Visible, an all-digital mobile phone service owned by Verizon, successfully built its brand and fueled consumer awareness by illustrating its core value proposition in an innovative way.

Beth Veen, head of brand strategy at Visible – which operates entirely through an app, and has no stores or monthly bills – discussed this topic in a session at the Incite Group’s 2019 Brand Marketing Summit in San Francisco.

In 13 markets across the US, she reported, “We took empty storefronts that weren’t being used for anything and essentially did our own version of a digital [message] board.” (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Verizon’s all-digital Visible service trades on not being there.)

Each retail unit was wrapped in Visible’s signature “bright, bold, in-your-face blue,” Veen said, with blank canvases except for a prominent message in white type that played on the standard “404” error message displayed on a computer screen when a web page can’t be located.

The signage on Visible’s blue storefronts read: “404 Store Not Found.” And it also told consumers that the store can “no longer be found”, and they should instead visit the website

In effect, Veen said, the campaign provided an “in-real-life redirect” to the company’s digital site, which explained its approach further and offered consumers the chance to sign up.

“What’s fun about this is [that it] was a very low-cost thing,” she added. “It was just about paying these guys’ rent. From an out-of-home experience standpoint, the amount we had to pay to make this happen was really low. We just had to do it in a very bold way to really make it palatable.”

Although Visible is backed by Verizon’s network, it is definitely a challenger brand that does not have “a Verizon-sized budget or team,” Veen reported.

Given this, she continued, it focuses on a few core markets, where its marketing efforts “go really big … such that there’s enough social media to impress, [and] to make it a national campaign without us having to spend all over the place.”

Sourced from WARC