If You Engage Them, They Will Sell…

That seems to be the message that Sprint Business is communicating in an ad campaign which actually kicked off two months ago, but caught our attention on Tuesday.

Sprint Business in WSJ B5

Sprint Business in WSJ B5

In the Marketplace section of The Wall Street Journal, Sprint Business took out a full page (B5).  The bottom was an actual ad while the top appeared to be sponsored content produced in partnership with WSJ Custom Studios.  Unlike advertorials of the past, which were very text-driven, this one was eyeball friendly — communicating information in an easily digestible form.  Say goodbye to TL:DR.  Sprint Business has seen the future and gets how to tailor communication accordingly.

But let’s back up.  Sprint Business?

Yeah, like who knew, right?

The non-hamster side of the family, Sprint Business, is a new brand encompassing Sprint’s B2B solutions which cover mobility, security, collaboration and communications.

The focus is on the millennials who are entering the workforce.  Per Marin Martinovic, director of business marketing at Sprint Business, these younger workers have a different set of expectations of their employers, with a heavy reliance on mobile devices and collaboration tools to get their jobs done.

Ah, so Sprint Business is helping companies help themselves by helping them keep their employees more engaged.  And that starts with some Millennials 101, which is what’s covered in the top part of the page (AKA the “must haves”).

The Mindset.

The Mindset.

Sprint’s Tip:  They place value on innovative companies when selecting a job and see creativity as a success metric in life as well as work.

Our Tip:  Yeah, but why limit this thinking to millennials?  Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y would benefit as well.


What increases creativity...

What increases creativity…

We don’t necessarily agree with the “What Increases Creativity the Most” graphic because even though tools, sharing capability and consumer generated content are important, you have to establish the type of environment that welcomes a curious mind and out-of-the-box thinking within the parameters of day-to-day business.  It is a balancing act.

If you follow the ad clockwise, time is addressed as something inhibiting creativity.  But the number that really stands out is 75% (of those surveyed??) feel that they are under growing pressure to be productive rather than creative.

Our Thinking:  ?!  Say what?  We are glad that creativity is being addressed, but sense people are lost regarding what that word actually means.  To simplify, we feel that workers should know the goals, have the discipline and awareness to work within parameters, yet still have the leeway to figure out how to get the job done (thus accomplishing the goals).  There is an indescribable satisfaction that comes with working this way.  Trust us.  We know. Yes, you can be creative AND productive.

So anyway, we applaud the direction Sprint Business is taking, and just hope they have mapped out a multi-tiered / phased approach that will build off this initial effort.

At the end of the day, they just might be able to sell more Sprint devices and services.  Heck they could, dare we say, become the “BlackBerry” of the next generation of workers.  Staying relevant is key.  Engaging the workforce is important, but so is providing a path where those who BYOD (bring your own device) can hook seamlessly and securely into this B2B ecosystem. Guess you can call it “Thinking outside the Sprint box”.

We’ll be watching Sprint Business to see if they gain any traction and if other brands take up this area of focus.


Aside:  Their tag line: “For companies with people in them™” was created by Velocity Partners, London, Sprint’s agency of record.  Our first take was “really?” However, once we Googled them checked out their website, it all made sense — they’ve got attitude for sure.


Velocity Partners

Velocity Partners

Check out this ad below.  At first run, we were trying to figure out what computer equipment manufacturer supplied the monitors.  After visiting VP’s website, it all made sense.  Very subtle indeed!

Stay curious my friends!

–The Gang

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