Think Smart Card

VoIP phone cards smart cards

Case Study
I created the Think Smart Card™ out of a desire to provide low-cost and easy to use long distance access to the residents of Prague. This product served to leverage the Think Magazine brand and distribution network, while providing additional marketing reach.

The long distance calling market, dominated then by Cesky Telecom\'s monoply meant some of the highest long-distance calling rates in Europe. Doing a bit of research, I came to the conclusion that there must be a cheaper alternative.

Contacting two of the larger European phone companies with inquiries of network access, I finally found one, Telenor, which had a technology in place to allow VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone calls. Acquiring start-up access was the next step, and we began selling at shops where tourists frequented.

The Think SmartCard™, a 500CZK pre-paid long distance calling card, is the best value product available on the Prague market, and is the only product on the market branded with the retailer\'s business card sized advertisements inside of it, creating a unique brand profile which stood out from the rest of the competitors.

While a business must have quality and good service, that is not really our main selling point, since the consumer is bombarded with that claim at every turn. We succeeded in selling so many cards (over 60,000 units in the first year) with so little overhead by utilizing the techniques of guerrilla marketing and proper brand perception.

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The Think SmartCard™ was positioned in the marketplace as the cheapest way to call long-distance. Our customers perceive the Think Smart Card™ to be cheapest because our advertisements with a "lo-fi" feeling, and copy which focused on the low cost of our long-distance rates, was amplified by the fact that the card itself feels cheap, being printed on folded paper instead of a plastic card with a scratch off number.

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When people buy something that feels like a credit card, in their minds they are already calculating interest rates and higher costs. The fact that the Think Smart Card™ has advertisements printed on it creates the impression of offset costs, which psychologically implies reduced overhead. It is this relationship to our competition that is emphasized by the form of the product delivery alone.