Sprint attributed a broad, metaphorical salience to its wireless division’s clarity brand – end-to-end clarity – emphasizing crucial customer-facing qualities like ease of doing business with Sprint, ease of understanding the bill, simplicity of plans, and so on. Sprint PCS Brand group retained the Gronstedt Group (where I was Communications Director) to perform a comprehensive brand audit focusing on how the company was delivering on the clarity promise across all customer touchpoints.
We conducted depth interviews with 38 company vice presidents, directors and senior managers and ran three focus groups with customer care advocates, business and retail sales representatives. The research assessed which customer-engagement functions were “living and breathing the brand” and, correspondingly, sought to identify touchpoints where Sprint could improve its delivery of end-to-end clarity.
As a result of this study we not only uncovered a series of tactical issues, some of which were predicted by the client, but we also isolated a deep-seated flaw in the corporate ideology that underpinned all of the tactical breaks. This fundamental mindset issue was hampering the company’s ability to deliver on its brand promise and transition to retention/service business model. Our report developed a strategic blueprint to address these issues and strengthen delivery on brand commitment.
The Gronstedt Group report was well-received by Sprint PCS executives. One former company leader who reviewed the report said: “I know nothing about who the Gronstedt Group is or how they work, but anybody who can penetrate as deeply as they have into what is rarely discussed with candor, and declare themselves so fiercely, constitutes a force to be reckoned with.”
Another senior executive noted that the report was “only the beginning… Collectively we need to further assess the problem/opportunity, develop our short and long term solutions, and execute those plans.”