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Feb 2014

Telecom’s Rebranding Risky According

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MEDIA RELEASE

In the wake of the announcement that one of the largest tech companies is rebranding, Fleur Revell speaks out about the risks involved and the areas brands should be focusing on.

Fleur-Revell

Spark Rebrand Creates Risk for Telecom

Telecom announced today that their new name would be Spark. 

For a corporate to discard decades of brand equity, and create a new one from scratch is a significant risk to the business.

A drastic step of this nature will be to many generations of loyal customers an admission that something is so wrong with the company that the proverbial bath water must be thrown out with the baby.

Many will also ask if the marketing and public relations and other resources costing a reported $20M would not have been spent simply upgrading the fundamentals of customer service.

The last thing any customer wants after receiving their shiny new EDM or the designer upgrade to a new website is to pick up the phone and be told by an automated voice that “we are experiencing longer than usual wait times, you are 13th in the queue – but your call is important to us”

A Successful Rebrand Must be Supported by a Service Upgrade

Any rebranding must be supported with a service overhaul.

It would be interesting to see whether service was covered in the focus groups and in-depth interviews.
No doubt much focus would have been on the look of the logo, the design of the advertisements and whether the name sounded right.

In our experience when companies talk about repositioning their brand they are often drawn to the aesthetics – how will it look, how will it sound, what do you think of it.

What they might not have asked the eager members of their focus groups is the following; what is it you dislike about the phone company you deal with?  I am willing to bet the name of the company is not at the top of the list.

Spark is in itself an interesting name for a telecommunication company to go with. While it illustrates the growth of an idea, I imagine the last thing consumers would want to see in their home telecommunications setup is a spark…

Exhaust Other Marking Options Before the Rebrand

Companies need to remember that when trying to communicate a change in direction to its customers, this is not always best achieved through a simple rebrand.

What was missing from the company’s public relations key messages today was how their customers’ needs were going to be better met from a service perspective, and how those loyal to the company would find improvement rather than just change.

(Read more extensive commentary from Fleur Revell on this at Stuff.co.nz or Techday.com)

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Fleur Revell
Fleur Revell is one of the country’s most eminent PR consultants and public relations practitioners with more than 20 years industry experience behind her. Fleur is also a three times Qantas Media Awards winner and Feature Writer of the Year; and has an exceptional working knowledge of the New Zealand media landscape and its accelerating evolution in the digital age.
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