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giffgaff has the whiff of social mobile

25 сентября 2009

Former O2 exectives have announced the launch of giffgaff, a subsidiary unit of O2 that will target customers  with a SIM only offering that will reward users who contribute most to the network.

The aim of Mike Fairman, who has founded giffgaff as an autonomous unit, owned by O2, is to operate as an MVNO – enabling O2 to reach a different type of user looking for a different kind of user experience. Launch is scheduled for “before the end of 2009”.

Users will be able to earn rewards based on recommending the service to others, and contributing to forums and customer support functions, for example. In theory, a user could earn up to 100% of their previous six months’ coupons.

“We want to involve customers and allow them to do things that are useful for us, and then give them the rewards,” Fairman said.

The operator will offer voice, text and data tariffs including 3G access, Fairman said, on one tariff with “simple and clear rates” - although there are no price details as yet.

“There will be no walled garden in terms of services, we will offer open access – although we will have our own WAP site where we will host our own services and functions,” Fairman said.

But is there a danger that in targeting those people who like to join forums, interact and get online, you have found another way to target a demographic that is already likely to be fully mobile aware?

“They are sophisticated web users but they may not necessarily be overly technical users of mobile,” Fairman countered, “and being a SIM only service, customers can choose the level of sophistication they want.”

So how will the company market itself, to build up the customer base? For the moment, it is keeping that under wraps, but expect it to be in keeping with its overall “people-powered” ethos, Fairman said.
“We are operating as a discreet business, making our own decisions on choice of technology partner,” Fairman said.

One opportunity that exists for giffgaff is to build up like-minded communities of people, who can earn rewards for their community, and suggest and get involved in the sorts of services they would like to see and use. This could be a group of tech minded folk keen to find a common meeting point, or a social or community group.


Источник: Mobile Europe

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