On Stage with Torsten Brodt & János Heé

New subscription made by WIRZ

GÖNN is here! Deutsche Telekom and WIRZ have developed a customized mobile subscription that offers experiences in addition to the best network for little money. Called GÖNN, the digital subscription is an absolute novelty on the German Telekom market. Torsten Brodt from Telekom and Wirzler János Heé, have commented on the cooperation in this challenging project.

2. October 2023

Explains to us in a few words something about the product, the task and the product launch.

Torsten: The product can be summed up quite simply in a few words: "digital and more than just a rate". We really want to reach the YOUNG target group - and that means moving away from "just a cheap rate" as is common in the sector. We offer our best network at a strong price, garnished with a monthly experience as a topping. The key insight to this was the general price orientation of the target audience as well as their specific love of digital discount codes. The first deal is an unbeatable offer: We bring back the €9 Germany train ticket for one month.

János: We had the task of convincing GenZ with a new, radically simplified product. This product redefines the market because of its feature and marketing: we want to increase the interaction with the GenZ and not be just another subscription with even more gigabytes. This is not trivial, because Telekom already has an existing portfolio of exciting mobile subscriptions, for example Congstar or fraenk. We started from scratch and not only implemented the marketing, but also the price plan, the sales mechanics and the interaction design together.

Gen Z is the digital generation. What is the marketing mix for GÖNN? What are the most important touchpoints?

Torsten: We want to reach Gen-Z where they like to be: on the web and in apps. But we didn't launch this product without connecting to the traditional service channels - if the worst comes to the worst, a human being is still the best person to help.

János: We don't use the classic channels, we want to be close to the target group that primarily spends time on TikTok and Co. This means that we convince with content and the "proposition". The "product-led-growth" element plays a central role here. How do we inspire existing customers so that they recommend the product to others? To this end, we have developed a new mechanic that we will play out via a smart campaign architecture on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube via influencers. Before we launched, we used real mockups to measure the reactions of the target group, because "test-measure-learn" is in the DNA of the Telekom-WIRZ team.

GenZ is a target group between self-discovery, climate change and self-confidence. How do you perceive this target group?

Torsten: In addition to "self-discovery, climate change and self-awareness," there was another keyword: individualism. Therefore, there is no rule of thumb for addressing the GenZ. The proposition idea is strong in that it can adapt quickly with the additional offers.

János: We are both GenX and have learned a lot about GenZ. At first we were skeptical: is GenZ really different from other generations? Why? And does it even make sense to develop a product for a generation? We were able to benefit from experiences in the telecom industry in Switzerland. Speaking of climate change, tests with the target group showed that the "social proof bias" really exists: what the generation says is not the same when you put them in front of concrete action alternatives.

Why did WIRZ receive the project commitment?

Torsten: We wanted to not only reach the young target group in the German market with an innovative, digital telco product, but to inspire them. That was the core of the pitch brief. WIRZ responded with a project team specifically put together for the job from different areas of expertise such as business strategy, marketing, storytelling and design. In a distinct competitive process, this convinced us. In addition, the involvement of the target group, for example in the naming or design, was a central element during the workshops. We thought that was great. It was also great that we received everything from a single source, without complicated briefings: from the product strategy to the implementation on the social media channels.

How far did co-creation go in the Desing Thinking approach?

Torsten: For us, co-creation stands for creative collaboration. There are no predefined boundaries here. We are open and decide together how far we go here. Sometimes this happens very spontaneously. We also involve the customers intensively in this process. The fact that we were able to get the GÖNN app live within just eight months is like a small miracle in the Deutsche Telekom Group.

With co-creation, isn't there a risk of being less bold and brash when the client is sitting at the same table?

Torsten: We worked very much and also very intensively in the group. Nevertheless, it was "allowed" for flashes of inspiration from individuals in the team to captivate us and we then continued to work on them. Ideas often emerged outside our team meetings, for example on the bike on the way to the office.

János:It depends on good moderation.Sometimes we exchanged opinions among ourselves in front of the "client". This requires a lot of trust in the team and not the classic "agency-client" view. We all saw ourselves as a team on a common mission.

For the image, the customer Deutsche Telekom is great. How important is this customer win for WIRZ in the overall context?

János: For us, it is very important that we can gain a foothold in the German market as an owner-managed Swiss agency. It's not true that we Swiss are much too expensive compared to other international agencies. We simply have to find better methods, tools and approaches, through which we can achieve the same result with less time. For example, we designed some workshops with generative AI. Individual elements of the product were also created from AI-based tools. It is also important for us to be able to demonstrate expertise in the development of new, innovative products and in subscription-based business models.

What are the plans in general? Does WIRZ want to become more international?

János: Our sphere of influence automatically becomes larger with projects like the one at Telekom, because Wirz has an impact. (laughs) We don't want to get bogged down; the German-speaking region is our focus. But we will prove that we can create competitive advantages for our customers internationally, whether with a new product, an innovative service, or a digital customer journey.

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