The “need” to have nationwide coverage has been ingrained in my brain as a consumer in a way that is hard to efface. For example, it’s been years since I’ve watched Verizon’s commercials with the guy that said, “Can you hear me now”, but I still remember Verizon’s slogan that basically said that they are always working on the best signal for me no matter where I am in this nation. Nationwide coverage is a selling point for various carriers, including Republic Wireless. I, too, have told my friends about a carrier’s nationwide coverage as I’ve recommended various carriers as well over the years.
However, I really believe that to the researched consumer, nationwide coverage is a sales gimmick. Don’t get me wrong; I believe because of the way consumers have been marketed to for such a long time, the words “nationwide coverage” give a certain level of comfort for new customers, and I don’t doubt that those two words are good to have in Republic Wireless’ marketing. Nevertheless, these are my thoughts on nationwide coverage:
I currently live in Oklahoma, yet the nationwide coverage map for various carriers helps show me that I can get get great coverage in a state that I might never go to, or I might only go to for a few times in my life. Let’s say that state is West Virginia. I might have passed through West Virginia at some point in my life to travel to another state (I forgot), but I’ve never gone specifically to West Virginia for anything, and I definitely haven’t been there for at least 7 years. In my opinion, knowing whether or not I get coverage in West Virginia, or for that matter Hawaii, a place I’ve never been, doesn’t matter to me. Even if I went to West Virginia for a week’s vacation, and let’s say I wouldn’t get any coverage from Republic Wireless in that whole state, it really wouldn’t stop me from being a Republic Wireless customer long term. I simply would get a sim card from another carrier and use it while I was on vacation, and then I would put my Republic Wireless sim card back into my phone within a month. Having no coverage in West Virginia wouldn’t matter that much to me because I would have gone there maybe once in 7+ years. It would still be much more cost effective to stay with Republic Wireless in that 7+ years or so that I wouldn’t be in West Virginia.
What matters to me as consumer is that I get adequate coverage where I’m at for the majority of time. I’m okay with a few dropped calls, but the majority of my signal in the places I frequent the most needs to be good. Therefore, I’m concerned more about local coverage as a consumer than nationwide coverage.
I believe it would be interesting to see an increased marketing for Republic Wireless on local coverage vs. nationwide coverage (while not leaving nationwide coverage out of the marketing as well). To me, this is good for Republic Wireless for several reasons:
1. I think many consumers fail to remember that signal is dependent on their locality. Nationwide coverage marketing is so ingrained in some customers’ heads, that they believe that people in different states or cities will get the same coverage as they do. They then can post things online saying, “Don’t go with Republic Wireless because I didn’t have good signal.” I think if they would think in terms of local coverage, their reviews might be more like this: “If you live in area x of the US, Republic Wireless might not be the best option for you based on my experience.”
2. Local coverage marketing highlights more of Republic Wireless’ strengths in a way that nationwide coverage can’t do. Verizon, no doubt, has better nationwide cellular coverage than Republic Wireless. However, if it can be shown that both Verizon and Republic Wireless have adequate coverage in the locality where Customer X frequents the most, then both service providers have to be looked at as options for that person. With local marketing, Customer X then isn’t distracted by how many cell towers Verizon has in Hawaii or Alaska because he/she is being marketed to in a way that more personal and relevant to Customer X. The trend in marketing is to be more personal, anyways.
3. Customers might be inclined to do more research about Republic Wireless instead of brushing it aside when they compare its nationwide cellular coverage to companies like Verizon.
I think the more the marketing can inspire people to go to Republic Wireless’ website to learn more about the company themselves, the better. Sometimes, people are sidetracked from going to Republic Wireless’ website based on a Facebook comment about signal or etc. (I’ve read some people’s comments about signal on Republic Wireless’ Facebook page recently. Apparently, some people didn’t know that Republic Wireless now has both a GSM and a CDMA carrier that it uses, so some people posted some inaccurate information about Republic Wireless’ signal on the Facebook page. I responded to a few comments.) The more customers are empowered with real, factual information about this company of RW’s website, the more customers Republic Wireless will get, and I believe the more realistic customers’ expectations are about the company are even at the beginning, the more they will be with Republic Wireless long term and recommend Republic Wireless to others.
People really need to be inspired to check the coverage map for themselves to see if Republic Wireless is right for them in their location.
These are my more than two cents. I’ve been meaning to write this for a while, but I knew it would take some time for me to write what I wanted to say down. Obviously, this is a suggestion; I’m interested in reading other people’s perspectives. I’m not sure about how this could be implemented. My mind hasn’t gone that far yet. Also, this idea might not work for Republic Wireless; I don’t know. However, I just wanted to share my thoughts.