Conforming to the market will kill you

This week Vodafone found out that they have customers who care. Not about their brand, not about their services, but about the package. Vodafone was offering the highest speed mobile internet available on the Dutch market and they were offering it at only a tenner. Starting it was easy and so was using it. And then it all went wrong. Vodafone announced that they would be following the market on the speed of mobile internet. And this meant they would reduce the speed to less than a tenth of the current speed, without giving another option or reducing the price. What happened next is something Vodafone could have expected from the beginning. Their customers spoke up. They talked on forums, they talked on blogs, they talked on twitter and everywhere else. The whole deal even hit the Dutch government. And slowly it sank in with Vodafone that this might not be the way to do it. That this might just hurt their client base. And they listened. Yesterday afternoon Vodafone announced that their plans were off the table and that all changed would be reverted. Great. Except that they did go all the way in implementing them. And this will have earned them a lot of sceptisism from the people that would promote them otherwise. And that will consider other providers if they offer the same speed at the same cost. vodafone has just found out that if you have a tribe, and you go against it, it will go against you. And that hurts you even if you revert your decision within four days. It would have been better to consider all the possible options before launching the plan. To talk with their customers about options and to listen to them. It would have made all the difference.

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