Building the UK’s highest-rated mobile network in under 6 months


Finding room for brand growth

The UK mobile market is saturated. Three Mobile were struggling to expand their appeal and wanted to experiment with a new micro-brand strategy to target new customer segments. They saw an opportunity to create a challenger brand focused on simplicity and transparency, but needed to move quickly to gain advantage. 


Simple, honest mobile

We worked with Three to create SMARTY, a disruptive brand in the value-driven virtual mobile network space, to speak to an entirely new audience. From brand definition to art direction and from digital design to packaging. All built and launched four times faster than normal. So far, SMARTY has taken a market by storm and has the highest TrustPilot score of any UK mobile network. Not bad for a baby business.

Who are you and what do you stand for?

First off, we needed to define what made this new business different to Three as a whole. So we spent time with the team to establish a purpose and mission: what we stood for and how we were going to deliver a new brand and business. We ended up with a clear vision of where we wanted to be, and used that to steer our decisions for the rest of the project.

Work out why you're different

The UK mobile market is a crowded, competitive place. So we wanted to make sure SMARTY stood out.

We started by talking to people. We asked them what they needed from their mobile provider, and what was broken with the service they were currently using. What would make them switch?

People were fed up with complicated, inflexible plans, unfair charges, sub-par customer service, and generally feeling ripped off. Through research and co-creation, we defined and refined the SMARTY proposition, until we had the thing that people wanted – the the thing that made us unique. Simple, flexible plans, fair charging for add-ons, and a discount on your next bill based on unused data.

Minimum viable service

To launch a mobile network, certain features have to work from day one. A customer needs to be able to register for a SIM card, pay for it online, get it delivered securely, activate it, move their phone number across – and so on. We call this the Minimum Viable Service.

We defined and designed each of those features in turn, checking in with customers every time. What’s essential when choosing a plan, and what’s less relevant? How would they like to buy their SIM card and start using the service?

Some of our initial assumptions were wrong. For instance, users weren’t as happy as we’d expected about getting a pre-activated SIM. So we scratched that.

Soon enough we had a service map and a set of prototypes that we were confident were right for the customer. So we got building.

From launch to growth

As with any new product, getting it launched is just the start.

Now we’re growing SMARTY: iterating the experience, analysing new data and working on multiple experiments to reach and win new customers..

From big idea to a brand new MVNO live in the market
The highest TrustPilot score for any mobile network in Britain
A great NPS score among existing users


Simple, honest mobile

Building the UK’s highest-rated mobile network in under 6 months

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