For many years, Communication Service Providers (CSPs) have been undergoing a digital transformation to meet the growing demands of customers. According to a study by Analysys Mason, CSPs have taken two primary strategies: the ambitious, end-to-end approach, or the conservative, phased approach. But the two had one major similarity: it took years of work and hundreds of millions of dollars to achieve even partial results.
A new opportunity
The advent of the digital brand provides a solution to one of the biggest problems facing CSPs: finding a way to adapt to their customers’ growing variety of needs while simultaneously fending off new competition that is not encumbered by legacy software and operations.
Digital brands, or sub-brands, not only enable operators to pursue a multi-brand strategy, but also provide their customers access to fully digital, tailor-made solutions. In addition, many CSPs improve brand positioning and value for their customers.
Not sleeping on the opportunity, TM Forum reports CSPs have launched over 200 digital brands around the world, and the results speak for themselves. Research shows that digital brands have seen strong subscriber growth, regardless of the flagship brand.
They have not all been successful, but not for reasons entirely in their control – timing is everything. While the telecommunications industry experiences a wave of digital transformation, the world is locked in the throes of an unrelenting pandemic. Yet for all its woes, COVID-19 has driven the need for digital services and brought digital transformation to the forefront, rapidly increasing consumers’ adoption. This dramatic shift in demand for services from CSPs makes the digital brand an even more attractive strategic move in today’s struggling economy.
The digital brand of today
Digital brands are being used to create new identities for CSPs as “lifestyle partners” for consumers. Not only does this allow service providers to reach previously untapped consumers, it also creates a brand-new stream of revenue from existing relationships.
To enable the CSP to become a true lifestyle partner of consumers, the digital brand of today needs to offer the essentials:
- Simplify the customer experience by offering contract-free plans with limited options and full omni-channel digital engagement.
- Hyper-personalized curated partner content directly to consumers in order to meet their lifestyle needs. This includes using AI and machine learning to drive continuous user and brand engagement.
- Fast time to market, enabling marketing teams to offer new content and promotions quickly for new partners and consumers
By providing a nimble, focused business stack that is optimized for the digital brand of today, CSPs can become true digital lifestyle partners.
Next steps for CSPs
“Durable brands are adaptable brands,” according to the Harvard Business Review, and CSPs who push themselves to interact with their customers in more innovative and creative ways will be the most successful in the long run.
Digital brands present CSPs low stakes and relatively inexpensive opportunity to experiment and innovate new ways to reach consumers. Utilizing the agility that comes with new technologies with their openness to partner ecosystems, CSPs have a unique opportunity to transcend the traditional consumer experience by becoming digital lifestyle partners, meeting customers’ needs in a whole new way.
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