Monday, September 6, 2010

How to sell the sizzle of the NBN?

Proposed Poster for IBES Symposium 21 Sept,
(Institute for a Broadband Enabled Society, University of Melbourne)

NBN: faster, simpler, cheaper broadband.
Get more…. Do more… on the NBN.

What is the NBN? Liberal Coalition view
Final Poster a4 print (1Mb) | a1 print (9Mb) | Draft (1.2Mb)| Value Model (170k)


Why do consumers adopt new technology? What holds them back? How much will they pay? Past innovation theory focuses on early and later adopters, the young and high income earners (Rogers 2003). Value theory suggests consumer goals drive consumer choices (Woodruff 1997). Co-construction of value (Vargo and Lusch 2008) is a new perspective suggesting consumer value drives successful innovation (Kim and Mauborgne 2005). Innovation succeeds when it creates consumer and shareholder value. Innovation fails when it fails to create value.


This project aims to understand how consumers understand value in a new technology. Using grounded theory, I am seeking how consumers differ in their needs rather than what they have in common. Understanding value dynamics and building a theory that explains how value shifts over time and why is a focus.

Technology Findings

Approach: 3G mobile broadband is the site for this research as a proxy for understanding the slower moving broadband sector. I interviewed consumers and telecoms analysts to discover how the consumers came to have a 3G mobile phone, what their experience was, and what if anything they would change about their experience. Telecoms analysts were interviewed, since the telcos were reticent to particiate. The analysts described how the 3G telcos were going to make a return from their 3G investment, who they were targetting and how they were going o capture consumers and revenue in the marketplace. 3G telco annual reports and brochures were also sources of telco intentions, to contrast with consumers.

Results: Consumers assess value in new technology, such as 3G mobile broadband, through a number of processes (exploring, comparing, recommending) and by aggregating competing value meanings, such as novelty, beauty, power, simplicity, service, reliability against price. Valuing takes place both before and after purchase, and positive value outcomes are important for ongoing social recommending. Bargain hunting is an important driver of new technology adoption. Consumer love bargains, because bargains are gains in value.

Consumers avoid (filtering) low value messages, and reject uninteresting technology approaches (closing). The NBN must cut through these value construction processes to engage consumers. Social construction value construction processes are important (observing, inquiring, recommending). Therefore, IBES should set up connected demonstration kiosks (in cinemas, libraries and the NGV) to show consumers what NBN performance is like. Video services, and play is a key to consumers getting the message that NBN is good value, but pricing is critical too.


To sell the sizzle of the NBN, we need to talk about how the NBN creates value for consumers. The focus should become how the NBN is cheaper ($ per GB), faster, and ideally simpler in pricing, choice, and usage. We should forget the $43 billion headline price, and 1 Gbps headline speed and talk in terms consumers understand: price per month.
NBN: Do more, Get more…. On the NBN. Faster, cheaper, simpler. Easy…!

Poster contains three Use Cases, with image to follow....


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