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It accomplished this by backing up its marketing campaign with tangible, customer-facing proof points: a radically simplified rate plan, elimination of restrictive two-year contracts, unlimited video and music streaming that didn’t count against data plan caps, unlimited data and texting in over 140 international destinations, and monthly data allowances that rolled forward when not used. Within a year of the Un-carrier campaign launch, T-Mobile’s stock price climbed by 85% and the company achieved a level of brand prominence that few would have thought possible from the nation’s then fourth-largest wireless carrier. (In the last five years, its stock has also outperformed Sprint’s by a nearly tenfold margin.)

You can’t market your way to a great customer experience

Both Sprint and T-Mobile aggressively remarketed themselves to wireless consumers, but only one succeeded in generating real value for customers and shareholders. What John Legere and his T-Mobile team recognized is that you simply can’t market your way to a great customer experience. Consumer impressions are ultimately shaped, not by what a company says, but by what it does. While Sprint tried to convince people that Framily represented a new and better wireless experience, the mechanics of the plan indicated otherwise. T-Mobile, in contrast, didn’t just position itself as a different kind of carrier – it became a different kind of carrier, by removing myriad common


consumer irritants from its customer experience. The key takeaway for business leaders? Be sure to balance investments in promoting your brand promise with investments in fulfilling it. Marketing campaigns may provide air cover, but the hand-to-hand combat of each customer interaction is where true loyalty is forged – the simplicity of your purchase process, the usability of your products, the clarity of your communications, the helpfulness of your staff, and so forth. So, before you hang your hat on an expensive marketing campaign to convince people how wonderful your product or service is… ask yourself why they need convincing at all. — Jon Picoult is founder and principal of Watermark Consulting. See more at

Q4 2017 Dialogue

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Dialogue Q4 2017  
Dialogue Q4 2017