Wednesday, November 30, 2011

DIGICEL IN CHOOSING ITS PATH TO SUCCESS – “The Best Strategy”

In most cases, the rise or the fall of a company, especially in a competitive market, is not determined by just implementing a strategy, but rather determining what strategy to make in the first place.

In my previous blog, I discussed the importance of strategic agility, where It spoke to a company’s ability to revisit and re-strategize its approach to ensure market viability. In this discussion, we continue with analyzing the best options when developing a strategic approach. According to recent studies[1] there are four (4) main Corporate Strategies to employ that will ensure market success, the tricky part for management is to intelligently choose which one to incorporate. These strategies are :

1. Low-Cost Leadership Strategy

2. Product differentiation

3. Customer Relationship – Value for customers

4. The network effect strategy

Digicel Group is a mobile provider in the Caribbean region and in 2001 major investors from Ireland came to shores of Kingston, Jamaica with a plan of building out a state of the art mobile network. It analyzed the incumbent market and found that it was run by a Monopoly (Cable and Wireless). To succeed in Jamaica with a view of expanding regionally, it had to come up with the best strategy to have a significant impact in the market.

Ten years later, it’s very clear to see that the Digicel chose a good “Customer Relationship” strategy where while it focuses on network development and service delivery, another key focus under its mandate is to implement an early philanthropic presence in the Market. Digicel found Jamaicans to be extremely loyal to entities who they thought were keen on upholding social welfare and good corporate citizenry. In other words, the chances of them churning because of “network failures” or “ the wooing from aggressive competitors” would be very low, because they have an emotional attachment to the Digicel Brand. The other aspect of this strategy involved a very high standard of customer care and was voted top Customer Care Service for many years leading up to 2010 [2]. Because of this, it has managed to be the leading Mobile Provider in the Caribbean Region and was able to acquire 100,000 customers I just 100 days of rollout.

The success story continues and can only continue once the strategy is right.



[1] “Types of Strategy: Which Fits your Business?” – Harvard Business School Press

[2] “Digicel Award Winning Customer Care (YouTube)” - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7k7gn2z6TcM

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