Swiss operator Sunrise has launched a program called Sunrise Young Voices, in order to focus more strongly on the youth demographic. The Sunrise Young campaign was developed by people under 30—both inside and outside the company—and focuses on zero-rated social media and streaming services.
The new youth-oriented products are offered within the operator’s Freedom Young Swiss Data and Sunrise One Young Light packages. Existing Sunrise Freedom Young subscriptions will gain some new features without price increases. Along with unlimited LTE+ data at speeds up to 700 Mbps for CHF 45.00 (US $44.61) a month, as before, starting on 19 November it will have unlimited WhatsApp data in Switzerland is being supplemented by unlimited roaming data for WhatsApp. The zero-rating of data applies to text, image and video files, as well as to audio. WhatsApp VoIP, however, is not included. A similar arrangement applies to Snapchat.
Sunrise One Young Light offers unlimited internet and a mobile subscription at home, as well as unlimited surfing, messaging, YouTube, and apps while on the go, all for CHF 99.00 (US $98.15) a month, and always with the highest possible connection speed. The Forever Young guarantee from Sunrise allows customers to keep their Young subscription after they turn 30, at the same price and with all the benefits offered by a Young subscription.
Sunrise Freedom Young campaign was developed by young people and trainees at Sunrise. The main actors in the campaign are young people from Switzerland between 16 and 25. The smartphone youth study marks the start of a more intense focus by Sunrise on the under-30 segment. In the future, a team of young people and teenagers known as Sunrise Young Voices will help Sunrise gain a more extensive insight into the digital lifestyles of people under 30, as well as the things that are generally important to them. Sunrise Young Voices will meet regularly with Sunrise representatives, including top management.
The importance of the youth demographic for mobile operators cannot be overstated. Youth (variously defined, but under 30 is a reliable metric) is a window in which life choices about brand loyalty are determined, and operators need to take advantage of that fact by gaining customers at that age. And in order to win them over, operators need to understand the usage patterns and cultural preferences that are characteristic of the demographic.
Studying the demographic from a distance is no substitute for directly engaging with young users themselves, and we think that Sunrise’s proactive approach of recruiting people within the company and even from outside it, to work on a task force, is an excellent one.
Recognizing that young users are more data-oriented than older ones, and that they rely heavily on portals such as WhatsApp and Snapchat is important, of course, but an operator in today’s competitive markets will have to move beyond simply zero-rating data on certain apps or even making sure that plan prices for youth are kept low enough for their budgets. Operators will have to show a sensitivity to youths’ tastes, usage habits and cultural proclivities in order to win and keep their business. They have to design advertising and marketing campaigns that are tailored to youths, and they will have to make it possible to subscribe in ways that are maximally seamless in terms of the ways youths tend to access services. In short, setting up a program such as Sunrise Young Voices is an excellent move, particularly for operators that to date have not made an aggressive attempt to design packages exclusively for the under-30 demographic.