How do you successfully introduce a new mobile network in a market dominated by four other players with up to ten times the budget?
Position it as the most personal mobile network versus impersonal or business-orientated competitors like KPN, Libertel, Telfort and Dutchtone.
Way back in the historical depths of 1999, the mobile telecommunication’s market was liberalized in the Netherlands. The market was dominated by the formerly state-owned operator KPN and its four year old challenger Libertel. Two others were introduced: Telfort and Dutchtone. The general opinion at that time was that there would be room for only three or four major players. At least one of the newcomers was not expected to survive.
A joint venture of Belgacom, TeleDanmark and Ameritech decided to launch the 5th mobile network. The assignment was a total brand development: identity, vision and communication. The brand Ben was born – in Dutch it is a person’s name as well as the verb ‘I am’.
Ben showed ordinary people, in everyday and often quirky situations, who would be in the market for a mobile phone. A breath of fresh air in the business-minded environment that was pervasive at that time. Ben became a much loved brand in the Netherlands. In the four years of existence Ben showed the greatest growth in volume of its competitors. Ben was so successful, it was bought buy Deutsch Telecom in 2003, who subsequently turned Ben into T-mobile.