which signalled a gear change at the organisation. It has since changed its roll out model and is working on a range of different technologies to accelerate the roll out.
It's understood that the NBN brand has a fairly negative perception with consumers, who despite feeling positive about the promise of high speed internet, don't feel the same about the brand.
As a Government-backed organisation, NBN Co, is required to invest in education and awareness raising efforts. As it grows and rolls out to more homes, its marketing and communications are expected to follow suit to focus on building the brand and positive associations.
The NBN Co appointed BWM as its lead creative agency earlier this month, and is currently reviewing its media agency. An announcement is expected imminently. UM is the incumbent.
A spokesperson for NBN Co told AdNews: “2014 is a year of enormous change for NBN Co. The acceleration of the rollout, coupled with the fact that we will be installing different technologies in different areas, makes it all more important to communicate to people the steps they need to take to connect.
“Australians need to know why the NBN is important for them individually and for the country and for those connecting we need to help them with the ‘how’. At the same time we need to manage expectations because the size of the task at hand is huge and will take time. This is arguably one of the greatest marketing challenges in the country.”
“We will work with our agency partners to identify how best to do this when the time is right. In the meantime we continue to engage with communities through direct relationships and local area marketing.
NBN has pledged to be in 8 million homes by 2020.
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