Brand experts identify challenges of Orange/T-Mobile merger

The decision to retain both the Orange UK and T-Mobile UK brands under the umbrella of Everything Everywhere must see the two brands differentiated more if it is to succeed, experts warn.

Under current plans, both the Orange and T-Mobile brand will remain, with the company sharing phone masts in a bid to build a super-fast network.

James Banford, mobile analyst at Enders Analysis, says: “It appears that the brands were reluctant to merge into one as many had predicted, probably because of the differences in the consumer bases they appeal to. However, core to their success now is presenting a very clear split between the two networks. As with any merger, this needs to be done at a slow pace with minimal disruption.”

The merged network, which is Britain’s biggest communications company, is “promising to transform the industry and give UK consumers the best coverage, devices, service and communications experience possible”.

Ian Fogg, principal analyst at Forrester, warns: “Orange will be keen not to repeat the mistakes of its past when Orange broadband was renamed Wanadoo before reverting back to Orange.”

Fred Burt, managing director of brand consultancy Siegel+Gale, adds: “The brand that needs to pull its socks up the most is Orange. What is a ’premium’ operator brand? It’s more than price and minutes, and Orange has not been successful in maintaining the stand-out premium position in the marketplace that it once enjoyed.”

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