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Building a brand through customer empathy

Cricket Wireless, a subsidiary of AT&T, was moving from a regional to national mobile network carrier and needed their brand to deliver a consistent message that targeted their unique customers’ needs. Over a successful three year partnership, gravitytank helped Cricket develop a national brand that was brought to life across multiple customer touchpoints, within and beyond the retail store. These efforts ultimately encouraged brand loyalty and generated impressive results for Cricket as it expanded services across the country.


When we began working with Cricket, they were predominantly a regional carrier. Each market had a high degree of autonomy over how it targeted customers and communicated the value of its products. While this autonomy gave markets flexibility, Cricket lacked a deep understanding of their customers across markets. Their staff’s knowledge of customers was formed primarily through routine interactions, such as signing up for services, paying bills, and dealing with technical issues. Cricket did not understand customers’ lives holistically outside of these interactions. As Cricket sought to become a national carrier, company leadership wanted to develop a consistent, shared understanding of their customers’ needs and a targeted approach to help fulfill those needs with current and future product offerings. gravitytank helped Cricket develop and bring a national brand to life internally within their organization and externally with their customers. Internally, the team created a set of brand and customer segmentation books to support their employees' understanding of Cricket customers. Challenging the boundaries of traditional project deliverables, gravitytank also redesigned the in-store experience that reflected the value of the new brand.


Cricket Wireless


Consumer electronics

Featured Outcomes

In-store experience and format design
Consumer segmentation illumination research
Brand architecture
Visual guidelines


Following brand definition work, gravitytank produced two internal-facing books to cultivate a shared understanding of Cricket's new national brand and its relevance for several near-term business strategies. Integrating ethnographic research and sharp visual design, the team also created an internal customer segmentation book that explored the lifestyles, values, and unmet needs of Cricket’s customers. The customer segmentation book, Real Life, was distributed to all employees. Incorporated into the company’s onboarding processes, the book became a key asset, strengthening the link between the company’s products and the individuals they reach.


Cricket wanted to focus on making improvements to its store experience to help staff members enroll new customers and serve existing customers more effectively. Throughout the innovation process, multiple iterations of life-size environmental prototypes were evaluated for their ability to represent Cricket’s brand values, communicate product offerings, and improve customer experience. The outputs of the Cricket and gravitytank collaboration resulted in a new retail format ecosystem consisting of brand presentation, product fixtures, menu boards, wayfinding and merchandising.


This brand definition work ultimately drove rapid expansion into several new markets, supported by a new corporate style guide, brand architecture and store format. The new identity was rolled out just six short months after the initial design, followed by retrofits in existing markets. Our partnership helped Cricket produce real results, including year-over-year customer growth in mature markets.

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