The competition has arrived. Over-the-top (OTT) players, which offer apps and streaming content directly to consumers through the Internet, have increased their dominance, even in core communication services such as messaging and voice. WhatsApp, Viber, and Apple's iMessage already represent more than 80 percent of all messaging traffic, and Skype alone accounts for more than a third of all international voice traffic minutes. As a result, many telecom carriers are facing significant decreases in their basic communication service revenues: drop-offs of as much as 30 percent in SMS messaging, 20 percent in international voice, and 15 percent in roaming. Combined with intense competition due to lagging industry consolidation, this pattern has led to steep declines in average revenue per user; at best, minimal revenue growth; and tightening margins.
The executive management team of Tele2, one of Russia's largest telecom operators based in Moscow, appointed Campbell Rigg to help plan a brand strategy for their retail formats.
Telecoms retail design is a small box environment that requires a brand consultant who is an expert in creating brand assets and highly profitable retail formats.
Three formats were identified for development of Tele2's retail future brand strategy. They were Flagship stores of 200 - 150sqm, Standard stores between 50 -70sqm and Kiosks to be located in shopping malls.
The in-store experience has been a vital touch-point in the telecoms operator to consumer relationship. Our work with Tele2 aims to develop brand loyalty, which historically has only been leveraged at the start of the customer relationship and complimented with accessory sales and support, over an extended lifecycle of ever-changing technology. While store branding and location remain a principal channel for customer acquisition, the in-store experience has evolved. The store branding, design and merchandising systems aim to become integral and relevant across the entire customer lifecycle, from initial evaluation and set-up to continued service and maintenance.
We see many telecom operators facing a dilemma on how best to structure their retail strategy and the answer depends on the type of market structure and the type of operator.
In the new market reality, Tele2 executive management asked us to optimise their retail footprints, introduce contribution to margin product categories and finally to improve point of sale efficiency.
The images in this article have been taken from one format concept of our work for Tele2 executive management.
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