Allera can now safely be called something he would probably hate: ‘An industry veteran in the UK mobile industry’. Despite his experience and know-how, Allera still has the air of an outsider questioning why things are done in certain ways – and that approach has come in handy in what has arguably been his best year. His sales background has given him a pragmatism to marketing allied with a ruthless insight into what consumers care about. He has differentiated Three from its rivals to the company's advantage by appearing to embrace the perception consumers have of networks as ‘dumb pipes’. The context around this is most of the big networks face a market where consumer appetite for iPhones is not diminishing and networks are worried about the challenge to their handset costs, strain on their networks and uneasiness around being so dependent on one manufacturer. Three's rebranding under Allera's direction was executed throughout the organisation and it worked well with where he wanted Three to be positioned in the market. Three has been the most striking at taking ‘The Smartphone Network’ position, with fewer but clearer tariffs. It is also the only network to offer unlimited data and a tighter handset range. It has been a hit with iPhone customers in particular, many of whom had grown frustrated by the coverage problems elsewhere.
Allera has been key in Three’s drive to lead in mobile broadband through its 3G network over the past year, resulting in it reaching the number one position in the area.More recently, he led Three’s repositioning of its brand to become more credible in the face of increasing competition following the merger of Orange and T-Mobile. As sales and marketing director, Allera was also involved in one of Three’s biggest ad campaigns to date, positioning Three as the ‘best network’ through cinema-style marketing.He restructured the operator’s retail operation so it is under one roof, and negotiated a deal with Apple to sell data packages for its iPad. With its network firmly in place, 2010 will be a year of change for the challenger operator.
Allera has made an immediate and major impact since taking a new sales and marketing remit last year.He has reshaped how Three is presented, trying to move away from being the cheapest in town on voice calls (an area it struggled to do because of the heavy termination call fees it incurs) and move towards the internet. Under Allera, Three has started to talk to customers about mobile broadband, email, mobile internet and specifically Skype, winning recognition from rivals in how Three stands out to in the market. He has also attempted to solve confusion around broadband speeds in language that resonates with customers
Allera was influential on a number of counts in 2008. He caused dealers to sense the draught by giving the go-ahead to increase Three’s retail footprint. When cashback turned into a crisis midway through the year, he ensured that Three was more effective than most in cleaning up its dealer base. This may not be the kind of influence that will win Allera Christmas cards, but towards the end of the period he saw that Three was once more a significant customer as it became a disrupter in the market, particularly with mobile broadband. His powerbase was strengthened in Three's recent internal shakeup, which saw him get the vote over John Penberthy-Smith to run the combined marketing and sales function at Three.