The Mobile Phone Industry and Customer Retention

Posted in

The mobile phone industry’s growth has slowed. It is now operating more like a stable, moderate to slow growth market. This is particularly true in Europe. To face the challenge of slower growth in the industry, European mobile operators are turning to customer retention, but they are careful of the customers they seek to retain. The Europeans have observed that less than 20% of an operator’s customers generate to 80% of the operator’s total revenue. This pattern repeats itself in many industries. When we have seen these patterns in other industries, we have also noted…

Read More

Cable T.V. and Customer Retention

Posted in ,

Recently, I decided to test the waters for a less expensive television experience. I have been a loyal cable subscriber for thirty-five years, but friends have told me that other systems, especially satellite, are cheaper. I went online to DirectTV.com to check their packages. We have been spending about $112 a month. The equivalent package from DirectTV appeared to be about $81 a month. I was shocked at the size of the price difference. DirectTV was more than 25% less expensive than Comcast, my cable supplier. Given the size of these price differences, I did…

Read More

The Japanese Pay the Price

Posted in ,

The figures are in for U.S. auto sales in 2010. The biggest winners in percentage growth were Hyundai, at 24%, and Ford at 20%. Toyota lost .4% and Honda grew a mediocre 7%. The Japanese struggled in 2010. Earlier we wrote a blog about Ford’s ascendency and Toyota’s problems (see Blog HERE). Toyota is paying the price for failing its customers. Honda appears to be getting painted with the “failure” brush, though I doubt its punishment is deserved. I am actually using the word “fail” to mean something specific here. A company fails its customers…

Read More

The iPhone Versus the iPhone

Posted in , ,

After nearly four years, AT&T has lost its exclusivity on Apple’s iPhone. It has been a great run. Now AT&T faces the formidable competition of Verizon, who started offering the iPhone in February of 2011. Market shares are about to shift. Let’s look at how they might change. Market shares among established customers shift for one of two reasons. (See “Audio Tip #40: The Components of Market Share Change” on StrategyStreet.com.) First, a competitor may “win” market share by offering a benefit that more than half of the market suppliers do not offer. On the…

Read More

Evolution of the Smart Phone Market

Posted in ,

The smart phone market is growing at a very fast pace. The number of smart phones sold world-wide is expected to grow at a pace of more than 15% a year. This is what we call a Developing market. The smart phone market portrays some interesting developments you might expect to see in other fast-growing markets. Apple really made the market take flight with its original iPhone. Apple has migrated into the high-end, Performance Leader, part of the market with its iPhone4, selling for $199 with a two year contract. (See the Symptom & Implication,…

Read More

A Very Rare Form of Pricing

Posted in ,

Recently, Continental Airlines introduced a new service called “FareLock.” This new service gives travelers three days, or a week, to decide whether to buy a ticket and avoid a fare increase or the risk that the passenger’s flight will sell out. In return, Continental plans to charge a flat fee of $5 for a three day hold and $9 for a one week hold. Continental is offering its passengers a Call. For a fee, the passenger has the right to buy the ticket at today’s price for a few days into the future. This is…

Read More

Google at Risk

Posted in ,

Google continues to dominate the search market. It commands about two-thirds of all the searches done on the internet. Its next closest rival is Microsoft’s Bing which, at 28% market share, includes its integration with Yahoo’s site. (See “Audio Tip #9: Introduction to Step 3 of the Basic Strategy Guide” on StrategyStreet.com.) Google’s dominance in this market has brought with it a disproportionate share of the spending on paid advertising. Google may be putting that premium position at risk. Google has been investing heavily in developing its local search capability. It hopes to gain even…

Read More

Strangling the Goose

Posted in ,

Some time ago, we wrote a blog (see HERE) on the declining value of airline miles programs. At the time, we noted that most of those miles awarded were worth less than a cent. In fact, the airlines themselves believe that these miles are worth far less than a cent. That means the miles that you gain return less than 1% of your spending to your account. Here is an example. United Airlines offers a one year membership in its Red Carpet Club for 70,000 miles. If you are a normal flyer, without particular value…

Read More

A Price Leader Market and Competitor

Posted in ,

In StrategyStreet terms, a competitor or product that offers below industry standard performance for a very low price is a Price Leader. Price Leaders contrast with the typical industry leaders who set standards for the industry, called Standard Leaders in our terms. The competitors or products at the higher end of the market are called Performance Leaders. The Price Leader’s product has fewer benefits than Standard Leader products. Because the Price Leaders are able to save costs, their product prices average 25% to 50% below the Standard Leader’s price. Because their products do offer less…

Read More

Sometimes Smaller is Better

Posted in ,

Retailers suffered through the last two years with low or declining sales as typical consumers struggled with an economy in the doldrums. Some of these retailers experimented with cost cutting and discovered an innovation for customers. As retail demand fell, some retailers decided to reduce the size of their stores and cut their inventories to fit the smaller market they were facing. One company, Anchor Blue, put in temporary walls and cut its selling space in half. This certainly saved them money. It also provided a big surprise. Anchor Blue found that its foot traffic…

Read More