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Three new rules of premiumization


Company: CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd

Brand value: US$4,615 million

Headquarter city: Maidenhead

Industry: Telecom Providers

Year formed: 2003


Three has been a challenger brand in the highly competitive mobile services market and, by targeting the budget end of the market, has built up a customer base of 9.2 million customers. Three was the first supplier to offer “All you can eat data”, and now says it handles about 35 percent of all mobile phone data used in the UK. It frequently offers “tariff sweeteners” such as free international roaming and bundled services, positioning itself as a brand that helps everyone get the most out of their mobile device. Since 2015, Three has moved from a price focus in its communications to an emphasis on storytelling and the importance of building trust. Its 2017 “Go Binge” campaign encourages customers to soak up streaming services such as Netflix and SoundCloud without worrying about their data consumption. It has also dropped its purple Muppet mascot from its advertising in favour of a computer-generated baby giraffe with flamingo wings to show how it feels to be able to roam free. Three uses other animal hybrids in other ads, including a sloth-dolphin. The “Feel at home” offer allows customers to use their phone in 60 destinations at no extra cost. Three is owned by CK Hutchison Holdings, which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Last year, the company planned to buy the O2 mobile brand from Telefonica, but the move was blocked by the European Commission over concerns about the effect on consumer choice.