Niccolo Machiavelli once said in his iconic novel, “The Prince”, “It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.” However, the question remains as to whether or not this is an accurate statement. For John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile, this is far from the truth. Legere has captivated the hearts of millions around the world with his carefree methods, unapologetic confidence in his company, and customer appreciation tactics that truly set his company apart.
So, what makes Legere and, furthermore, T-Mobile so successful, and how is the T-Mobile brand redefining the phone industry one innovation at a time? Perhaps, the answer is in the various steps Legere took to transform this once “old” and “unreliable” carrier into a global commodity, starting with rebranding the company and going all the way into the future Legere and T-Mobile see for the cell phone carrier industry as a whole.
Reliability Is Key in the Phone Industry
For years, Verizon boasted the most reliable network on the market and many of the smaller cell phone carrier companies even piggybacked on their towers in order to increase their own network reach. One of these companies happened to be T-Mobile who used the towers to simply be slightly relevant in comparison to their far more successful competitors at the time. However, when John Legere was appointed CEO of the company in 2012, this drastically changed.
Since being appointed, Legere has made it his priority to make T-Mobile the most reliable network and for far less with less absurd contractual agreements involved than its various competitors, including Verizon. In fact, despite currently being slightly more reliable than Verizon, Legere is still not satisfied and spent a whopping $8 million to get signal across the entire country as of April of this year.
Legere hopes to one day be able to not only make his network completely reliable nationwide but also to provide 5G LTE in order to make the service more reliable as well as the phones and their capabilities more reliable likewise. However, for every great business, the statistics are only half of the battle and the other half comes in the form of the marketing which entices the customers off the bat. Although this may seem difficult to some, the revolutionary methods Legere has put into play have truly proven that innovation is vital when it comes to the success of any big business.
How John Legere Transformed T-Mobile Into “The Uncarrier”
Every good company must have branding that is relatable, appeals to the proper demographics, and sets them apart from their various competitors. This is why Legere chose to focus more on the vibrant magenta within the brand’s logo rather than the boring blacks and greys the company once relied on heavily. With a color that truly stood out on all merchandise and store signs, the attention was already beginning to shift towards T-Mobile and its transitional phase of 2012.
After initial logo rebranding had been successfully completed, Legere chose to tackle a far larger part of the company’s branding—their public image and the demographic they intended to target. Before Legere, T-Mobile’s demographic was simply “anyone that needed a phone.” However, this all began to change as Legere chose to target a younger demographic, create a much fresher business model for both consumers and employees, and formulate a public image for the company.
It was at this point that Legere began to call the company an “Uncarrier” due to their unconventional ways of doing things and straightforward products, deals, and service plans. However, this was only the beginning of his public image transformation for the T-Mobile brand. This new public image consisted of being at the forefront of modern technology, setting the bar for their competitors, incorporating customer appreciation tactics unheard of before to prove their loyalty and dedication to their clients, and interacting with clients on a far more personal level.
Formulating a Unique and Innovative Public Image
For instance, by being at the forefront of new technology, T-Mobile has been able to make extraordinary leaps and bounds towards 5G LTE data. Furthermore, T-Mobile was also one of the only cell phone companies in America at the forefront of the wearable tech industry likewise. By doing this, Legere recognized that it would not only help him to gain the respect of the younger generations he hoped to target but also would allow him to ultimately set the brand apart from its various competitors in the long run.
With the inclusion of various forms of “trash talk” from Legere regarding his competitors such as their “VerHIGHzon” advertisement which directly targeted Verizon and his tactics to win market shares using Twitter wars with other competitors and “haters,” Legere has proven that setting yourself apart from your competition is only half the battle and the other half should be fought strategically and with your demographic in mind. By using memes and being the quirky, care-free individual that he is, Legere was even able to reinvent his own image through the new T-Mobile brand.
Furthermore, incorporating and reinventing customer appreciation tactics such as T-Mobile Tuesdays and Twitter competitions has allowed for the company to create a highly dedicated fanbase and has actually led to the 2016 company analytics that showed Legere successfully being able to double the amount of customers in the last four years alone. With the millennial generation caring deeply about down-to-earth ideals, Legere was able to show his appreciation for this rapid increase and actually only add even more clients to his company’s ever-expanding list in the process. This not only led to AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint trying to create similar customer appreciation plans but also proved just how innovative his marketing strategies truly are.
Although these actions may seem like small marketing tactics when dissected as we have done thus far, it simply proves that technology and the youth of our society are far more important to the business industry than we previously thought. In fact, with the millennial generation being one that prides itself on being unapologetically honest, unique, and outgoing, it’s no surprise that the sheer idea of such an innovative CEO entices young consumers and leaves them wanting to know what comes next.
With so many advancements yet to come and the company still keeping many exciting projects hidden from the public, all John Legere’s undying fanbase can do now is hope to “think pink” —or magenta, for that matter—as they pick up their phones, see the iconic “T” logo they know and love, and admire those gloriously full five bars on a network they know they can trust just as much as they do the CEO that started it all.