Latest brand review on airtel Rebranding case
I’m writing this article in memory of my favourite airtel brand logo and alluring jingle tune. If I could write a post it would be a kind of “RIP” word feeling for my beloved old brand.
“Our new brand identity along with the new vision will help us to serve our customer in the best possible manner, living our brand values of being alive, inclusive and respectful.” Sanjay Kapoor CEO (India and south Asia)
Airtel Africa crossed over 50 mln customers across 16 countries.(Year ended Nov 2011) .Revenue of the company INR 59,467 crore (2011).Bharti airtel is the 5th largest telecom operator with over 230.8 mn subscribers across 19 countries as of June 2011.It is the largest cellular service provider in India with a subscriber base of 174.69 mln(End of Nov 2011). On 18 Nov 2010, airtel rebranded itself in India in the 1st phase of a global rebranding strategy. The company unveiled a new logo written in lower case. On 23 Nov 2010, AirtelAfrica’s operation we rebranded to “Airtel”, Sri Lanka followed on 28 Nov 2010 and on 20 Dec 2010, “Warid telecom” rebranded to “Airtel” in Bangladesh
source: Bharti airtel annual report
This is probably the 2nd largest investment on rebranding exercise after Reliance infocom. Bharti Airtel spent around INR 3 bn (USD 67 mn) on rebranding of its operation in Indian market and foreign market. While extending its business to African territory (15 African units), It has adopted Kuwait-based “Zain group” an enterprise value of $10.7 bn in June 2010. The acquisition added 40 mn mobile phone users from African territory to airtel subscriber base over 130 mln. It was the cover story.
What actually we are talking about is
How should we measure the success rate in Brand Management? Market analysts like using numbers to pad up their arguments because numbers seem hard and fast. But they don’t always agree on it.
Last November, the time was to create brand allegiance among its unexampled customer base. While pacing towards a global branding phase and giving it an international motif,Airtel launched its new-fangled logo and a new signature tune. It was outlined as a “youthful” brand and international in appeal. Modifications in the logo and jingle brought in lots of mixed responses.
Brand expert analysis on logo
The new logo of Airtel was designed by Brand Union a London based company. It was a matter of twist and turn at that time because the other client of the group was Vodafone. Although the new logo was not badly excogitated (especially font). The color and the design scheme are bit confusing as Vodafone and Videocon has strongly associated with it. If you will interrogate or question any marketing or brand manager he will definitely exhibit you with the term “Brand recognition”. Wasn’t able to recreate the differentiation?
We are well aware about consumer, who always postulates for an upfront motive, they will not stand till end of the day. While the investment (3 bn) on rebranding made it more critique centric by that time. Most of the experts termed it as completely an imitation of Videocon and Vodafone. One of my colleagues told me that “Airtel and Videocon is sister companies based on their logo”. Of course, the statement was desirable.
Although it was in Airtel’s favour as it is more popular among its user, which could help them out in the brand positioning context. But most of the Indian subscriber’s clicked un-follow button on their social sites. Tweets and Facebook status messages amounted as “old symbol was far better than the new one, after all they look for is a symbol (to suit global young gen image).
Don’t you think the old Airtel logo would have sufficient for that? Do you really think there would be someone in a interior...
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