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By Karim Benkirane, managing director, Virgin Mobile UAE

Brand intimacy is the making or breaking of a brand and customer experience is often now the key differentiator from the competition. We live in an ‘always on’ society where customers are well informed about common marketing practices. Consumers are relentless in switching brands and unforgiving when they don’t deliver on their promise. The days of absolute brand loyalty are gone.

Customer-centric brands are able to deliver on the experiences their customers value most, such as a deep understanding of their true needs and respect for their time and loyalty, speaking their language and sharing their values, and a willingness to be transparent and show a genuine interest in the dialogue with consumers.

Just as your perception of someone is formed by every direct or indirect interaction with them, so is your perception of a brand. In the same way you subconsciously decide those people you choose to spend time with, so you make a choice about which brands you will interact with on a repeat basis. Therefore, the more you can harness modern technology and utilize the various behavior data to improve every touch point and interaction your customer has with your brand, the more opportunity you have to create a positive experience. Implementing tools that allow for the voice of the customer to be assessed in real-time, an agile approach that informs the decisions on product development and then closing the loop with content that demonstrates that we’ve listened to their needs are critical in the customer-centric brand building process.

People expect to connect with brands in the way they choose, and they expect a simple and seamless experience. The concept of category expectation transference is any brand’s every day challenge. Mobile brands no longer compete within category they compete across all categories as consumers are offered more and more platforms that simplify their lives and present easy solutions to their everyday pain points. Today consumers can book rides, arrange for accommodation and get the answer to all their questions within only a few clicks.

Virgin Mobile champions the UAE’s customer and recognizes their expectation.  We have developed a product that allows customers to get activated following a few easy steps at their own time and at their preferred location. The ability to get your SIM within one hour to your home is a market first clearly driven by the consumer’s various category experiences. In the UAE, people demand convenience and are getting it anytime. We will continue to engage customers in the process and make them the steer behind our innovative, development plans so that we can continue to deliver a best-in-class mobile experience. Additionally, they can connect with us anytime and change their plan whenever they want to. Flexibility is a core benefit that the Virgin Mobile proposition in the UAE is offering packaged in a simple and transparent brand experience.

We very much believe that customers value different benefits and there is no such thing as ‘one fits all’. Offering flexibility, convenience and control is what we place at the core of our customer proposition with the aim to deliver an innovative mobile experience. All this with an agile model that allows for quick optimizations.

As we celebrate our second anniversary, Virgin Mobile is focused on delivering even more cutting-edge services, more exciting digital features and bigger partnerships in the near future. We challenge the status quo, it’s at the heart of our business and brand purpose of continuously ‘Making Mobile Better’. Everything we have achieved has been possible mainly by starting on a solid foundation that is rooted in our brand genes: put our people first, build a strong culture and an organization you are proud of; the end product will immediately reflect this ethos.

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