- Needed a modern way to enable employees to share the brand story
- On-the-go retail store employees lacked easy access to O2 content
- Could not measure the impact on employees as a marketing channel
It’s really cool that our CEO and every single member of the board uses O2 Amp. That’s a testament to their support of the program and their belief in how it works. They’re focused on seeing the value and tap into our people about sharing positive stories about our brand.”
– Kristian Lorenzon, Head of Social Media & Culture
Telecommunication provider O2 has a mission of connecting consumers and businesses with wireless technology solutions that are indispensable to modern life. The company also has a remarkable knack at public branding that makes it one of the best-known brands in the U.K.
For instance, O2 is synonymous with music. It sponsors The O2 in London, which is the world’s busiest entertainment arena, as well as 19 other music venues across the country. It’s also an official supporter of England Rugby.
Those affiliations help explain why O2 has a deep connection to the public and a loyal customer base of 27 million people.
Here’s another reason. Employees are eager to share the company story with the broader world in their authentic voices.
That’s why O2 was an early adopter of Employee Advocacy and continues to be an innovator by fine-tuning a program to benefit both the brand and the individual employee.
“We realized that we faced a lot of challenges to reaching our growing, deskless workforce,” said Kristian Lorenzon, Head of Social Media & Culture. “We had people who were really engaged with digital apps. They wanted to have more of a social media presence and represent the brand. So, there was a huge desire on our part to give them the tools to be advocates.”
Lorenzon said O2 wanted to accomplish three key business objectives.
With those requirements as the top priorities, O2 chose to partner with Dynamic Signal, the market-leader in Employee Communication and Engagement, to launch the O2 Amp platform. It connects the 7,000 employees at the head office as well as frontline workers at 500 stores across the U.K. to great, shareable content.
The platform achieved those initial goals. But O2 Amp also contributes to company culture by keeping everyone informed about happenings throughout the company and reinforcing the O2 values of being open, bold, and trusted.
“We positioned O2 Amp in a way that it’s helping contribute to the business and tell the wider corporate narrative,” Lorenzon said. “We’re giving people a voice externally and enabling them to become brand advocates.”
O2 is a London-based subsidiary of Spanish global giant Telefónica. The company name comes from the chemical symbol for the oxygen molecule. The idea is that O2 technology is essential to our connected lives.
Considerable thought went into the O2 Amp name as well.
“For a company like us that prides ourselves on our marketing and branding, the name was quite critical,” Lorenzon said. “O2 Amp fits into our heritage in music and sports. It’s really about how we empower employees to become amplifying forces for the brand.”
The impact has been dramatic.
O2 Amp has driven “between GBP/£150,000 and 200,000” of Earned Media Value each year, Lorenzon said. That’s the result of annual metrics that include 9 million-plus impressions and 40,000 clicks from 15,000-plus shares.
Employees have access to approved content about the company, products, and O2-sponsored music and sports events – all easily shareable from any device. Anytime there was a new product launch or campaign, everyone across the business would be encouraged to share the content.
“When we had the launch of Apple Watch O2, one piece of content alone was shared by 500 employees, drove 150,000 impressions, and contributed to the product selling out in three days,” he added.
O2 Amp also reinforces company values – especially with frontline store workers.
“The core beliefs of our company are personified by O2 Amp,” Lorenzon said. “We can talk in a very transparent manner about our brand and services. It helps us be bold in our thinking and be more trusted with our employees. Customers are really looking for trust, and we’re starting to build that through our employees.”
That focus on culture has contributed to a positive perception of the brand overall as well as CEO Mark Evans, who ranks 13th among top executives in the U.K. on Glassdoor.
But even the most successful programs can improve. That’s what O2 did in 2019.
Over six years, O2 Amp had grown increasingly complex with different content streams. O2 decided the best way to get additional volume from employee voices was to simplify the platform to make it more user-friendly and scalable.
“We were putting a lot of time and investment into creating articles, and it was potentially getting siloed in content streams,” Lorenzon said. “We wanted to extend the reach of the content.”
Instead of targeting niche categories like Marketing, Operations, and Human Resources, O2 streamlined content into two main content feeds relevant to employee roles.
It was like turning up O2 Amp even louder.
There were increases of 180 percent in active users, 66 percent in employee content submissions, and a 20 percent-plus boost in platform engagement. Also, a 16 percent increase in shares led to a jump of 27 percent in clicks and 12 percent in reactions.
“The biggest thing is employees return to the platform,” Lorenzon said. “The program isn’t about driving all the employees to it, but rather driving the most engaged employees. The right people are using the platform more. Because of that, all of the other key metrics have improved.”
Employees see O2 Amp as a way to share their company pride. But it’s also a tangible way to improve their Net Promoter Scores – a key company evaluation metric for workers.
“For many people, that’s probably not something they feel is part of their normal role,” Lorenzon added. “But this tool lets them have an impact on that. We’ve shown this is a good platform to help drive employee NPS because it gets people engaged, which hopefully drives advocacy and promotes our Employer Brand.”
And turns up the volume on O2.
We’re giving our people the means to do something with this information. Making it accessible and easy to share is really beneficial – and powerful.”
– Kristian Lorenzon, Head of Social Media & Culture