Boost Mobile’s no BS policy

Although it officially launched its $50 Unlimited service plan with no hidden charges last month, Boost Mobile is kicking off a new marketing campaign and brand new image this week. Once known for its irreverent, out-there commercials targeting young, hip wireless users, Boost is now going after an increasingly large group of consumers who feel wronged by their wireless provider and are suspicious of offerings that seem too good to be true. With a lineup of commercials showing some awkwardly wrong situations (pigs eating ham, a coroner dropping a burrito in his subject, excessive armpit hair – you get the idea), Boost wants to show that wrong as it may seem, it’s not worse than wireless operators hiding cumbersome charges in their so-called unlimited plans. Boost’s new offering boasts no hidden charges – no telecom taxes, overage or roaming charges and no activation fees.

Boost is moving away from urban teens to any value-conscious, communication-centric consumer – driven by voice and text, not data. Within this strategy is a focus on the Hispanic market, in which Sprint Nextel’s push-to-talk handsets have proven popular.

Sprint’s value brand, Boost, was reinvigorated on Sprint Nextel’s iDEN network about the same time the economy started to go to shambles. The company has had its ups and downs, as Neil Lindsay, vice president of marketing, readily admits. Its customer base declined from 4.2 million prepaid customers in September 2007 to fewer than 3 million just one year later. It finished out the third quarter of 2008 with 3.9 million customers. President Matt Carter said take-up of the $50 Unlimited plan has exceeded expectations so far. While the company lost some momentum in 2008 as it revamped its image, he said they are ready for a turnaround and have already had their stores and phone lines flooded with interest.

“Prepaid is growing at a faster rate than postpaid now and is coming of age as people struggle with commitment and look for brands they trust,” Lindsay added. That being said, while Boost may be known as a cool brand, the image has so far trumped the service. When youth were the target, Lindsay said that the company focused on distinct commercials and the brand, but not the service itself. With Boost’s new image, it will be all about the service, the network and the devices, which Lindsay said are getting a makeover as well with new, sleeker handsets coming from Motorola.

Boost will roll out more commercials and advertisements this month, all with a focus on ‘un-wronging’ consumers, a strict no BS policy and some images you might not be able to forget even if you want to.

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