Thursday, November 18, 2010

Air tells about new AIRTEL !

Ad by: JWT

Any change is difficult to manage. 
Airtel has undergone a change that has called so many apprehensions which are now becoming a difficult task to manage. The black, white, red combination word starting with capital A was known to every living soul. Suddenly, the web is crowded, people are talking and Airtel building on NH8 is changed. The new logo is artisctically written small 'a' above Airtel with its letters in lower case and dominating red color against white background. Along with logo, the tune that existed for more than 10 years is also changed, this time again by AR Rahman. All these changes are showcased by new advertisement having a new concept. So, Airtel has gone for a rebranding. Just like, Vodafone had undergone or rather when Hutch was acquired by Vodafone. Hutch was a strong brand but still it had gone thru that rebranding making it even more stronger today. 

Airtel had to take this challenge of having a change. Indian telecom market is saturated and this makes competition for Airtel really difficult. This became a reason for them to cross the boundaries and become Indian MNC with presence in 18 countries post Africa based Zain's acquisition. So today they are the 5th largest telecom company, with 200 million users in India, 40 million in Africa and 10 million in Bangladesh, Srilanka. Primarily 3 reasons justify the Airtel rebrading: Speak internationally, Connect with youth across all geographies, Sync with 3G services. Airtel needs to appeal to several markets now being meaningful to all of them, and at the same time depict that it is an MNC brand with presence in many countries. Thus the new logo which seems to be inspired by Zain makes it more appealing to masses across the world because of its simplicity. Likewise, the dynamism of the logo and tune turns to be more modern, vibrant, and friendly so as to reach the youth across globe. Also, Bharti Airtel spent $23 billion for 3G services and thus they need to get prepared for them to balance the investments made. 

The Airtel subscribers or non-subscribers across the nation held a connect with old Airtel. Sudden change in everything associated with the brand certainly leads to an abrupt disconnect that takes the consumer away from the brand. As a brand, it is understandable that to meet the market need a rebranding was compulsory. But at the same time, it is an equal responsibility of the brand to understand that what its market needs. A new logo is acceptable only if it is more dynamic than previous one, a new tune is enjoyable only if masses can't stop humming it after listening to it once, a new ad is watchable only if it reaches masses' heart. From a brand like Airtel, who gets 2 million viewers on first day of introducing world's first voice blogging service- Airtel Blog, much more is expected. Airtel has annoyed its customer base by giving them what they don't desire and taking away what they always adored. 

Hopefully, the impact of change washes away with time.