Everything Everywhere stays tight-lipped on branding strategy

Everything Everywhere has downplayed reports that it is thinking of dumping its Orange and T-Mobile brands in favour of a new, single brand, saying that there is no further information to reveal at this time.

What is clear is that the UK mobile operator completed a branding review in October last year, although it is unable to reveal exactly what was decided with shareholders France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom or when any measures might be implemented.

The rumour that something was afoot first surfaced in a report in The Times of London, which jumped on a prospectus for a bond issue that made some references to the company's brand strategy. The prospectus, issued for a £3 billion Euro Medium Term Note Programme last week, widely discusses brand issues and how it is critical for the group to maintain and develop its brands to ensure future growth.

In one paragraph of the prospectus it states: "The group has completed a review of its branding strategy for the future, and has considered a range of options. At this time, the group will continue to maintain and invest in both of its existing brands, Orange and T-Mobile. The development of an additional or new brand is an option under consideration, which may be complementary to or in substitution for one or both of the existing brands of T-Mobile and Orange. The group is continuing to assess such an option."

A spokesperson for Everything Everywhere told FierceWireless:Europe that the company completed its branding review in October last year. "On Oct. 26, 2011, we announced that we had completed the brand review as planned and have agreed with our shareholders the way forward for our brand strategy," the spokesperson said. "Given its commercial sensitivity, further details will not be discussed."

The spokesperson added that a bond prospectus typically has to provide an exhaustive list of any possible or potential changes and spells out all options. None of the information is new, the spokesperson commented, noting that there has been a great deal of speculation around Everything Everywhere brands since the company was first established in 2010.

Indeed, at the time of the company's third-quarter results announcement in October last year, Everything Everywhere CEO Olaf Swantee made it clear how he felt at least about the group's name: "Everything Everywhere is not a brand, it's a silly name with a stopping effect," Swantee said.

It would be a huge step to abandon two such well-known mobile brands in the UK, particularly Orange, which is also used to sell broadband and business services and is the key mobile, Internet and fixed brand for the France Telecom group. However, it would be far from the first time that UK consumers have had to adapt to new brands: T-Mobile itself is a relatively new brand on the market having replaced the former One 2 One, and O2 used to be known as Cellnet, just to give two examples.

"At this time, we are maintaining momentum by continuing to focus on both the Orange and T-Mobile brands," th Everything Everywhere spokesperson said.

For more:
- see The Times (subs. req)

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