Bharti Airtel - Eight Inc.

Bharti Airtel.
Share, Create, Experience.

“Their ‘Experience Masterplan’ process took us on a collaborative, creative journey which has set the blueprint for our new retail strategy.” – Gopal Vittal, Chief Executive Officer, Bharti Airtel

Telecommunications stores have long become an uninspired transactional space. Together with Airtel, we created a retail experience that offers far more than payment services – one that empowers customers to explore how they can Share, Create, and Experience on the Airtel network.

When we began working with Bharti Airtel Limited, we were tasked with ‘upgrading’ the design of their retail stores. However as we immersed ourselves in the project, we recognized an opportunity to redesign not only the physical space, but also the entirety of the customer journey.

We created the new Airtel retail offering – one in which the physical space; the products within (both digital and physical); verbal and non-verbal in-store communications; and staff behaviors work in tandem to become more than the sum of their parts. Together they deliver an emotionally engaging, consumer-centric, holistic retail vision.

In the summer of 2017, the first two stores launched of this format, and the roll-out of the retail concept will continue across 2,500 stores across India.

Airtel Environments

The store’s architectural spatial arrangement allows for a sequence of spaces and natural flows that facilitate ease of use and orientation with newly defined postures and environmental scenarios creating a stage and enabling staff to engage with customers in new ways.

The stores are largely divided into two zones: An open ‘Experience Zone’, which invites customers to explore Airtel Products and Services on a family of freestanding and wall hanging interactive touchpoints. A ‘Service Wall’ along the other side of the store is dedicated to service provision and transactional activities both face-to-face and on interactive ‘Fast Lane’ self-serve stations.

We used honest, contemporary, tactile materials to provide an inviting and warm atmosphere with a human touch whilst still maintaining a premium feel, reflective of the brand and its values.

Airtel Products and Services

Visitors encounter a series of experience ‘moments’ through digital engagement that would emotionally resonate and leave a lasting impression.

An aggregated social media motion-content wall attracts and inspires customers so they understand how Airtel can enrich their lives by connecting more people in more relevant, data-driven and dynamic ways. The new touch-points bring to life and celebrate the continued strength of the Airtel network.

Through an inspiring digital touch-table experience, customers are empowered to configure a tailored suite of Airtel plans and packages to suit their personal needs in a fun, intuitive and lifestyle-themed way. The self-care service further caters for and encourages customers to quickly access what they require to perform functional tasks in an easy and streamlined fashion.

Airtel Communications

Each element of in-store communications helps customers to do more, feel more and connect more.

Building on existing Airtel brand guidelines we created a retail-specific communications style, which – working in harmony with the environmental design – helps to set the overall tone of the space and defines how and where customers touch and interact with the Airtel brand in store.

Airtel Behaviors

“The new design touches our customer in so many ways. Customers who have experienced the new stores, have provided amazing feedback to our team.”  – Vani Venkatesh, Chief Executive Officer of Retail, Bharti Airtel

We also defined and designed a new consumer-centric ‘Serve to Solve’ behavior model. The new model includes how Airtel staff (Friends) will engage with customers. It derives from and supports the new retail proposition, “Share, Create, Experience”.

Designed to facilitate change within the Airtel business the strategic approach focuses on employee experience rather than on the customer experience. By focusing on an employee experience-based behavior change model (the values they believe in, the infrastructure that supports them, the environment that surrounds them, to the products, services, and tools they use to do their job), they were able to forge a deeper and valued human connection with their customers.


Photography by Nacasa & Partners