Dedicating its opening ceremonies to the folks it wants to serve, telecom start-up Globalive officially unveiled its new rate plans and cellphone services today with the opening of the first Wind store in Toronto.
The fact that the mobile community had already been given a sneak peak at the company’s new plans (check out our story, Wind Mobile Plans Leaked?) is a testament to the dedicated online community of interest that had been following the Globalive saga for more than a year.
The company’s strategy from the beginning was to connect with marketplace, and to build a community around the conversations and content that engagement would create. When compared with horror stories about other services and their abilty to respond to customer needs or complaints, this marks quite a departure for Canadian cellphone companies.
Of course, the campaign featured the launch of windmobile.ca, a site where people were invited to express their opinions and share their feelings about the future of wireless in Canada.
In unveiling a huge cellphone-carrying statute outside its lakefront store on a very cold and windy (sorry) morning, Globalive CEO Antony Lacavera dedicated the event to those people who “rose up against an unresponsive mobile industry.”
Those people contributed online during Globalive’s tenuous first year or so in Canada, when its ability to actually launch was in some jeopardy, through e-mails, blog posts and more. (Check out Cheering as Globalive Promises to Change Canadian Wireless Industry for more details.)
So, Lacavera and his team are giving a lot of credit for the eventual launch to the thousands of people who wrote in, joined the online community, or started up Facebook pages in support of his company.
Even its ads are filled with references to ‘Rimone-N900’, ‘yummy’ and Lacavera made special reference to a young fellow known as the ‘crazy Chinese driver’.
He thanked them all for their input, contributions and suggestions about how the company should operate, and how it should deliver its services.
Thanked them, literally and figuratively.
Chris Palmer, for example, who came down from Brampton, was waiting in line with Card Number One, planning to buy the HTC Maple handset once the new store opened.
He said he’d been on a ‘pay-as-you-go’ plan for more than a year, waiting for the launch. “I’ve been in Europe, and the plans their and the rates there are so much better than here,” he said. “That’s one reason why I started up a Facebook page, supporting Wind, and encouraging the community to come together.”
Globalive thanked him by inviting him to the opening, and getting him that coveted spot in line, ahead of dozens of others.
With him was Vic Gill, who also came down from Brampton, saying he had been holding off on a getting a cellphone plan until someone offered one without extra fees. “I think I’ll find one today,” he laughed.
Asked about the delay in being able to start up the company, and the costs associated with such a delay, company CCO (Chief Customer Officer) Chris Robbins noted that the time had been well used, in fact, by “keeping the conversation going and engaging the community, even before launch. The time’s not been wasted,” he said.
Not by the look of his blog – he and other top company executives ran their own blogs.
And the conversation will continue as a result, noted Robbins, even with the launch of the service. The company says it’s committed to keeping its community engaged, and has a digital team in place to do just that. Headed by V.P. Erin O’Neill, the online space will grow with additional conversations and content being added.
“You think we should be offering different pricing? Let us know,” Robbins said.
So the uprising can continue…