Transforming a toll-free leader to empower a new generation of connections.

For more than 20 years, SMS/800, Inc. and its predecessor were the sole manager and administrator of the national Toll-Free number registry. Until recently, the Bell Operating Companies ran the company. In late 2013, with the FCC’s blessing, SMS/800, Inc. became independent from the Bell Companies. Meanwhile, the telecom industry had undergone rapid change—a digital landscape of interconnected devices had emerged.

With a new leadership team in place and expanded offerings in development, the company was poised to capitalize on these marketplace changes and position itself as a critical registry player at the forefront of a rapidly evolving communications landscape. However, because of legacy associations the SMS/800 brand was unable to break through old Toll-Free perceptions.

SMS/800 leadership engaged Avenue to rebrand and reposition the organization.

Avenue worked with SMS/800 to articulate a deeper purpose and promise that would serve the evolving landscape: to empower connections between brands, consumers and communities, and also to rename the organization. The new name—Somos, which means “we are” in Spanish—positions the organization as a team of dedicated professionals who tackle industry challenges together.

Avenue worked side-by-side with Somos leaders to roll out the new brand to employees and vendor partners through facilitated in-person and webinar training sessions to ensure consistent brand messaging with customers and industry stakeholders. A new corporate website—somos.com—and secure customer portal serves as the brand’s primary face to the marketplace. Finally, Somos hosted and introduced the world to its new brand at a pivotal external brand launch event, the industry’s first-ever Toll-Free User Summit.

Somos still operates the nation’s Toll-Free registry, but is also positioned to have a seat at the communications table for whatever the future of telecom holds.

“It’s an important moment for our company, and it couldn’t have been done at this level without excellent partners—especially, of course, our Avenue team.”

Gina Perini, President and CEO

Engagement highlights

From …

  • A brand identity based on a single product
  • Fresh, growing team in need of purpose and direction
  • A CEO with a new vision in need of articulation
  • Company name causing confusion and restricting growth
  • Decades-old customer base resistant to change
  • Confusion around product, company, and tariff naming

To …

  • Rename company with new brand identity leveraging earned equities and new opportunities
  • Growing team of passionate brand ambassadors and problem solvers
  • Suite of communication tools to share a vision with all key audiences
  • Clear, compelling value proposition with a convincing change story
  • A long term roadmap for growth—including new markets and new products
  • An organization with a clear vision for the future and its role
  • Board of Director buy-in and support for new brand positioning
  • Clear delineation between company and products

Strategy

Key deliverables and activities

  • Customer and employee research
  • Mission, vision and values definition
  • Brand strategy and architecture
  • Value proposition and messaging strategy
  • Strategy workshop facilitation
  • Internal/external go-to-market strategy
  • Vision Roadmap development

Findings review

Opportunity assessment

Brand audit

Workshop exercise

Strategy workshop exercise

Activation

Key deliverables and activities

  • Naming
  • Brand and Identity design
  • Corporate website design
  • Brand guidelines
  • Internal/external launch event planning and design
  • Employee brand training
  • Leadership brand launch presentations

Logo and brand guidelines

Logo concepting

Logo concepting

Customer brand launch

Employee brand launch

Customer brand launch

New website

Brandscape

Subscribe to the Avenue Quarterly

Every six weeks we publish a concise set of articles, insights and announcements designed to help B2B leaders be better marketers. (And we never share your email address with others.)