Article #14 : Free vs Apple, the new management war has begun

Publié le par Cécile Perrin


You heard it. Whether you are abroad, in france or in what we call the DOM TOM, you heard the incredible news. Today, at 8:30 am french hour, Niel releases the offers of Free mobile. And if you are just like us, your curiosity led you to watch Niel's live conference this morning. Well well well.... the first thing that we noticed is that this particular conference looked more than ever like one of Steve Jobs' famous keynotes. Let's take a close look at Free's new strategy....

Communication : "Keynote" style conference, media buzz (press, web, tv, radio...), suspens, ints, pictures (the rocket on the official website, very well used as the starting point of the live conference) , puns.... and a "we are different" message that reminds us of Apple's "Think different" , gifts to the journalists (a 2 euro subscription to free mobile - 60 minutes of communication included). 

Key axis : Being innovative, answering customers needs, Creating easy to use products or easy to understand subscriptions.

Competition policy : Free, just like Apple, preferred a "good relationships" approach based on partnerships rather than an offensive strategy. We remember Apple's partnership with orange, or even sometimes with Microsoft. Here, Free gave about one million euros to Orange (in order to use some of its network coverage) and signed an exclusive partnership with Apple for the iphone 4S. WOW. It seems like Free is about to become quite popular.

But something is bothering us somehow. Changing a management strategy takes time, and copying one is a risky way of trying to improve. Free has bet on the low price policy. But it will probably need much more innovation to keep being a leader. Apple created new markets and new products (the first tablet was actually created a while ago by Apple under the name of "Newton" (now, do you get the little pun? Apple's first logo was Newton, under an apple tree, holding an apple in the hand....then it became the logo we now know). In order to ensure the success of its marketing strategy, Niel has built its empire on a very "human oriented" "be-yourself" management strategy for his employees. It's just reminding us of Google, Facebook and Apple. It seems to work for now, but how long is it going to last? That's the question we ask you to answer today. 





As for now, we can only congratulate Free for its amazing communication management and buzz. Free going to be from now on a new model of management and marketing? Dear followers, you are more than welcome to give us your opinion in the comments section below! 


Cécile Perrin

English Track B

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