Monday, 05 December 2016

Branded

Michelle Donegan
Monday 01 August 05

France Telecom is taking its strongest international brand and painting the other divisions in its colour. But how bright is Equant's future?

What do you do with a business telecoms service provider with a high profile name and a growing reputation for service delivery, but which is struggling to make money? Rebrand as Orange, a product and brand with a mass market consumer following, but profitable! That's what France Telecom is doing, in one of the most radical telecoms branding exercises since 2001, when France Telecom rebranded its domestic mobile services Itineris, Ola and Mobicarte as Orange. With that track record behind it, it's perhaps not surprising that France Telecom is taking such a radical measure to simplify its lines of business marketing. "An integrated operator can deliver a unique customer experience, the best cost management and the best client knowledge," said France Telecom's CEO Didier Lombard, speaking at a strategy day last month to explain that from now on, Orange will provide the brand for all France Telecom's broadband and enterprise services, too. That means the end for Wanadoo and Equant. But while Wanadoo disappears immediately, there was some hesitation about disposing of the Equant name. Lombard did not mention Equant at the strategy day. Finally, the group's communications officers said Equant would be subsumed over an 18 month transition. With a brave new brand, the fully integrated Equant could emerge with an image as the most innovative global supplier of converged services for corporates. But a flawed execution risks alienating customers and losing strategic focus. France Telecom is expected to rebrand Equant as Orange Business Services during 2006. The operator will spend EUR200 million over the next 18 months on the rebranding, but it has not disclosed how much of that will go to Equant…

What do you do with a business telecoms service provider with a high profile name and a growing reputation for service delivery, but which is struggling to make money? Rebrand as Orange, a product and brand with a mass market consumer following, but profitable! That's what France Telecom is doing, in one of the most radical telecoms branding exercises since 2001, when France Telecom rebranded its domestic mobile services Itineris, Ola and Mobicarte as Orange. With that track record behind it, it's perhaps not surprising that France Telecom is taking such a radical measure to simplify its lines of business marketing. "An integrated operator can deliver a unique customer experience, the best cost management and the best client knowledge," said France Telecom's CEO Didier Lombard, speaking at a strategy day last month to explain that from now on, Orange will provide the brand for all France Telecom's broadband and enterprise services, too. That means the end for Wanadoo and Equant. But while Wanadoo disappears immediately, there was some hesitation about disposing of the Equant name. Lombard did not mention Equant at the strategy day. Finally, the group's communications officers said Equant would be subsumed over an 18 month transition. With a brave new brand, the fully integrated Equant could emerge with an image as the most innovative global supplier of converged services for corporates. But a flawed execution risks alienating customers and losing strategic focus. France Telecom is expected to rebrand Equant as Orange Business Services during 2006. The operator will spend EUR200 million over the next 18 months on the rebranding, but it has not disclosed how much of that will go to Equant…

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