Archive for October, 2010

Telstra finally ‘connects’ Australia

October 28, 2010

Telstra’s brand idea has always been about ‘Connecting Australia’. The idea is a great one and can be traced back to the brand’s original purpose – which, as the national carrier was to ensure every Australian home was connected by phone.

These days, the idea has taken on a new slant of course. ‘Connecting Australia’ is no longer about putting a phone in the homes of Australians but ensuring that in an era where competitive edge is determined by the uptake of technology, Australia and Australians in general are not left behind.

For a long time Telstra sought to bring its idea of ‘Connecting Australia’ to life only emotively through ads. It did so beautifully, a few years ago it must be admitted, when it released its ‘what brings us together is what sets us apart’ ad set to the Bruce Woodley song ‘we are Australian’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuKpJv0PlSE).

What the brand failed to do consistently however was deliver on its idea of ‘Connecting Australia’ in a more real and physical sense. It seems to have finally started to do that with the Telstra T-Pad. A product that I think is truly classic and redefining for TELCO’s who have until now seen their role to be carriers of voice and data rather than developers of life enhancing hardware and software products.

At $299 for the device, is Telstra finally starting to ‘connect’ Australia? I would definitely say so.

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Positioning – POSB Gets It Right

October 25, 2010

One bank that has an interesting campaign in the market right now is POSB. Their idea, ‘neighbours first, bankers second’ is extremely powerful and well suited to the brand given its history as the ‘people’s bank’ of Singapore.

The challenge for the brand is always going to be living its position however and ensuring it drives every single one of its activities and operations.

This is easier said than done.

The reason – when you make a claim people tend to hold you to it.

What POSB is saying to the market through the idea of ‘neighbours first, bankers second’ is that they are not a typical bank but a bank more likely to be supportive in situations where you wouldn’t necessarily expect them to be.

It’s a good position – provided the brand can deliver on it – through product, service and the way they interact with customers on a daily basis.

The challenges for ‘neighbourly’ behaviour of course will come not when the chips are up but when they’re down. It’s when mortgage payments get reneged on and when people default on credit lines that the bank will face its first real challenges to its position.

If it responds in a truly ‘neighbourly’ fashion (a manner that’s patient and sympathetic), its position will be strengthened, reinforced and the brand will become attractive to an even larger contingent of customers.

If it responds in a way inconsistent with the expectations the idea has created, then the positioning will be diluted and ultimately lost.

Like most brands, whether POSB can hold on to its position depends on whether it can live it on a daily basis in its business.