A new MVNO (Virtual Mobile Network Operator) launched in Mexico, and it’s simply named: “Yo”. Just Yo. Nothing more, nothing less. Yo means ‘I’, putting potential customers really at the centre point of this organization.

The Yo Website

Yo’s website looks like this:

It’s a very simple, straightforward telco that offers unlimited internet and calling, for a fixed price of $9 USD/month. Good price, great idea, easy to understand. No bullshit. It’s allegedly owned by a Ukrainian company, but that’s a topic for a different type of post 😉

When clicking the menu button, you can choose one of two options: PLAY and CTRL.

That’s right. PLAY or CONTROL: either one option opens the world of Yo: the services it offers to Mexican youngsters (PLAY), or what packages and top ups are available (CTRL). Now compare that to a company like Telcel (the largest Mexican MNO, and owned by the infamous Carlos Slim):

Just in the highlighted menu part of the Megamenu displayed above, we count 24 items. And that’s just one category, in total there are over 100 menu items. Of course Telcel is a monolith compared to Yo, but if you are a 16 year old kid that just got his first cellphone, which website experience would you prefer? You probably don’t even know what half of the words mean, in the Telcel menu.

The Yo App

The Yo app is just as easy and straightforward as the website (with all of these positive remarks here, you would think that we are getting paid to write this blog post, but I can assure you were are not 😇):
PLAY and CTRL also are the main components of the app, taking a prominent position in the main app screen. Within PLAY, you can directly play podcasts, or listen to shows and radio (just tap the bubbles). In CTRL – you guessed it – you can control your top ups, spendings and subscription.

“A kid can do the laundry”, as we say in Holland (meaning: it doesn’t get more simple than this).

Understand what kids go through

But wait! There is more!

Question: what’s the one thing that you wanted to know about, when you were 14 years old? Spoiler: the answer is not sports, LEGO or Shakira, of course the answer is: SEX. Hormones are flowing through your body, love is in the air, awkward first kisses are exchanged; yes, it’s a fun era in which I’m sure many embarrassing things happened. (SShhhhtt, your secrets are safe with us! 😉

Question: what’s the one thing that you wanted to know about, when you were 14 years old? Spoiler: the answer is not sports, LEGO or Shakira, of course the answer is: SEX.

So, Yo understood this as no other, and decided to throw in some lessons for our hormone-rich teenagers:

We love this. How cool is that an MVNO takes the responsibility – and to be honest: the gamble – to start talking about sex after downloading a mobile operator app? And now I hear you think: ‘sure… nice, but they didn’t do this for true and authentic reasons, but to gain the trust of their customers, to increase profits’. Yes, you’re not wrong, but in a country like Mexico, learning about sex and being OK with your sexuality is (still) an important and taboo topic. Introducing this in the home screen of your brand new app is quite a move.

Ik ben Ben

‘Yo’ reminds us of ‘Ik ben Ben‘, a mobile network operator from Holland that won numerous awards for their campaigns around their slogan ‘ik ben Ben’, which translates to: ‘I am Ben’, a wordplay in Dutch because ‘Ben’ also means: ‘I am am‘… Anyway, a bit too hard to explain in this post, we’re afraid! 😝

Long story short, Ben also took the idea of a brand aspiring to be ‘one’s own identity‘ as the holy grail for mobile network operators. ‘It’s about you, and no one else’. Yo smartly plays with concept too, literally taking a brandname that reflects one’s core identity.

UX For Generation Z

So, going back to Yo and its User Experience, overall brand identity and marketing message, we notice a couple of interesting things:

  1. The UX is super, super simple, to the point and very easy to use. It strips away all complexity teenagers have to deal with on a daily basis (not just in apps, but also in digital experiences)
  2. They aim to become part of the everyday world of these teenagers, including their worries and questions around topics like sexuality
  3. They created a brand (Yo) that speaks to one’s core identity, literally naming the brand ‘i’ and using a tone of voice that equals that of peers: you’re not talking to a company, you’re talking to a friend.

They created a brand (Yo) that speaks to one’s core identity, literally naming the brand ‘i’ and using a tone of voice that equals that of peers: you’re not talking to a company, you’re talking to a friend.

Generation Z will grow up and will have more disposable income. It will be important to see how these kids grow up, how they see and perceive brands, and how UX will have to change thanks, to this new tribe of peeps. One thing is for sure: sexting is fun.