Reality check

How market research re-established context at the heart of intelligent research

By BT Broadband, the UK's most popular broadband provider.


Brand positioning for new product

In 2009, BT wanted to create a motivating brand positioning for their new fibre-optic broadband product for the upcoming product launch in 2010. This positioning needed to take into account the existing UK broadband market, where Virgin had established strong technology and speed equity. BT identified the need to develop a positioning based on motivating end user benefits and positive life impact.


Quantitative and qualitative techniques

An initial global study looked at the positive and lasting life impact of fibre-optic broadband for users in 5 countries where the product was already established to varying degrees (The Netherlands, France, Japan, South Korea, USA). The impact of fibre optic broadband on the lives of the 20 people in these countries was tracked through private media blogs over a 2 week period, and were further explored with in-depth interviews. Following this, an extended 3 month fibre-optic broadband product experience community was set up. 40 Households were given the new technology and asked to document their thoughts and experiences during the adoption process. Private blogging and forum based responses were accommodated on a bespoke and fully video enabled online research platform. This allowed BT to be right in amongst the moments that mattered, so that they could see the real impact of broadband beyond the exciting honeymoon period, and into the real longer term benefits of the technology.

So what?

Exceeded sales predictions and remaining position leader

The output of the community was analysed to develop the new BT Infinity positioning which promoted the benefits of having 6 simultaneous, high quality internet experiences rather than one big and eye catching headline speed. This was described as the ‘multiplied internet’ and was illustrated and supported using user generated video clips from the study to create senior client team engagement and buy in.

The new positioning for Infinity was adopted and used to form the basis of the launch communications campaign in 2010. This campaign delivered considerable success that far exceeded the launch predictions, and saw 550,000 homes already connected to Infinity by July 2012. The insight has had an enduring influence of communications and the theme of the ‘multiplied internet’ was again used in a TV ad that topped Marketing magazine’s Adwatch league table in August 2012. BT Infinity remains the market leader for UK fibre-optic broadband in 2016.