The launch of Orange brand by Telkom Kenya yesterday at KICC ground is a milestone in Kenya telecommunication industry and specifically mobile telephony sector. According to the Chief Executive Officer of Telkom Kenya Mr. Dominique Saint-Jean, the company now offers several services in one package, with unrivaled value and simplifying the customer experience at competitive prices .
The launch might be the easier part considering the landscape they have to cover in order to gain even 10% percent of the market shares. Kenyans have a queer calling habits, at the time when Michael Joseph said that most people thought it was a joke but new entrants into the mobile telephony market would ignore this at their own peril. There are a number of things which differentiate Kenyans from other breeds of humankind.
- The close ties and expectation of the people around us
- The unique sizes of the families, ok am talking about how extended is the extended family is
- The need to fit in certain class or status. I know most of you will say no to this but truly speaking Kenyans are very class conscious people
- The deep caring mentality of the close friends
- Love for free things, to be fair let just say cheap things
- Extraordinary loyalty to specific brands
Taking all the above and you get a unique brand of people with unique habits.
For Orange brand to succeed Telkom Kenya should be ready for epic battle and the followings might come in handy:
The company should let accident a happen in the mobile calling charges. A dramatic lower calling charges specifically in cross network calls will surely shake up things and having said that Kenyans like free things or almost free, this will definitely makes them turn and look at the Orange direction. There some fundamentals to be taken care of as far as the pricing is concerned but adopting current revenue maximization as well as quantity maximization would be the best way to go at this time. Orange calling flat rate charges of Ksh.7 per minute for all calls between Orange Mobile, Orange Fixed Plus and Telkom Fixed is a good point to start. But the key here is cross network calls and let me explain why.
People buying lines or phones for the first time consider which network does the majority of their friends and family have to make decision. At the moment with high cross network call charges the new subscribers would consider who they will call frequently and if for example most of these people own Safaricom lines then that seal the deal very easily. Lower cross network calls charges would mean that the decision for new subscribers and even existing ones would not be based on their friends and relatives.Truly the future might be Orange but without considering this most people will buy the lines and keep them in their pockets for calling a few people on the network.
Creating Customers advocates
This a secret weapon most people don’t realize Turn your customers into advocates and keep them on your side before the competition does. Customer advocates are the key to fueling growth and staying ahead of the competition. Deliver the perfect customer experience with the right product assortment, and they’ll come to you. Creating customer advocates in a larger aspect is more than just a reward programs. By the way talking about the reward programs Kenyans love them, just look at how many people listen to Classic 105 in the morning to know where the Classic105 Zain man is and you will understand what am talking about.
Excellent Customer Service
One thing most customers hate is the fact that when they have a problem they cannot reach the service provider due congestion or sheer number of people calling at that time and thus the line is infinitely busy. For heaven sake if you are service provider you have the liberty to create as many lines for your customers to reach you as possible. The reason most of them don’t do this is beyond my pay grade. During the launch of Orange brand the Chief marketing Officer of Telkom Kenya Njeri Rionge eloquently assured the public that all aspects of their customer relationships will be improved and for that most people on the street will say amen.
Cutting age innovation and mixing things up
Lack of innovation. Some businesses never change, but they lose their market share when a new company comes along with a new way of doing things. Take motorola for example. They stayed the same, it was comfortable, and they didn’t see Nokia coming. And bang goes their market share as millions of their loyal customers traipse off to fill their trollies with modern and affordable stuff. Well that might not be the case in the Kenyan market with with innovation driven giant like Safaricom leading the way Orange has to do more than enough. That is why they should mixup things and let innovative accidents happen and the management should ensure they notice potentially useful accidents.
Clear Marketing Startergy
The TV ad war taking shape in Kenya is expected to intensify in the coming months and with Iconet also expected to launch their services soon, it is going to be titanic battle. But could it be that Kenyans are TV ad resistant. I mean we notice the ads for its entertainment value but for not for what the extended purpose is! If that is the case then a strategy change is necessary. More so in terms of how to pass the message to the public.
Ladies and gentlemen could Orange brand be the best thing to happen to Kenya since the coming of Bamba 20?