Customer Ownership, Or Customer Confusion?
Last year, while discussing the issue of the battle for customer “ownership” between the handset makers and the carriers, we noted that many people were more interested in the handset than the provider. That is, they wanted a specific Nokia phone, and would use any provider that offered to support it. In the last year, the carriers have made a much bigger effort to retake some customer ownership, and even have been pushing out more phones branded by the carrier. However, a side note in this article about mobile branding, notes that a study by Unisys showed 75% of youngsters surveyed thought Nokia was their service provider. In other words, not only did the service providers lose the customer ownership battle, they completely lost the customer’s mindshare as a service provider. The numbers, honestly, seem a bit odd (and it makes you wonder how the questions were worded), but it seems clear that the customer ownership battle between handset providers and carriers is not yet settled.