One of the blogs I like to read is from Seth Godin and he recently had a post on Voce, which is a new cell phone service company. Seth made the point that he thought that even though Voce claimed to be better, there was little trust in the consumer to believe such a claim. He makes some good points, but misses another one.
Voce have another marketing problem in addition to garnering trust (which is essentially the “Crossing the Chasm” problem). It struck me that most people don’t actually need all of the services they are paying for. For instance, how often do you call your cell phone for technical assistance on your phone?
Everyone currently entrenched with their current provider using their current cell phone (that they are likely attached to), will be comparing their current costs with the $200/month fee. Since most will see this as a higher fee than they are currently paying (and also comparitively larger than other utilities), they will compare services and start saying, “well, I really don’t need that nor that” etc.
So on top of a trust issue, they don’t seem to be capitalizing on what’s not good enough in the cell phone industry. What’s not good enough is the service, but the service they have is simply the aggregate of everyone elses service which is already known to be poor. Beyond trust, they haven’t really added anything to the mix to even start focusing on the item people find most valuable. If they are able to beat the aggregate, and make a compelling argument for why their service is better, I think that narrowing their enhancements to this one item is what would make all the difference.