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Cogeco has recently launched a new brand campaign: featuring their own employees!
This strategy of showcasing their local employees is something new for the telecommunications company. The campaign materials include billboard and bus shelter ads, website and social media ads, as well as 30 and 90 second online videos and TV commercials.
These authentic advertisements feature three local Cogeco employees and the communities in which they live and work, including Belleville.
It demonstrates the campaign slogan perfectly, Your Local Connection. The campaign highlights what being local means to them, showcasing their own local stories.
Now let’s dive deeper into how Cogeco developed this new campaign.
To launch a successful brand campaign, you must start with data. It’s essential to know the key drivers of customer perception. For Cogeco, these are trust, experience, reliability, and community investments. They then dug below the major metrics by using the quantitative data points available to them. Cogeco utilized their internal databases to understand what influences the perception of trust and reliability in both positive or negative ways. For example, to gauge their level of trust, they gathered data from their Contact Centre interactions and call resolutions.
Next, they conducted extensive customer research to gain a deeper understanding of their customers’ and the publics’ perception of Cogeco. This included an external panel (of customers and non-customers) and a survey that Cogeco sent to their customers.
Finally, Cogeco initiated a very interactive process with their internal Marketing Team, their core Ontario resources, and different media agencies. Once the data was collected, they moved from the quantitative approach to deeper qualitative research with both customers and non-customers. Cogeco held three waves of focus groups with customers and non-customers throughout this research process. They validated the brand positioning and messages for credibility (e.g. can we claim this) and impact (would it change the brand’s perception).
Building the Brand
To build the brand, Cogeco did an enormous amount of testing and validation. They organized virtual focus groups with customers and non-customers that lasted over 90 minutes each during each stage of the process.
The general public knows that Cogeco provides Internet, TV, and telephone services - but not much else. They didn’t know their purpose or their culture.
“Our research respondents indicated that they wanted to get to know us better and who we are! It was a natural fit when we started leaning towards our differentiator: being local,” said Corban Secor, Director of Web Sales and Digital Marketing at Cogeco.
Cogeco decided to focus their campaign on highlighting that they have a local presence in cities and towns throughout the province and 100 percent local employees. They determined that their employees should be featured in the campaign to show the faces and voices of the people who support their clients’ needs every day. And above all, because Cogeco is proud of its employees!
Showcasing real employees, in their homes and in their communities, (instead of models and actors) was proven to be more authentic, honest and trustworthy during the focus groups. These folks are active members of their communities and represent all of us. Furthermore, when engaging with a brand, people prefer to engage with real people. Plus - no one knows your brand and culture better than your employees. It makes them the ultimate spokespeople for your brand.
Using real employees not only improves the public perception of your brand, but it improves your company's culture. When the brand ambassadors were revealed internally, there was an overwhelming sense of pride and support for these employees throughout the company.
Cogeco worked with their creative agency on a variety of concepts, which they tested with different focus groups. The tagline “your local connection” was the one that tested the best and resonated with customers and non-customers alike.
“It also unites our two main ideas: local as a differentiator and our ability to connect people through our reliable technology,” added Corban.
The campaign features real Cogeco employees sharing why they love working for Cogeco, what they enjoy in their communities, and what makes being local so important.
“They really are true representatives of what makes Cogeco great - caring about one another, supporting each other, and always doing what is right for the customer,” said Corban.
Cogeco builds human connections and vibrant communities and now uses its employees to demonstrate this to the public.
Click to watch each of the three videos on Cogeco’s YouTube page