T-Mobile’s strategy of comparing itself to rival brands on Facebook backfires

T-Mobile’s strategy of comparing itself to rival brands on Facebook backfires

Tags: T-Mobile | Facebook

Consumers' mixed reaction to T-Mobile's strategy of comparing itself to other brands shows that marketers should be careful in positioning themselves directly against their rivals on social networks. Whilst many T-Mobile fans express their support for the brand, an equal number of consumers express their negativity towards T-Mobile and promote other mobile network providers.  

T-Mobile USA recently posted their own marketing materials comparing themselves to competitor brands on their Facebook page. Alongside more traditional community manager posts, T-Mobile posted two side-by-side comparisons highlighting the differences between their own 4G services with that of their 3G rivals and how the different smartphones on offer measured up.

WaveMetrix social media monitoring shows that T-Mobile’s comparison strategy generated mixed feedback from consumers. Whilst many consumers support T-Mobile in its positioning against its competitors, others are more negative, criticising T-Mobile’s offering. Similar to Pepsi's aggressive comparison to Coca-Cola, this shows that marketers should be careful when comparing themselves to rivals online as such moves can produce undesirable results.

Consumers have a mixed response towards T-Mobile’s comparison to its rivals on its Facebook page:

Consumers have a mixed response towards T-Mobile’s comparison to its rivals on its Facebook page

  • Around half of consumer responses praise the T-Mobile brand: Prompted by the comparison to its rivals, consumers show their support for T-Mobile, saying they “love” T-Mobile because it is “great”. They praise T-Mobile’s “fast” 4G speeds and say the T-Mobile network presents them with “no problems” as they offer “good” call packages and “awesome” phones
     
  • An equal number of consumers, however, criticise T-Mobile: Faced with the comparison between T-Mobile and its rivals on Facebook, consumers say T-Mobile “sucks” and is a “bad company” as their speeds “are no faster” than AT&T and Verizon. Others criticise T-Mobile’s “poor” coverage and say that “better” phones are offered by T-Mobile’s rivals

The comparison post prompts a mixed response towards T-Mobile’s phones:

The comparison post by T-Mobile prompts a mixed response towards T-Mobile’s phones

  • Prompted by the comparative charts, consumers respond with mixed comments about T-Mobile's range of phones: Whilst some consumers say they “love” the phones on offer from T-Mobile because they are “amazing” due to a “reliable” service, others are more negative, saying T-Mobile’s range of phones “suck”. Some also say T-Mobile’s service is “no better” to that of its competitors
     
  • The comparison also leads to mixed views over the T-Mobile brand: The comparison posts on Facebook leads some consumers to say they “love” T-Mobile because it “rocks”, saying “thanks” to the brand for “good” prices and offering “choice”. However, others are more critical, saying T-Mobile “sucks” as the brand offers a “slow” network, which “cannot compare” to Verizon
     
  • A handful of consumers discuss customer service: Whilst some say they “love” T-Mobile for offering the “best” service, others criticise the brand for its “bad” service, complaining that they have been “put on hold” by T-Mobile’s customer service team

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