Introduction The mobile communications industry is an important sector with European total revenues growing approximately 10 per cent per year and reaching 174 billion in 2010, comparable in size to aerospace and larger than pharmaceuticals (GSMA, 2011). Markets all over Europe are mature, and the operators engage in intense competition for customers. Heavy investments are made in marketing in order to gain new customers, whereas few efforts are made to retain the customers and build profitable long-term relationships (Ferguson and Brohaugh, 2008). Orange, Cosmote, Vodafone, Telemobil and RCS&RDS are the key players within mobile communications industry. All are implementing marketing strategies based on emotions. They are building customer databases to manage relationships with their corporate brand / company, but not all of them reach the same level of attitude towards their brand, reputation, tribalism or satisfaction with the brand. On the basis of the findings of this research, implications for marketing practice and directions for further research are discussed.
Company history Vodafone Group PLC is the world’s leading mobile telecommunications company, with a significant presence in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and the US through the company’s subsidiary undertakings, joint ventures, associated undertakings and investments. Company Structure The company is split into four main sectors: • Business solutions — helping business get the best products and advice that they possibly can. It has a variety of services that is made available to SMEs and large corporations. • Personal solutions — helping consumers get the best products and advice that they possibly can. • Business ideas — a strand designed to offer businesses tailor made solutions to help businesses become more efficient. • Mobile solutions — a sector devised to help customers become more mobile and help predict the cost of mobile communications. The MobiFon SA was launched on 15th April 1997, under the Connex brand and it was among the first GSM mobile services technology in Romania. The company launched the first mobile internet 3G technology in April 2005.
On 1st of June 2005, it became part of MobiFon, considered the largest mobile group after its takeover by the Vodafone Group Plc. At that particular moment, the acquisition of Connex , worthing $ 3.5 billion, was the largest transaction ever recorded in Romania after 1989. In late 2004, before it was cooped by Vodafone, Connex had 4.91 million customers and had recorded an annual turnover of 554 million euros. The transaction included the acquisition of Czech operator, Oskar Mobil, by Vodafone. Oskar Mobil and Connex were owned by the Canadian group Telesystem International Wireless. Some analysts have estimated that the bulk transaction amount was paid for Mobifon, whose market value was quoted about $ 3.3 billion. Vodafone already held 20.1% of MobiFon. The transaction from 2005 by the British group brought over 79% of the Romanian shares. A package of 0.9% of the shares, were owned by Connex Romania, by the businessman George Copos. He sold his shares to Connex in 2005 for 24 million euros. Vodafone is considered the second on the local mobile market. According to the ‘Top 100 most valuable companies in 2011’, Vodafone is ranked of the 5th place, with a value of 2,000 million euros (Dumitrache, 2012).
Industry and Type of business The mobile communication sector ’ s importance is increasing because it is a sector that, since 1990s ( Peighambari, 2007 ), became a dynamic force that may play a role in the technological, economic and productive development of industrialised nations. Moreover, the mobile sector now ranks among Europe ’ s most important sectors (GSMA, 2011 ). Being extremely technology driven, this sector is different from many other sectors of the economy. Romanian mobile operators ’ total revenues have...