During the time I have been heading Public Relations Directorate of Tricolor TV, I have been performing the functions which in the West are usually called CCO (Chief Communications Officer), several times I had to face the necessity to explain mass media, consulting agencies and other participants of the branch how our company works.
At some moment I discovered that a number of general fallacies and stereotypes formed around Tricolor TV which wander from one article to another or are discussed at various branch activities — and which have nothing to do with reality. There are quite many such stock phrases — maybe because we insufficiently often and actively explain our business model. This article is to bridge this gap and to familiarize all interested with our commercial policy and our priorities.
In particular, one of the most popular myths is that Tricolor TV is engaged in sale and installation of satellite equipment. In reality, no satellite operator in Russia is engaged in production, sale of equipment, mounting of antennas and tuning of receivers. Milk is sold in plastic packs. It does not mean that plastic is made at a dairy-farm.
I explain, as they say, on fingers. Tricolor TV is engaged directly in satellite telecasting, i.e. in formation of packages of TV channels, TV signal transmission via a satellite and servicing of subscribers. But — not equipment. Sale of equipment to end users, its installation and adjustment is carried out by authorized dealers of companies in regions — representatives of small family business. Dealers, in their turn, purchase equipment from the official supplier who is determined by the producer and who is not Tricolor TV.
It is thanks to the dealers, that the business models of Tricolor TV and of the companies which are involved in the process of organization of satellite broadcasting are so successful: «a private trader» knows his/her region better, he/she is «native», and he/she is much more trusted than a person who came from Moscow.
Certainly, activity of a satellite operator and sales of equipment for reception of satellite signal are very closely connected. Sale of equipment and services of Tricolor TV by the principle «2 in 1» is the usual practice in a high-tech market. Go to any computer technique store, and you will see 90% of laptops with preinstalled Windows. Does it mean that Microsoft is engaged in sales of Samsung, Sony or Acer? No.
Moreover, there is the oldest marketing technology, well known to everybody, when a less known brand is sold together and under the more known one. For instance, a surname of a little-known violinist is written on a playbill, but it is also said in a capital letters that the musician will play the Stradivari violin.
The Tricolor TV brand has already been for a long time such a violin which attracts all popularity. The brand is a key asset of Tricolor TV. We invested into its development very serious money, and it is quite logical that the brand is used for increasing sales of equipment and also helps our authorized dealers to announce themselves. Of course, there is an element of franchising in this. The logo is depicted on the set boxes like «Tricolor TV Full HD» (receiving HD equipment plus smart card with the «Maximum HD» package prepaid for one year), dealers place our logo on the same satellite antennas (usually with their telephone).
It is such marketing positioning, when we allow partners to use our brand, that made Tricolor T" so popular as a result. Now we are one hundred per cent known in Russia: somebody heard from a neighbor, somebody watched a commercial on TV, somebody simply saw a satellite antenna with a logo. Now our subscribers’ base includes about 15 mio households — and this is a direct consequence of successful work of dealers and our business model respectively.
A satellite operator’s development strategy can in no way be connected with sales of equipment simply because the market is not rubber. While the strategy of any producer and supplier of equipment is in increasing sales volumes and the market share through growth of variety of sold names, the operator’s objective is ARPU growth, the prerequisite of which is development of service directions both in the area of subscriber’s servicing and in the sphere of provision of versatile services.
I will give s simple and understandable comparison: there are mobile communication operators — «Beeline», MTC, «MegaFon», Tele2, — and there are producers of mobile phones — Apple, Samsung, HTC, Nokia, Sony, LG Electronics. The main objective of mobile communication operators is provision of signal and also rendering of various new services. And we see how mobile operators are now switching to the networks of the third and fourth generations, how they introduce new technologies, exchange SIM cards, transfer to new standards, etc.
We are doing now something like this, when we jointly with our partners hold large-scale actions on transfer of subscribers to the modern format of TV viewing — HD. High definition television becomes more and more in demand in the Russian market, we are the absolute leader of this segment with 3,82 mio HD subscribers, and it is very important for us to support this trend. The complex of activities on transfer to HD TV viewing includes, inter alia, a program on exchange of equipment of the old format for the new one.
Tricolor TV has always developed and will develop only like a brand combining availability and innovation. We know what our strong sides are and we can use them. We will go on introducing new packages and services for subscribers and new technological solutions, increasing the value of our brand.
I can promise you a lot of news in the near future, very interesting technological solutions and, of course, new TV channels about which you have been dreaming for a long time.