Chances are you've come across a bundled services offer from your friendly neighborhood phone or cable companies lately. It's actually the primary slant of their marketing strategies, so you really can't avoid them. The pitch is simple: buy more of the things we sell and you'll get a better up-front discount.
- Find synergies. There should be benefits to getting multiple services from providers beyond them offering a single web access point from which consumers can track how much they're paying for said services. Maybe the synergies could be technical, or simple service-based (a special help line for victims of bundles would be a start). Could an additional service prompt an upgrade to an existing service (so I buy VOIP and my Internet connection gets upped a notch)? What about handing out more free wireless minutes as a reward for either buying and/or using add-on services. Minutes have as much inherent value as frequent flier miles. I'm stunned that they're not used like that (make them expire. Duh).
- Make it pay. The discount for biting at a bundle offer shouldn't have a time limit on it; in fact, it should get better over the years instead of leaving most users abused and ignored. Why couldn't multi-year contracts get a little cheaper every twelve months? Maybe there could be usage discounts, so heavy TV watchers got a better deal? Conversely, why not incentivize more productive or healthy use of the services, so people could donate wireless minutes to charitable causes and thereby get a discount on their service? I guess my point here is to come up with ways to truly reward bundle customers over time, and not simply take them for granted.
- Base it on brand. I find it kind of interesting that my cable bundle has me attached to particular products -- smartphones supported by services, a cable modem in my basement -- and my only relationship with the brand is when the logo appears on the top of my monthly bill. I could care less what it is. I wonder if the very nature of the bundle arrangement could be shifted from products to business, so consumers subscribed to the brand (say, at different financial levels) and were thereby guaranteed not only the best products and services available at that price, but also automatic and regular updates/upgrades to those technical things. Make the relationship about the brand, and take responsibility for keeping it fresh and rewarding.