This week I got a chance to interview Lynn Panattoni , a Virgin Mobile Product Marketing Manager. We spoke about everything regarding Virgin Mobile, from their devices, to their plans and much more. Below you will find our interview.
1. How does Virgin Mobile market themselves against contract carriers?
We offer similar phones if not the same phones that the contract players offer. Every Virgin Mobile plan features unlimited data, web, messaging, and email and many data centric people are looking for smartphones with “smart” plans to match. We are one of the only carriers that still offers Unlimited Data, which others have gotten rid of. We position ourselves as a challenger to the contract brands, mostly to T-Mobile. A contract makes you stay with them for 2-years, with the same phone. With Virgin Mobile you can get a new phone whenever you like which is one of the many benefits of going with a no-contract brand like ours.
2. As Virgin Mobile has been introducing new devices like the Motorola Triumph has your marketing strategy changed?
We’re moving into an all smartphone line up with Android phones from $99.99 up to $299.99. We have an entry-level Android phone as well as the top of the line Motorola Triumph. We’re offering a selection of smartphones to give our customers choices and flexibility.
3. Even though Virgin Mobile is selling the phones for a higher price, are your customers willing to pay the higher price?
Generally speaking, if you take into consideration what you would be paying with a contract brand, you sometimes end up paying around $1000 for that phone. For instance with the LG Optimus V our price is $149.99, the carrier’s price might be free but, you will have to sign a 2-year contract and over time the cost of just your plan could end up being more than the cost of our phone plus our plan.
4. Has Virgin Mobile partnered with any certain companies who make devices?
Virgin Mobile has an ongoing relationship with many manufacturers like LG, HTC, Samsung, Motorola, and Kyocera. We try to bring the newest devices to our customers and sometimes we’re able to offer exclusive phones for a certain amount of time. For instance our HTC Wildfire S is now exclusively being sold at BestBuy and RadioShack. However, I am unsure if other carriers will be getting the same phone. For example we offer the certain colors for certain phone that other carriers may not have. There could be a benefit to not having an exclusive phone because if another carrier offers it for a higher price than Virgin Mobile then it could cause more customers . They will come to Virgin Mobile because we offer the better deal.
5. Can you describe Virgin Mobile’s different plans?
We have 3 different plans. We have the $35 plan, that is 300 minutes, the $45 plan which has 1200 minutes and the $55 plan is unlimited minutes. All minutes are anytime minutes and all plans have unlimited Text, Email, IM, Data, and Mobile Web. It’s streamalined so you only choose the minute allotments that you need. 6. Has the market been enjoying the new higher end devices that Virgin Mobile is offering?
The overall industry has been going to higher end devices, and almost everyone wants to be tech-savvy in a sense. I currently use Android and I am loving it. I use multiple apps every day, to help with what I need to do. Customers are enjoying the higher end phones and the Triumph is a great a phone. We also have some apps that we have created, such as Virgin Mobile Live which is a radio/lifestyle station.
7. Where are Virgin Mobile’s products sold?
We are in National Retailers like BestBuy, Target, RadioShack, Walmart and more. We also partner with our Boost Mobile counter parts, for selling some of our products. Our array of products are also available on our website at www.virginmobileusa.com.
So, these are some of the main parts of Virgin Mobile. We spoke about their devices, plans, strategy, and more. Lynn Panattoni is a Product Marketing Manager with Virgin Mobile. She has been with Virgin Mobile for a couple of years and is based out of the New Jersey office. We would like thank Lynn Panattoni for taking time out of her busy schedule for taking time to do this interview.