‘T-Mobile’ has a different ring

Back in the Seventies, tidiness and conformity seemed the aim of all corporate identity “programmes” as companies tried to impress with size. With more recent, enlightened views about branding (as it has now become known), it seemed that we had reached a more balanced view in which both internal attitudes and external perceptions were taken into account, as well as existing brand equity.

So what is Deutsche Telekom doing with One 2 One, having paid £11bn for the company, part of which must have been for brand equity?

It seems to be about to rebrand as “T-Mobile” (‘T’ for teutonic tidiness, perhaps) in order to be the same everywhere, internationally. The baby of brand equity goes out with the bathwater of the name.

And what about the issue of staff loyalty to the brand in this service-oriented industry? This is the stuff of which the BMW/Rover fiasco was made.

Contrast this with France Telecom’s intentions of exploiting the Orange brand (an admittedly stronger one). T-Mobile has none of the intrinsic flair of either Orange or One 2 One, so it will be an expensive struggle to create equity for this tidy, logical brand in an ultra competitive, fast-changing market.

Chris Ludlow

Henrion, Ludlow & Schmidt

London SW1

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