Companies are increasingly styling themselves as socially responsible actors (Foster 2008). Companies are responding to the moral concerns of consumers, employees and investors at the same time that they recognize new opportunities for making business operations more profitable.
In this regard, brand identity is central to the cultural economy of mobile media for both companies and consumers. For companies, brands function as a source of economic value by cultivating “loyal customers” and therefore enabling goods and services to be sold for premium prices. For consumers, brands come to represent the means and product of their own creativity in putting purchased commodities to personal use. This investment in branded goods and services on the part of both companies and consumers presumes a relationship of trust.
Our comparative approach is designed to demonstrate how the social, political and cultural diversity of Fiji and PNG embodies the challenges that transnational companies such as Digicel face in creating economies of scale while serving niche markets. Both countries in this study have recently liberalized the telecommunications industry, licensed Digicel to compete with a state-supported incumbent (Telikom PNG in PNG and Vodafone in Fiji) and experienced a rapid increase in mobile phone penetration rates and the use of mobile phones to access social media and other social network sites. They also recently introduced mobile money services: Vodafone’s M-Paisa, Digicel as Digicel Mobile Money in Fiji and Cellmoni in PNG).