Effective branding yields customer loyalty

Ben Bannister, Intec
27 Sep 2006

In offering next-generation wireless services, it is essential not just to gain customers, but to retain them as well. Reducing churn cuts costs and provides a platform to build revenue and boost margins.

Increasingly important in attracting and retaining customers is brand affinity. When customers recognize and associate with the things that a service provider's brand represents, attracting them to want to sign up, and stay signed up, with the service becomes easier.

An understanding of how to build brand characteristics to deliver something that is both recognizable and different is a fundamental objective of a wireless service provider's marketing program.

With scores of messages and brands in the market, it is important to move as close as possible to the customer to ensure brand affinity. This requires granular customer- and segment-specific demographic information as well as the ability to market directly to customers or prospective customers through the provision of attractive pricing, compelling content and innovative service bundles. Real-time responsiveness and a single view of the customer is key.

Data needs to be transformed into information and information must yield intelligence. With such intelligence, service providers can create innovative mobile services packages for greater customer intimacy.

New business model

With prepaid-only services, the relationship between the customer and the service provider is somewhat tenuous. Regulatory pressure is increasingly placing a requirement for a minimum name, address and related contact information to be validated before prepaid services are offered.

In many markets, such information is not captured, so customer knowledge starts and ends with the international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) / mobile identification number (MIN) and possibly a credit card number.

This creates a barrier for service providers wishing to use conventional approaches to marketing their services and building a strong brand proposition.

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