If you haven’t seen Sprint’s name and logo going around recently, you probably live under a rock. Sprint launched Jay Z’s new album and offered free access to Tidal. They have been sponsoring a slew of content on YouTube and Instagram, and they just rolled out a new influencer campaign targeting youth.
For a brand long considered an affordable alternative to the giant networks of Verizon and AT&T, their newest marketing strategy has proven they are able to stay ahead of the curve and win over customers.
Marketers can learn a lot from Sprint’s successful campaign. Here are the four top things every campaign should take away from the Sprint story.
1. Focus on youth.
At the core of Sprint’s new campaign is an attention to millennials and Generation Z, the most rapidly growing consumer segment. In fact, Sprint formed a new marketing team, called Candybar, filled with the top industry experts on Gen Z and millennials.
By leveraging this group of superstar marketers they have been able to develop a series of marketing initiatives to develop stronger relationships with the youth and maximize the impact of each of their campaigns.
The three major takeaways from Candybar are: (1) recognizing that companies need to create content in line with young lifestyles, (2) making sure this content is optimized to be shared and (3) aligning content with the right platforms for the highest conversion value. Thinking about youth marketing in this way has boosted the ability of Sprint to communicate their brand story to young people.
2. Create intercultural appeal.
One of the most unique aspects of the Sprint #LiveUnlimited campaigns is that they did not limit themselves to strictly mainstream North American content. They brought in a number of Hispanic influencers to create intercultural appeal and embrace a larger worldview.
By incorporating Lele Pons and Prince Royce in their marketing efforts, the latest Sprint campaign displays an awareness of the world and its many cultures.
This larger worldview gives people the feeling that Sprint spans the globe (which is desirable in a cell carrier), and it also appeals to a wide range of demographics and demonstrates a level of tolerance.
Younger generations are more diverse, and they place a greater emphasis on tolerance than the generations before them. Companies should take a page from Sprint’s playbook, and endeavor to be tolerant and accurately integrate many cultures into their marketing and brand story.
3. Correctly utilize influencers.
Many brands believe influencer marketing is overly expensive and does not generate returns. This is largely due to the fact that influencer marketing needs to be treated differently than celebrity marketing or mass marketing.
Up until the days of social media, whenever brands worked with big-name individuals, they could simply create a branded ad or commercial, insert the celebrity and then send it out to billboards, magazines and television screens. However, when young people look at an influencers’ social media, they want to feel like they’re reading their journal, not a branded flyer.
Sprint nailed this aspect of influencer marketing, and found a way to integrate themselves seamlessly into each influencer’s content feed and develop their brand message through the unique voice of each influencer.
One of the best instances of this was their work on releasing Jay Z’s new album, 4:44, and offering free access to Tidal so people could listen to it. They turned a major cultural event from one of the largest music influencers into a sponsored event that delighted young people. Sprint made the influencer’s content better, and in turn made every young person watching happy that Sprint exists.
4. Be everywhere.
Sprint’s lineup of influencers includes lifestyle vloggers, singer-songwriters, Disney stars, entrepreneurs and fitness influencers. They cover a wide range of content, and appeal to a large segment of the population while maintaining a coherent vibe.
As they create quality content all over social media and tap into a number of major influencers’ channels, consumers will see Sprint more and more. This helps young people believe Sprint is valued by society and leverages “social learning.”
Since no one can make every decision for themselves, we often turn to the perceptions of others to inform our decisions. Brands can hack this social phenomenon by creating a presence in key places online and driving increased social awareness. Sprint now has soft endorsements from some of the top content creators, and is able to influence buying patterns through this social awareness.
As companies create campaigns, they need to aim for wide reach together with depth of penetration, rather than trying for one or the other, because the combination is what generates the greatest impact.