No-'DUM': T-Mobile Offers New Prepaid Brand

GoSmart-mobile-BFor those who are tired of hidden restrictions and charges of wireless contracts, T-Mobile has a new pre-paid wireless brand: GoSmart.

“We wanted to create a completely new offering from the ground up for a new segment for customers, which the bigger brand may not be able to serve,” Shailendra Gujarati, marketing director for GoSmart Mobile, tells Marketing Daily. “It’s the fastest-growing space in the wireless market right now. We believe there’s a segment of customers whose needs are not being met because of what’s going on in the wireless industry. We don’t want customers to be left behind because they don’t need or can’t afford 4G plans.”

The GoSmart will be targeted toward younger, less affluent and/or multicultural consumers who don’t need or want to be in a contract plan or higher-fee prepaid plan, he says. The brand will be built on three pillars: price, simplicity and network quality. 

To differentiate itself from the parent brand, GoSmart will shy away from using its T-Mobile’s imagery (including its Carly spokescharacter) and signature magenta coloring. With a smaller marketing budget, much of GoSmart’s marketing communications will be through retail and social media channels, Gujarati says. 

“We will be much more grassroots and scrappy,” he says. Much of the communications will employ the word “DUM,” which he notes is not an acronym: “It’s simply a playful spin on the word dumb.”

“It’s a bit edgy and mischievous,” he says. “There’s a lot of dumb things that happen in the wireless space in terms of nickel-and-diming and [contract] shackles.”

Though launching a brand that is owned by, though separate from, another larger company is challenging, it’s not entirely unheard of in the telecommunications (or other industries). Sprint, for instance, has its flagship Sprint brand, as well as prepaid brand Boost, Virgin Mobile and Paylo brands. 

“The notion of creating multiple brands for multiple segments may be a bit new for wireless in the U.S., but it happens in other industries,” Gujarati says, noting Gap Inc.’s model of having Banana Republic, Gap and Old Navy stores to reach different segments. “In our case, we are doing this organically, and creating it from the ground up.”

The GoSmart brand isn’t intended to replace T-Mobile’s contract or pre-paid plans, but instead is to go after an entirely different segment, Gujarati says. He also expects the brand to continue should T-Mobile’s proposed merger with MetroPCS go through. 

“We truly believe the brands T-Mobile has today and may be having in the future will be complementary,” Gujarati says.

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