Ever since mobile devices transitioned from being a convenient accessory to a necessary, everyday connection to all aspects of modern life, one factor has remained constant. If you want a new phone – at least a top-tier new phone – you have to get a new contract to go with it…or pay an excessive premium. This price was always set just high enough to discourage most people from choosing that “option.”
But now, one cell phone company has changed the paradigm. Any time a consumer wants the latest and greatest handset, it’s right there for them. No strings attached – more or less.
Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5W Public Relations, said this is a real game changer. “Of course, there are some particulars in the fine print, but the basic implication has created an entirely new perception of consumer opportunity.”
Why the latest move in the cell phone wars is a real game changer
Torossian said this new development has changed the mobile device market in at least three ways.
Created a new expectation
Even with the initial marketing push, without fully understanding the offer, people have embraced the idea of no longer deferring fulfillment in the form of a new electronic gadget. Now that the idea has been introduced in a tangible promise, people will be expecting “their” provider to follow suit.
Introduced a new contract benefit
Consumers are being bombarded with this new feature through every imaginable media. Now, whenever any mobile device consumer shops for a new device, he or she will be looking for this option on the offered contract. Even if that provider does not currently offer it. How long before other companies follow suit?
Offered a new reason for brand loyalty
For those already with the company in question, this offer creates another reason to continue to be a “loyal” customer. Why should they move to another provider for “fewer” options? Even if they don’t plan to upgrade, this feature still works like an added benefit because of the perception of opportunity should the consumer ever decide to take advantage of it. Sort of like having a sunroof in a rainy climate. You might want it “some day.” This hope is a powerful motivator.
It will be interesting to see which other major competitors make the next move. Chances are they will raise the bar even higher.