November 14, 2016
The depiction of Plusnet broadband as somehow more wholesome and reliable than others has apparently worked so well, BT is applying it to mobile.
This move actually applies to LIFE Mobile, an MVNO with 150,000 subscribers created by Phones4u but acquired on the cheap by EE after Phones4u went down the toilet, which is effectively being rebranded. Plusnet was acquired by BT back at the start of 2007 and EE, of course, was acquired by BT nine years later, so this looks like a spot of brand consolidation by BT.
Plusnet was formed in Yorkshire, a fact that BT has been obsessed with in its marketing of the ISP ever since. A typical Plusnet ad sees an earthy, blue-collar Yorkshireman talking earnestly to camera about how committed to good, old-fashioned, honest customer service the company is. In doing so it rides on the coat-tails of Hovis bread, which has been flogging Yorkshire clichés in its marketing for decades.
The notion that broadband being served from Yorkshire is somehow more wholesome than any other broadband is, of course, laughable, but to be fair Plusnet marketing is somewhat tongue-in-cheek. On the other hand broadband is highly commoditized and thus difficult to differentiate, so focusing on customer service and culture probably isn’t a bad idea.
said: “This is an incredibly exciting moment in our company’s history,” said Plusnet CEO Andy Baker. “True to our Yorkshire roots, Plusnet has always prided itself on offering customers more for less, and extending our offering to include a mobile service is a natural next step as we move to become a full-service quad-play provider. With the launch of Plusnet Mobile, we’ll be helping more people stay connected on-the-go with our fantastic data-packed deals and highly competitive rates.”
Plusnet Mobile is a SIM-only MVNO designed to take on UK incumbents such as Giffgaff and the new Virgin Media 4G service. The tariffs seem competitive and BT has deep pockets to outspend its competitors on marketing, so expect lots more footage of whippets, flat caps and parodies of Last of the Summer Wine (lead image credit: BBC).
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