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Ooredoo: ringing the changes

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Brand expert tells Kipp that Qtel's rebranding is a public expression of the company’s global footprint in a converging sector.

April 21, 2013 11:07 by



“Would you have thought names like Starbucks, Nokia or Virgin would become globally successfully brands?” he asks.

James says that, arguably, Qtel needed to rebrand because it has controlling interests in companies across the Middle East, North Africa and South East Asia, and with a plethora of subsidiaries, there needed to be better integration. The fact it has sparked conversation and debate proves that the rebrand – which was three years in the making – was brave, he says.

“They could have chosen a safe variant, but the ‘I want’ translation not only reflects a consumer in control, it also challenges consumers,” he adds.

The fact is brands aren’t focused on today. They are ‘future-proofing’ themselves for tomorrow and that often comes with consumer criticism, but more often than not, it’s simply because they are not used to or cannot comprehend the change.

Having said that, brand experts including James stress that simply changing a name, but not the attitudes will be completely ineffective. This is where the biggest challenge lies. So what’s next for the telecom company? The key challenge will be how Ooredoo changes who they are in respect to their previous offering, and not just how they talk about themselves. Consumers will react negatively if the two are not integrated seamlessly.

“Qtel was a descriptive name that clearly communicates the company’s heritage and was easy to understand,” he says. “Moving to an evocative name, therefore, requires a coherent communication plan to ensure brand values are understood and both consumers and financial analysts understand the operator’s aspirations.”

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