Last week I gave two presentations to a major national telco in Asia, one on leadership, the other on Lovemarks. In preparing I reached out to a former colleague for some insights about the customer context in this dynamic and disruptive industry, and what telcos need to think about when designing products and services that help people lead better lives. Jason Paris, CEO Home, Mobile and Business at Spark New Zealand, sent me his thoughts, paraphrased here.

Self-Betterment Revolution: We are seeing increasing consumer interest in people taking control of improving themselves and their lives, which is leading to a boom in self-betterment in spaces that include: health and fitness, food and beverage, finances, well-being, parenting, and fashion and beauty.

Better buying: Buying decisions will be influenced more and more by the trust consumers put in people like them (and the celebrities that they deal with) versus the ads that they see. (i.e. “people helping people choose.”).

Entrepreneurship: New online platforms have made it possible for consumers to sell their unused resources direct to other consumers. AirBNB is an obvious example, but the trend is accelerating (e.g. Sharetribe, Task Rabbit, Eat With, Wonolo).

Management of Life: The largest issues facing New Zealand consumers have to do with the “administration of life” (i.e. family, work, money). Increasingly, people are looking for a technology “life platform” to help them navigate things like: a bad night’s sleep, the morning rush, traffic and transport, lack of preparation for the day ahead, work stress, parenting stress, and Internet stress if access goes down.

Spark has got customers front and center of their dreams, plans and operations. Thanks Jason.

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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