Chun-ling Woon Chun-ling Woon Chief Strategy Officer - Etiya

Featured Blogs

Sub-brands, and how to win in this brave new world

  • As already discussed in a blog from my colleague at Etiya, telecoms operators are beginning to see secondary brands with new eyes, regarding them less as a necessary evil and more as a vehicle for radical change.


    Indeed, innovative and fast-moving service providers are now taking the fight to the over-the-top players by creating new, digital businesses that are unencumbered by legacy BSS and OSS systems and offer a fresh approach to service provision and the customer experience.


    One thing is for certain: this is not a task for the faint hearted. At the same time, no telco can afford to rest on its laurels and watch helplessly as their mobile subscriber base churns to a more digitally savvy rival. They have no choice but to create a new business model and encourage digital natives to pledge allegiance to a brand that at least falls within their own portfolio.


    The question is, how does an established telco actually transition into an app-based, digital service that will appeal to the more demanding user? There are three main elements that, if correctly applied, can lead to success. Broadly speaking, a service provider requires a different operating model, a different service model, and a different infrastructure model.


    Taking the operating model first, the trick here is to create a very clear focus on specific market segments or communities. This “nano-segmentation” of the customer base requires a comprehensive understanding of the particular market segment that the new digital brand intends to target. It is important to know how users within this nano-segment interact, how and what they buy, and what is the community of interest that unites them.


    In addition, the job of the service provider is to focus less on technology and more on marketing to create a unique customer experience for a specific nano-segment. The underlying technology should be left to the vendors, which are able to provide both the IT and network infrastructure as a managed service. The service provider is then free to focus on the things it knows best, enabling it to create a compelling customer experience for the target audience.


    In terms of changes to the service model, the principal focus here is on automation and self-service, supported by social media analytics and artificial intelligence. What does this mean? It means that the experience is unique to a particular individual because the service provider has enough data on that community of interest. Campaigns should no longer be focused on the mass market, but on the particular needs and interests of a certain nano-segment.


    Last but not least, a different infrastructure model is also required that allows a greater degree of service personalisation. Instead of the unwieldy and highly complex legacy networks of the past, networks should be lighter, fully virtualised and fully mobile to serve the individual needs of subscribers. After all, people spend €1,000 on a smartphone that only they will use, and it is their personal experience that should be the concern of every operator out there.


    It’s easy to say, but not so easy to do. This is certainly a brave new world, and only those with the courage to turn their current business models on their head will win in the longer term.

    Chun-ling Woon
    About Chun-ling Woon Chun-ling Woon works as Chief Strategy Officer at Etiya
    More information :