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A Southland Success For Two

In any competitive market you have to stand out from the crowd. You need to offer something that the others don’t. So when the opportunity came for TrustPower to partner with the Southland Times to run a customer campaign, the answer was a resounding yes.

This was a fabulous opportunity for us to work with an iconic and trusted Southland business, and to use that relationship to build the Kinect and TrustPower brands in what is a relatively new market for us,” says Peter Gregory, TrustPower’s Business Manager Telecommunications.

In early 2011 TrustPower and the Southland Times released an exclusive power and telecommunications offer to Southland Times subscribers. Under the partnership subscribers were offered incentives to become TrustPower power customers, TrustPower Kinect customers for phone and internet, or both. One of the most popular incentives was Kinect’s Southland Toll Free Zone. “We went into the market with a product that was different. It was something that they couldn’t get anywhere else and that made us stand out. It was also the first time we have aggressively marketed a bundled power and phone product, and the response was fantastic,” says Peter.

Over 3,500 Southland households and businesses chose TrustPower as their power supplier and over 800 became Kinect telecommunications customers. The campaign also served to assist in customer retention, with existing customers in Southland and Central Otago given the chance to take up the new offer.

But TrustPower’s wasn’t the only success story that came out of the campaign. The Southland Times team was also delighted with the outcome. “Rewarding our customers’ loyalty is really important to us and teaming up with a like-minded organisation like TrustPower worked really well,” says Grace Turner-Geary, Southland Times Marketing Executive. “The Southland Times is read by more than 92% of all Southlanders and we really pride ourselves on rewarding and thanking our subscribers for their continued loyalty to the paper. Working with the team at TrustPower to offer our readers a great discount and another way to save money was a perfect match for us and our subscribers, and the response was tremendous.”

The Southland region is an important area for TrustPower. It’s close to TrustPower’s South Island generation assets and with additional generation planned in Southland and around the South Island it makes sense to grow TrustPower’s customer base in the region.

TrustPower’s General Manager Commercial Operations Chris O’Hara says Southland is also a perfect fit with the rural/provincial profile that is TrustPower’s niche in the electricity and telecommunications markets. “The way our organisation works is very much around community and real people and those demographic traits are demonstrated strongly in provincial New Zealand.”

Another South Island region where TrustPower is experiencing strong growth is in North Canterbury. Over the last twelve months TrustPower has run two power and Kinect campaigns in the MainPower catchment area and as a result has picked up around 4,500 customers. “As well as being attracted by our great prices and incentives, customers appreciate our genuine service and the fact that we are New Zealand owned – and people want to support New Zealand businesses now more than ever,” says Chris.

Looking to the future, Chris says TrustPower is exploring opportunities to partner with other organisations to repeat the Southland success story. “We’re here for the long haul and we plan to keep growing and bringing real kiwi service to real kiwi communities.”