Telkom has taken the wrapping off its new mobile brand. And, well, see for yourself...
Telkom made a bold move when it launched 8ta into the South African market as a f ledgling c onsu mer mobi l e br a nd designed to stick it to the incumbents of Vodacom and MTN. Now, less than three years later, 8ta is being relegated to a specific market segment and last week Telkom exposed the brand that will replace it, which is just plain old Telkom Mobile.
The new brand was designed by advertising agencies JWT and G2. You might be surprised to learn that when you see that it’s just the same old Telkom logo with the word ‘Mobile’ scrawled below it.
Twitter immediately erupted with reactions to the reveal.
“Just seen the new Telkom Mobile logo ... I thought it was a joke at first. It’s an embarrassment,” said Alistair Fairweather (@afairweather).
“The new Telkom Mobile logo. Looks like someone fired up MS Paint,” quipped Hilton Tarrant (@hiltontarrant).
Some positive sentiments emerged when Telkom announced some of its new tariffs, however, with Internet bundles ranging from 750MB for R65 to 15GB for R905 – highly competitive for the South African market.
Despite what you may think of the looks of the Telkom Mobile logo, its MD Attila Vitai is sure about where the brand is positioned.
He told technology news website TechCentral that, “8ta has been very successful in the segments that it serves ... We have focused our activities into the youth market and predominantly the low-using subscribers. This is typical of a new entrant into a market where there is already 100%-plus penetration. You wouldn’t expect us to come to the market and churn away highest-value customers from our rivals.”
Vitai explained, “We think that this is a much fresher, much more dynamic version of the old Telkom group logo ... With the passage of time, everyone will fit in with our new logo. We wanted the consumer and business divisions to be happy with the general direction this branding is taking. We will all converge on this [new] logo over the passage of time.”
In a statement later released, Manelisa Mavuso, Telkom’s MD of consumer and retail services added, “Telkom Mobile is an essential component of Telkom’s group-wide convergence strategy.”
He continued: “When we say that Telkom’s mission is to seamlessly connect people to a better world, the key practical implication is that we are working for a converged future where there is less focus on particular technology and whether it is fixed or mobile. Our strategy focuses on helping consumers, business and other sectors of society stay connected in order to achieve great things and live better lives.”
“For us the launch of Telkom Mobile is a clear milestone in the implementation of our plans to drive greater revenue and to meet business plan targets as a converged entity.”
At the end of the day consumers will decide whether Telkom Mobile has what it takes – and that will largely come down to price and quality of service, something Telkom’s competitors are dropping the ball on, despite their f lashy branding.