The proposed joint venture between Orange and T-Mobile could see the launch of a new brand name in the next two years, with some observers already predicting that the days of the T-Mobile brand name in the UK are numbered.
While analysts and branding experts are not ruling out the creation of a new brand altogether, if it becomes a case of keeping France Télécom’s Orange brand or Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile in the UK, many expect that Orange will triumph.
The joint venture, if approved by the regulators, will see T-Mobile and Orange combine to take a 37% market share, making it the UK’s biggest mobile operator and usurping Telefonica’s O2 from the number one spot.
Internally, Orange chief executive Tom Alexander will review the structure of the new operation, from marketing departments and agency rosters to the name of the new entity.
Strategy Analytics director of global wireless practice Phil Kendall says Orange has “higher value brand perceptions and is probably more appealing than T-Mobile”.
Future Brand head of client services Andrew Mulholland says T-Mobile has never managed to establish itself as a strong brand in the UK. “If I was a betting man I would say we will see a rejuvenated Orange brand with elements from T-Mobile,” he says.
Moving Brands founder and executive creative director James Bull says T-Mobile is currently attempting to build on its youth audiences, particularly with the launch of two high-profile flash mob campaigns, developed by Saatchi & Saatchi. But he adds that, in spite of this, the mobile company is still seen as “more stuffy and corporate, whereas Orange is slightly more sophisticated. It has reinvented itself into what I refer to as ‘corporate cool’,” he says.
“Orange is a very strong brand in the UK, but T-Mobile has greater recognition overseas. So, it would depend on how they would weigh all that up. It is also quite possible that a newly merged business could come with a new name.”
Fallon handles the advertising for Orange, while Saatchi & Saatchi works for T-Mobile. Together, the Publicis-owned agencies make up the SSF Group.Web headline: Orange brand could glow brighter than T-mobile