EE relaunch

anatomy of a transformation

Anatomy Of A Business Transformation - The New EE

How the CEO and marketing team at BT/EE worked with Publicis Groupe and EMX to re-engineer not just a brand but an entire corporation

By Creative Salon

When the former CEO of BT Group Philip Jansen stepped down last November to hand the corporate reins over to Allison Kirkby, he was asked if he had any regrets from his near five years in the role.

He answered that he was “disappointed . . . that the share price is where it is”.

It was an understandable remorse. The company's share price has fallen by 50 per cent across the last five years as the telecoms market has been buffeted by rapidly changing technology, the growth of new altnet rivals, mergers and, of course, a cost of living crisis. Lingering uncertainty among investors about whether the Group's outlay on the rollout of full fibre connectivity will provide a return has also dampened the share price.

The company’s consumer - rather than business - services are its biggest source of revenue, accounting for £4.9bn of revenue for the group in the first half-year results to 30 September 2023, and driving further growth from the consumer market is critical.

So it's impossible to over-state the importance of the decision which was unveiled last autumn to rebrand all of the Group's consumer services under the EE banner, retiring the BT name for everything other than business services.

But this was far from a knee-jerk response to a declining share price, rumoured mergers amongst key competitors or intense shareholder pressure. It's a decision that was three years (and counting) in the making and execution, and one that has involved a fundamental reorganisation of the entire business.

Far from typically, it's also a transformation that has been planned and delivered in no small part by a core team of Marc Allera - the CEO of EE and the Consumer Division at BT Group, Peter Jeavons - the group brand and consumer marketing director, and a crack team at Publicis Groupe, which has worked on the EE and BT brands for over a decade.

They engineered a landmark shift for EE toward platform services, expanding its offering from selling traditional telecoms to delivering a new suite of products and services that are open to all UK consumers - not just EE mobile customers - via a new integrated platform powered by an EE ID identity management and log in system.

The new EE platform offers access to traditional network products, as well as the new EE Consumer Electronics Shop, Gaming, Home Security, Insurance and Subscription services. Upcoming releases will add more partner subscriptions, services and capabilities. And it's all been backed by the biggest marketing campaign since EE launched in 2012. 

Nearly six months on from the unveiling of The New EE, it's still too early to assess the long-term impact of the restructure. But on Kirkby's first day as CEO at the beginning of this month the company was able to report better than expected third quarter sales and said it was on track to achieve its forecasts for the year on the back of a 3 per cent rise in adjusted revenues, higher than analysts had expected.

To explore the story behind the story we talk to Marc Allera, CEO of EE and BT’s Consumer Division to find out how the transformation was led from the top.

Then we dissect the fundamental role marketing has played in landing the strategy and delivery of the transformation, talking to Pete Jeavons, the Group Brand & Consumer Marketing Director of EE and BT, Ben Mooge, chief creative officer of Publicis Groupe, and Richard Huntington, chief strategy officer of Saatchi & Saatchi.

And Tom Kislingbury, VP of strategy at EssenceMediacomX, talks us through why launching New EE needed a new approach to media.


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