In 2017, I noted that Tecno, the popular smartphone brand in Africa, should invest in iROKOtv, the Nigerian online video-on-demand pioneer. Of course, Tecno had gone to invest in an alternative asset class in the entertainment sector. The core element of my recommendation was based on the need to build a platform around the Tecno brand.
We propose for Tecno to buy iROKOtv and use the product to deepen its capabilities in Africa and beyond. Our core idea is that Tecno needs to open a unit to be dubbed Tecno TV. It will be one place for anyone in Africa to access television, delivering unified TV experience. This ecosystem will meet the needs for TV shows, movies and broadcasting contents, across the continent. It will be TV and movie content-ready. Through the iROKOtv brand, it will close partnerships with leading local content providers.
Today, I will try another one: Tecno should unveil Tecno Finance in partnership with Ecobank or United Bank for Africa (UBA). I have chosen these banks because of their footprints across Africa. Through the banking institutions Tecno users will have special features for online banking and other credit related features like spending goals, rewards redeemable for Tecno products, and more. Paylater and PiggyVest (formerly PiggyBank) would have been better options except that they do not have Africa-wide footprints like the banks.
Apple Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. plan to start issuing this spring a joint credit card paired with new iPhone features that will help users manage their money.
The card will be rolled out to employees for testing in the next few weeks and officially launch later this year, according to people familiar with the matter. The companies hope to lure cardholders by offering them extra features on Apple’s Wallet app, which will let them set spending goals, track their rewards and manage their balances, the people said.
Possibly, the desire for those special features could stimulate customers to go for Tecno phone brands. Yes, there is a nudge element possibility therein because through Tecno Finance, Tecno could finance phones for customers as the credit system builds and its relationship evolves with financial institutions. Tecno needs to build a moat as competitors like Oppo come into town.
The Perception Demand Construct is a construct where you work on things which are not really evident to be in demand. Yet you go ahead to create that product. The demand may not be existing but you are confident you can stimulate it. Yes, you do believe that your product can elicit demand and grow the sector when launched. This is different from existing demand which could be met via starting a web hosting company or selling light bulbs where you know people actually need those services.
At the moment, Tecno is just a commodious product, which doesn’t have any special relationship with its users bar pricing, meaning that it could lose them at any time, once it can no longer compete on pricing.
To remain relevant in the foreseeable future, it needs to build a platform, which finance presents an attractive option, just like video streaming services would do. It’s left for Tecno to act now, before it is nokiaed!