It’s a pleasure to be invited to be a columnist for NEWMARKET.’s Word. column this month. 2degrees is a proud member of the Newmarket Business Association as a retailer on Broadway. But what you might not realise is that just up the road, on George Street, is our Auckland Headquarters. So, while we’re very much a large New Zealand business, we’re also local. There are more than 500 people who work in our Newmarket office, and shop and dine in and around the area. You’ll spot them with their bright blue lanyards!
It’s a safe bet that the team working at 2degrees will keep contributing to the local economy and doing their bit to support you through the journey that lies ahead as Newmarket evolves. There are some big, visible changes and it’s exciting. But like with all change, it presents us with challenges, obstacles – and opportunity. Newmarket has always been Auckland’s, and dare I say New Zealand’s, premium shopping district. The brands that have their home here are thriving in the face of continued challenges to a bricks and mortar model that the digital world presents us.
Every industry is dealing with the challenges that digital presents and for retailers, the pressure and competition is relentless and has been for many years. The businesses that see social and digital as an opportunity to improve the experience they offer, will be the ones that will continue to prosper. We appreciate this is easier said than done!
Because let’s face it – for some purchases (and indeed for some people) – a visit to a retail store gives an experience and delivers something that no Instagram or Facebook account can. Like knowing how firm a sofa is; what a perfume smells like; how a suit really fits or how comfortable a pair of shoes are.
I talk to business owners who are our customers, most days. I think it’s an important part of my job to understand the challenges they’re navigating. For the most part, they have started a business because they’re passionate about baking cakes; or fixing cars; or cutting hair. Not because they’re tax specialists; digital marketers or IT experts. Yet as a business owner, they are expected to wear all those hats – and then some.
The digital landscape and changes in technology are the things our customers want to talk to me about. Here at 2degrees we try and think about how we can make the technology easier – so that it’s one less thing for you to worry about, so you can focus on why you started the business in the first place.
We spend a good amount of time listening to our customers and some of things they’ve told us have become the basis of our new brand and marketing campaign, which you may have seen or heard lately. If you drive home up Khyber Pass Road you won’t be able to miss it.
The insight is that communication is second nature, and your telco shouldn’t get in the way of what comes naturally. So, our job – and challenge – is to keep communication flowing, effortlessly. For the team at 2degrees, talking this way about who we are is a bit of an evolution for us. When we launched in 2009, we challenged the market as the third mobile entrant and created real value and competition for customers.
Back then, we led with price and value, and our job was to drive a real change in what Kiwis paid for their mobile, in the first instance. Because back then, NZ was one of the most expensive places in the world to own a mobile phone.
Nine years on and times have changed. Since then, we have invested $700million in our own national mobile network, acquired a fixed line/broadband business and registered a maiden profit.
Now, more than 76,000 business users are benefitting from getting a reliable and seamless service from 2degrees. With the strength of our own national mobile and broadband networks, we’ve invested so that Kiwi business owners can reap the rewards.
We’ll keep being a part of the vibrant Newmarket business community, by supporting the 2018 Newmarket Business Awards. Those of you who are finalists, I look forward to meeting you and attending the Awards dinner in June. Best wishes for a successful second half of the year.