Sprint is a historic telecommunications company recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first 4G wireless service from a national carrier. With 56 million customers in the United States, Sprint operates in an extremely competitive and mature wireless market. Post its decline to the fourth largest wireless carrier, the brand was making meaningful progress with subscriber growth through aggressive promotions and price reductions. Sprint’s momentum with the Paul Marcarelli campaign, network reliability claim of being within 1% of parity of market leader, Copa America Centenario sponsorship and continued aggressive promotions propelled brand consideration. However, a reinvigorated Verizon and the functional value of T-Mobile’s youthful customer-friendly image made it harder to achieve net positive post-paid subscriber additions for Sprint’s turnaround.
The Strategic Challenge
Increase Sprint’s growth and share-of-voice in the largest wireless market in the United States — New York City. Sprint sought a social media engagement to elevate its voice and drive retail traffic during a summertime of unrelenting noise and competitor activity. MillennialPlus needed to help Sprint breakthrough to customers who desired shared experiences, budget friendly moments and uninhibited data consumption.
Identify the right Millennials
To determine the right target, MillennialPlus conducted rapid directional research via store intercepts of Sprint customers and salespersons; focus group findings; SurveyMonkey Audience questionnaire; review of MillennialPlus’ proprietary social media and generational identity research; and secondary data. We recommended Sprint target New York Millennials based on life stages to align brand benefits and value with the cohort’s aspiration and financial reality. This reconciled the regional market’s desire to scale to premium customers with the national price sensitivity messaging of “cut my bill in half.”
Surprise & Delight Utility
MillennialPlus put forth a social media strategy centered on the utility to discover, plan and share experiences effortlessly. We harnessed influencers, brand interactions, user generated content, product giveaways, and promoted posts on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to increase social media followers and channel awareness to spread and promote sponsored brand experiences, network reliability claims, and sales promotions to entice consideration to switch to Sprint.
Summertime Sensation Curation
New Yorkers don’t sit around during the summer. They feverishly seek exhilarating experiences, but in a city with so much to do, what do you do? MillennialPlus created a curated daily post highlighting the best experiences New York City offered — The Sprint 5ive. The 5 things you can’t afford to miss. The Sprint 5ive, fashioned from a millennial insight of the cohorts partiality to services and tools that free up their time, was a utility-based curation of events. The foundational posts provided Sprint an authentic engagement to share stories, photos and sought after festivities, while offering up accessories and promotions from Sprint to enhance their moments.
Spreading The Love
MillennialPlus employed influencers with significant social reach to create Sprint 5ive sponsored content. The content from influencers — Ruby Wall, Tineey Tsang, Nick Brown, Megan Zietz and Jennell B. Stewart — led to page discovery, drove page likes and brand engagements more economically than paid media.
Cookin’ Live With Tidal
The Sprint sponsored Tidal premiere viewing of “Cookin” by Fat Joe and Remy Ma featuring French Montana was live posted on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. MillennialPlus conducted real-time posting from Sprint’s in-store meet-and-greet and the video viewing event at Hostos Community College in New York. Event hashtags drove content awareness, engagement and in-store attendance. This yielded significant organic new fan growth for Sprint’s social channels.
MillennialPlus orchestrated a Sprint social surprise and delight campaign by giving away Samsung Gear VR headsets. The surprise appreciation generated genuine viral brand love.
MillennialPlus delivered an average engagement rate 600% higher than the top 20 largest brands on Facebook (12.4% vs 2.01%) during the engagement period. We increased Sprint’s New York Facebook channel fans by 200% and more than doubled Instagram fans. MillennialPlus succeeded in capturing the coveted older millennial growth target. Sprint’s New York metro achieved their net subscriber addition goals.
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MillennialPlus advances cross-disciplinary thinking, business analysis, business strategy and rigorous cultural research to build stronger, more profitable relationships with customers. MillennialPlus helps companies identify how the modern customer experience and generational intelligence can be used to their competitive advantage.
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