What can sub-brands do to increase relevance with your customers?

Monday, 15 April 2019

Sub-brands can allow mobile operators to target specific segments and niches with distinct service propositions, but what does this mean in practice? This new article introduces four key factors that must be considered when creating and launching a sub-brand.

The ubiquitous availability of mobile subscriptions, as well as alternative OTT offers, has intensified competition for mobile service providers. As a result, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) have to understand and engage with users in a more intimate way to remain competitive. The more differentiated the market, the less likely it is to be either within reach of the MNO’s existing brand or clearly understood by key stakeholders.

As such, it may be impractical or impossible for an MNO to use its main brand to present targeted offers through the right channels to reach distinct market segments. They may lack understanding of the specific ecosystem and misdirect their messages, or they may simply be unable to communicate with customers in the right way.

Sub-brands change this. They help MNOs to increase their relevance to customers and to build new relationships with specific audiences, such as:

  • Youth segments
  • Elderly citizens
  • Visually or aurally impaired
  • Children, with parentally-controlled services and devices
  • Customers or users of other, related services, e.g. finance
  • Business or SME customers

The value of sub-brands is increasingly recognised. Some MNOs have launched entirely separate entities, while others have a close relationship with the parent. They can also be a strong defensive tactic, allowing MNOs to indirectly ward off competition from an aggressive new entrant.

That’s because slowing down or protecting against new entrants with disruptive models is difficult and costly. A sub-brand with the right reach, proposition, distribution and partnerships can be the simplest and fastest way to defend markets while also enabling entry to new niches.

However, while a sub-brand provides a specific, purpose-built vehicle for enabling such targeting, MNOs have to understand how to reach, target and engage with the prospective audience. To achieve this, there are four key factors that need to be considered.

  1. What is the ability to market to a specific audience?
  2. What is the service proposition that is most likely to appeal and to be relevant?
  3. What distribution channels are required that are relevant to this audience?
  4. What partnerships are required to address the defined service requirements?

MNOs must review each of these factors to determine if a sub-brand is an appropriate solution. For example, today’s fragmented audiences are engaged through an equally fragmented set of channels. Traditional models of advertising and promotion are unlikely to be able to penetrate to all segments. New routes to market need to be identified, created and maintained.

There’s much more – but if you really want to understand how sub-brands can enable MNOs to increase relevance with your customers, why not download our new white paper “How to Capitalise on the Sub-brand Opportunity“?

It explains how MNOs can use sub-brands to target new customers, defend from digital attackers and launch new propositions, while providing key success factors to help you deliver.

And, Paul Bassa, EVP Mobile Cloud from Digitalk will address this key strategic question in a key session at next month’s MVNO World Congress in Amsterdam. For an in-depth briefing and discussion on the ways in which sub-brands can enable you to become more relevant to your customers, book a meeting with Digitalk.

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