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Social networks and micro-brands

April 10, 2007

Most cellular networks go for an “all things to all people approach”, a few MVNO’s like, Helio. Amp’d and Boost focus in on a target segment, but it seems some new entrants are prepared to refine their segmentation down to a micro level.

Japanese operator, KDDI, recently announced plans to move into the US and their initial target segment is Japanese ex-pats.

Credit-card issuer MBNA built a huge business out of affinity based cards, now Sonopia is looking to do the same with cellphones, but with even smaller groups of micro-segments. The new start up packages Verizon’s service to groups of 35 or more and gives back up to 8% of the revenues. This could work for small start-ups looking to save on cellphone costs, non-profits, clubs, churches and sports groups.

Small clubs and groups have been meeting up and organizing since the dawn of time, but in the Web 2.0 era, many of these groups are forming on the fly and many never even meet-up.

Ning, a site that allows people to form their own social networks, could have a new business opportunity offering finely targeted services to these networks that help them develop and enhance their own micro-brands.

The only question…

Are brands prepared to provide customized and tailored versions to support these small groups?

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