Sunday, December 27, 2009

When umbrella branding won't work for a brand

Recently MTS billboards have sprung up aplenty all over Bombay.. I'm sure they're ubiquitous all over the country or at least in the ... ahem.. metros and Tier I cities...
But the more I see them all over the place the more I feel that the brand launch is pretty poor. MTS India is, I think, worth over 600 Crore ruppees. It is a 74-26 JV between Russia's Sistema group and the Indian Shyam Telelink Group. It apparently has over 2.5 lakh subscribers in India under the brand name Rainbow.
Moving on from the boring stats... what I fail to understand is that if they have a brand name 'Rainbow' why they haven't bothered promoting it in their extensive OOH campaigns.
Secondly even if they do not want to promote Rainbow (which I think is a mistake because Rainbow already has a 2.5 Lakh plus customer base) they definitely need to have a telecom brand and move away from leveraging on their coporate brand (MTS) and communication elements (egg shaped logo).
The logo which is an egg is suppossed to symbolise 'simplicity' and 'genius' which don't seem to be brand values in sync with the industry they are operating in i.e. Indian telecom!
Furthermore, none of their communication builds on the 'simplicty' and 'genuis' values (keyword being 'and').
Even tho' they are a CDMA provider, afterall they will have to compete with GSM operators like Vodafone and Airtel who have very effective, emotional and loyalty inducing communication... I really don't understand MTS's brand strategy. They have a good, although temporary offering (although I have my doubts about the efficiency of the promo strategy as well) which is 10,00,000 minutes free for life and the ad copy for that is.. 'Now I control time' which is okay but the image is just so cliche!!! (Some people may see the 'simplicity' here but I ask where is the 'genius' necessary to make it effective).
Which brings me back to the point...in today's turf with stalwarts Messers Airtel and Vodafone (Shah Rukh Khan and the ZooZoos) it will be difficult for MTS to make a mark and increase its brand equity in India, even tho' Millward Brown and Brandz count MTS among the Top 100 brands. And at the end of it all, it is the brand that matters today.

4 comments:

Gayle said...

To be fair, let's give them a bit of time and see what's what...they've just jumped in the pot, they won't show all their cards right now...
Tho I do agree that on a basic branding level they have missed the mark in terms of logo communication. Loads of people I know (i.e potential customers) have been baffled by the egg. I think that an egg does successfully symbolize simplicity and genius, I think an egg symbol would better communicate the brand values of say, an architectural or interior design firm - certainly not a telecom!!!

bhubz said...

I agree that they need to be given time... but the point I'm trying to make is that their launch strategy doesn't seem to be spot on... they have powerful brand values which isn't translating into brand communication... soI'm thinking the strategy may not be able to create a good enough pull and thus is inefficient...

shree said...

They are using MTS as their brand since it has been very popular in Russia dn other CIA countries.

ButEGG? They should not have it on face in view of late enterent.

Anonymous said...

Well - Rainbow was a brand that was taken over/acquired by MTS. Therefore, the name shift was obvious. As to the meaning of the logo, it is definitely not simplicity. You will see in the coming time what it means :-)