Sunday, September 02, 2007

Citrus fruits are taking over the world?

So, I'm beginning to wonder if we have missed something. In our new business, El 3atal and I completely overlooked the entire citrus family of names. I wouldn't even have considered them, but the rebranding of the Jordan Telecom Group's companies to Orange makes me wonder if we should have named our new company Grapefruit, you know to be ahead of the trend. So, as you can guess, I'm going to talk about this new name and look... Orange. Alright, I have to say it out loud, I think it's stupid. Of course, I do have reasons, so let me share them.
  1. Orange has NO brand recognition in town. Now, for launching a new brand, that's fine, but taking a well established set of brands with meaningful names and moving them to unknown meaningless names makes no sense to me. You've lost all of the corporate name recognition you had. Admittedly, with a monopoly in one area and a near monopoly in a second, name recognition isn't that important, which brings me to the second point...
  2. They're wasting buckets of money trying to introduce the new brand. They've got ads in the newspapers, magazines, on buses, on billboards, everywhere. They developed a very appealing, terribly cute little character to represent the brand. I like it, it's approachable, but...
  3. It's impossible to tell from the name and the ads what in the world this company does. They paired their cute little Orange guy (who isn't necessarily orange) with, well, nothing. There's no explanation of who Orange is, what it replaces, what they do. None. It's just cute little people saying hello to the market. So, hello, but why do I care? As an illustration of this, Helper Bean and I were coming back from the grocery store this week when she said to me, "Madame, I have a question for you. What is Orange?" Talk about a rebranding gone awry. She has been seeing the signs, billboards, ads, and has NO IDEA what Orange is. What a waste of money.
  4. It's a color (or a fruit). In the entire rainbow of colors, I have to admit orange is my least favorite, but I wouldn't be a fan of naming the company after Pink or Green either. And, when you make T-shirts, if they're orange, everyone will look bad in them (I mean have YOU ever seen anyone look good dressed in orange?). The cars zipping about town look silly with a square orange block on them. And, oranges are round, so what gives?

I guess, the bottom line is, I'm wondering what the consultant who dreamed this up was thinking. I'll take a stab at it: it's simple, everyone can spell it, everyone's heard of orange (maybe I have a future in advertising). I have to say, I think those are pretty lame reasons. And, one more word about their advertising campaign. The new billboard that is on the 5th circle (or is it the 6th) covering the road signs, what was the municipality thinking?!

All in all, I'm neither convinced that any amount of marketing will make people stop calling Jordan Telecom Jordan Telecom nor that the choice of Orange was inspired by anything more than the desire for the money that comes to all of the vendors when such a change is made.

Happy grapefruit!

7 Comments:

At 12:54 AM , Blogger Philip (El3atal) said...

Don't forget the fact that they claim they've spent tons of money on itegrating Wanadoo, JT, and Mobilecom, except they really are not integrated. Yesterday I went to pay my phone bill at the city Center building only to be told that they only accept Wanadoo payments. They told me I had to go to another building. What kind of integration is that? What's the point of one brand name and 4 different bills and 6 different customer service numbers?

Another example of supreme mediocraty.

peace

 
At 6:57 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

I agree and think this probably deserves a post all on its own!

 
At 4:49 PM , Blogger Globalorama said...

the mere fact that you're writing about it is enough success for the re-branding effort. but, what is marketing success in Jordan. I still remember the coke joke. if you're not familiar with it, here it is:
the coca cola company went to Zarqa to introduce their brand, they painted everything red, put signs everywhere, and gave people free samples. A guy came to his house and asked his family what was going on, they said: we don't know. thus company came by and gave us free bibsi and left!

 
At 4:49 PM , Blogger Globalorama said...

*this

 
At 10:23 PM , Blogger MommaBean said...

globalorama,

I suppose it depends on how you define success in rebranding. Yes, I'm writing about it, but then again, I'm somewhat aware. Many people pay no attention whatsoever and, as such, are unlikely to identify this as a rebrand rather than a new brand. I can easily believe that Coke faced such challenges when they entered the market. But again, that's a market entry, building a new market for your product. This is spending unconsionable amounts of money to create "one brand" out of 3 strong existing brands. Not only is it harder, but I'm just not convinced it's worth it.

 
At 11:02 PM , Anonymous salam said...

I think they put there money on the fact that its a well established brand worldwide and they don't need to be telling people what they do..do you suppose it's not famous enough, Orange? I also think it was a successful campaign, since my seven year old daughter wants to know which company is now orange, mobilecom or itisalat urdunieh..or both!

 
At 11:52 PM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Ah, but Salam, I'd define that as a failure. Your daughter should immediately be aware which companies have become Orange, if it were successful.

And, maybe outside the US Orange is well known, but I've never heard of it...

 

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