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  • Tania Ellis
  • September 6, 2012
Sustainability in the heart of sales



“Tal ordentligt – det koster dig ikke noget” (“Speak decently – it doesn’t cost you anything”) is the tagline of Danish low-cost mobile company Call Me’s public awareness-raising campaign, which focuses on the harsh tone in the Danish public sphere. The campaign is the culmination of Call Me’s strategic shift from focusing on profit to focusing on purpose. A strategy which has already created tangible results on both the inner and outer bottom lines.


Call Me operates in a highly competitive market – a “red ocean” – where price is the key differentiator. Nevertheless, about a year ago, Call Me’s CEO, Hanne Lindblad, decided to transform the company’s business model by putting social responsibility and social capital (trust) into the heart of Call Me’s business.

The first step of Call Me’s TRUST strategy was to clarify what the company should stand for – a process that all employees were involved in. The result was a common recognition that all dreamed of making a difference. This was then linked to some guiding principles, The Call Me Waywhich builds on a new foundation of creating value for not only Call Me’s shareholders, but also for its employees, customers and for society at large.

After the internal alignment process, Call Me has focused its TRUST efforts on its customers with its “Speak decently” campaign, which is just the first of several customer engagement initiatives that the telecommunication company has in the pipeline.

Watch Call Me’s campaign video here:



When was the last time you told your operator that you were proud of them? Did you ever? But that is exactly the type of response Call Me is starting to get from its customers.

I was so happy to see your initiative when I saw your commercials on TV”, “Beautiful campaign, I am so proud that I have a mobile phone company that has the courage to address a real societal problem”, is just some of the online feedback Call Me has received on its campaign site >

As a promotor of New Pioneers and sustainable business models, it has been uplifting for me to see how quickly Call Me’s new strategic focus has produced quantitative results:

While Call Me has run its awareness-raising campaign, competitors have continued their usual low-price promotion campaigns. And despite of this, Call Me’s customer base grew 75% more than budgeted in the first quarter of 2012.

Furthermore, Call Me has internally experienced what a difference it makes when employee satisfaction transforms into employee enthusiasm – a significant change that over the past year has more than halved the company’s employee turnover. Call Me’s TRUST strategy has, in other words, boosted both the inner and outer bottom lines.

The tangible results of Call Me’s revitalized business strategy are now inspiring competitors to follow track. And meanwhile, Call Me is continuing its engaging corporate responsibility efforts by now also putting its money where its mouth is: If Call Me’s customers make a pledge to speak decently at Tal ordentligt, Call Me donates money to promote the good tone in Danish public schools.



1. Your corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts should be related to your company’s core business. So if you operate in an industry which sells communication solutions, it makes good business sense to focus your social engagement in an issue or cause that is all about communication.

2. Putting corporate responsibility and social capital into the heart of business strategy requires support – and must be driven – by top management, if you want to succeed.

3. If you want to transform your business model into a socially responsible and sustainable one, you have to start internally. If not, your external campaigns will be experienced as unauthentic add-on communication.

4. In other words: Making your business-driven CSR-strategy come alive starts with culture – as Call Me’s CEO puts it: “Culture eats strategy for lunch“!

5. Use social media to not only communicate to but also to engage your employees and customers. It is personal, visible, accessible, enables peer recognition, and is measurable. But remember only to use relevant social media channels – choose the ones where your employees and customers are already present.

More about Call Me

Watch all Call Me’s campaign videos and TV press coverage >

Call Me’s business case was featured together with Tania Ellis, The Social Business Company, as one of its trusted advisors in the Danish national newspaper, Jyllands-Posten. Read the article >

Call Me’s CEO, Hanne Lindblad, contributed with a presentation at The Social Business Club‘s miniconference on Corporate Social Engagement, 4th September 2012. 


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