Once again Telstra’s public relations team is frantically working to deal another brand attack, this time from Choice.
The problem for Telstra is their network performance is not just core to the brand, it is really everything the brand stands for. Telstra needs to urgently rebuild brand trust and rethinking their brand proposition needs to be part of this process.
Telstra has built its brand around a superior and reliable network. For many years, it has been not just a promise but a compelling truth that Telstra customers have proudly believed in. Most Telstra campaigns have leveraged this brand differentiation and Telstra customers have delighted in having service when their friends on other networks have not. Now, after several network outages, the brand trust is quickly fading.
Australian consumer advocacy group, Choice, is encouraging frustrated customers to fight for their rights to leave the brand and secure better value telco services.
Choice claim that consumers “pay a premium, for Telstra’s wider network coverage.” Due to several recent network outages, Choice say that the peace of mind or confidence in Telstra’s network can no longer be justified by premium pricing. The brand has effectively lost is primary differentiation.
Compensation will never be enough. Telstra needs to rethink their brand proposition and rebuild customer trust. It is imperative that Telstra looks beyond its infrastructure and positioning of ‘the network without equal’ to create a more authentic and engaging proposition that they can deliver on.
This should also be a wake up call for other brand managers. If you’re brand proposition is built around a functional differentiation, you need to think carefully about how sustainable and risky this is for your business. Brand protection should not be left to a crisis management plan.
Michael is Managing Partner and Strategy Director at Truly Deeply, a brand agency with 25 years’ experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in unlocking the strategic power of your brand to create a differentiated, compelling and authentic brand proposition that will engage all your audiences. Michael has extensive experience working across Australia and the Middle East working with leading Australian and International organisations across just about every sector.
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