Chris 07-10-09 Feedback on dummy pack
B. You have some good background material. Concentrate on pricing, message, and strategic use of iphone, and don't be scared to take a different point of view - telling CU what they know already won't help them!

Chris: 30-9-09
Can you post your final proposal, your latest interview schedule and your latest workplan here?
Your interview schedule looks good - a good mix of different insights. Make the most of them!
Try to have 2 interviewers for every interview, with one the "lead" interviewer, the other supporting
1) You get a better result, with two people sharing listening, taking notes and asking questions.
2) You can give feedback to each other immediately
3) It is more fun


Michelle’s team – China Unicom

B. An ambitious subject, but you have made a good start. Recut your issue tree without using SWOT, and incorporate some of the ideas in analysis.

Eliminate tactical from the question.
Restate the question as discussed in class. One possibility is “How can China Unicom use the iPhone to establish long term dominance of the smart phone segment in China?”
Strategic only.
You will need to analyse the whole smartphone segment, and competitor responses. Critical to a strategic repositioning.
Extract as many reports/market/competitive information from your client as possible. In a study this big, you need to leverage them as much as possible – just focus on interviews to supplement this.
Desk research – gather all the brokers reports that comment on the deal – there will be a lot an thinking already done you can leverage.
Analyse the constraints of the contract with Apple. What is China Unicom not allowed to do? How long do they have exclusivity for?
Why have they historically lost market share? Go beyond superficial causes to the underlying root cause. What these issues limit the iPhone? How to overcome them?
Analyse iPhone in other countries with earlier launches. What was adoption rate? Who were competition? What were distribution arrangements? What tactics worked/failed?
Analyse the introduction of other innovations into China – e.g. Blackberry. What can we learn?
Strategic pricing options – initial subsidy vs monthly payments. Evaluate penetration pricing strategies vs pricing for immediate profit. Evaluate competitor responses to different price points.
Security – how to minimize how many phones will be unlocked and used by other operators?
Competition – how will China Mobile respond?
Customer view – what alternatives? What is the killer benefit? Prestige – is so what brand strategy will emphasize this? What will be customer barriers in adopting iPhone? How to reduce switching cost?
Interviews beyond China Unicom – industry analyst/expert? Professor in UST who knows telecoms?

A key issue for you to think about is what happens after the iPhone product expires? Will it be Apple or China Unicom brand equity in customers heads? Will there be any loyalty in the distribution/partner network? How can China Unicom lock up competitive advantage for itself to ensure continued dominance? Be creative - e.g. can China Unicom create their own Chinese iPhone app store to create lock in/switching costs for customers?
Issue Tree
SWOT is not a good framework for an issue tree – S and W are not possible solutions! Try new cuts. Could split up functionally:
- how to create demand pull? (marketing communications)
- how to achieve rapid adoption? (pricing; retail distribution/sales strategy)
- how to stay ahead of competition (ongoing product development; operations, service)
- how to lock in smartphone leadership for China Unicom? (build China Unicom, not iPhone brand; wider smartphone strategy; lock in distribution; online link)
Could cut by customer choice – awareness, interest, in store, purchase, advocate, renewal
Cut by customer innovation – early adopters, early mass. Who are the opinion leaders? Media? Bloggers? Artists? How to reach them?

Possible alternative Issue tree:

Useful sites:

Final proposal, issue tree, detail work plan and interview schedule:

Live Work Plan:

verison as of 10/6/09:

Interview update:

Dummy Pack:

Dummy Pack revised as of 10/10/09:

Dummy Pack revised as of 10/17/09:

Revised as of 10/21/2009:

Final Report