Vodafone, the world’s largest mobile telephone network operator, was one of the great growth stories of the 1990s. Founded in the early 1980s, Vodafone first built a strong base in the UK, and then expanded abroad in the late 1980s and early 1990s. By 2000, Vodafone had the largest network in the world and shifted its attention to a new priority: creating an effective global organization that would capture synergies in revenue growth, cost reduction, and capital expenditures. The challenge would not be easy. Most of Vodafone’s operating companies had their own brand names, distinct channel strategies, and local product strategies. Exactly how to design and manage the new organization was not clear.
This integrative case begins with a discussion of industry forces and company strategy, and then examines the process of designing a global organization. Next, it focuses on global branding, which involves not just setting a brand strategy and migrating local brands, but also executing a global campaign of communications and sponsorships.
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