Public goes public

I see that Public, one of the new entrants to the mobility market, is using newsstands in the Toronto transit system (TTC) to distribute its phones and plans.  A small display is situated among the chewing gum and chocolate bars at these independently-run kiosks.

Whether the gambit will work is an open question.  Transit users are typically in a state of hurry approximating panic, and it seems unlikely they will have the time or focus required to consider their options and make a buy decision.  To boot, the kiosk proprietors are expected to help sell the product – which seems like a long shot, considering the typical owner seems unconcerned if their customers live or die, forget about buy a phone plan.

Still, the distribution strategy is interesting for the way it aligns with the Public name.  Public connotes wide availability and ease of access for all, and there is certainly no place more accessible – more public – than public transit.

The Public name also conjures up the spectre of affordability, befitting placement of the display among things that cost from a few cents to a few bucks.  I would have checked Public’s pricing to see if it aligns with this promise – but I was in a rush.

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