Gone is “Power to You”. In is “The Future is Exciting. Ready?” Vodafone and its major subsidiary Vodacom, which owns operations across sub-Saharan Africa, on Thursday announced a global brand overhaul aimed at refreshing the group’s identity in an industry that has evolved significantly in recent years.
Nyimpini Mabunda, chief officer for Vodacom’s consumer business, said in an interview with TechCentral that, as a result of the brand overhaul, the company’s market positioning, strapline and visual identity will all change. An intensive national marketing campaign will be launched in the coming weeks, Mabunda said. This will be followed by the launch of Vodacom’s “summer campaign”, adding impetus to the brand refresh message.
He said work on the brand overhaul began about 18 months ago, and has involved 17 of Vodafone’s markets around the world, including South Africa. The new branding will be introduced in all 36 territories in which Vodafone has operations.
Vittorio Colao, Vodafone’s CEO, has hinted in the past — perhaps somewhat in jest — that the group might consider changing its name worldwide to Vodacom, but this is not on the cards. Nor will Vodacom’s name be changed to Vodafone as the company believes there is enormous brand equity tied up in the Vodacom name, Mabunda said.
As part of the brand overhaul, the distinctive Vodafone/Vodacom “speechmark” logo (often incorrectly referred to by consumers as the “teardrop” logo) will be made flat (a 2D rather than 3D-like effect), and will take a more central role in marketing and advertising material, Mabunda said. The “speechmark” will also become “a lot more dynamic” for use in digital. “We want to make it iconic, almost like the ‘swoosh’ of Nike.”
The red colour in the branding remains unchanged, though the font used in the logo is being updated to make it more modern, he explained.
The advertising campaign to be launched on the back of the overhaul will be the biggest in Vodafone’s 33-year history, Mabunda said. “All markets have been challenged to do the same. It’s going to involve significant ad spend.”
Explaining the new payoff line, he said there has been a rapid change in the past five years in how technology is affecting people’s lives, and this has been “driven primarily by digitalisation”.
“We have been talking to customers about how it impacts their lives. Customers are very excited about technology and what it brings, but are also anxious about change and their ability to cope with it,” Mabunda said. “In that insight came an opportunity to reposition ourselves to be the partner to help people be confidently connected into the future… Our role goes beyond providing connectivity.” — © 2017 NewsCentral Media