Orange UK chief executive Tom Alexander suggested a merged Orange and T-Mobile network operation could see the creation of an entirely new brand, with the parent company names appearing only to “power” the venture in new marketing material.
Alexander said: “Both Orange and T-Mobile are household names in the UK, and neither brand will be discarded easily. But we want to get through to customers what the capabilities are [of the combined venture]. And we might do that by brining out a ‘powered by’ type of brand, which supports those two clubs of customers.”
Alexander, who will lead the new joint venture as chief executive, said brand details will be reviewed and tested over the coming 18 months. The ‘powered by’ marketing could appear in the shorter term, with due dliligence by both parties expected to complete in November, and regulatory approval expected by the first half of 2010.
Alexander said: “Consideration of the branding of the joint venture going forward is vital. Over 18 months months, following the signing [of the deal], we will conduct a review of the brand with the joint venture management recommending strategy for the future. Meanwhile, both brands will be maintained, helping customer retention and strong acquisition.”
But Strand Consulting chief executive John Strand said: “The two brands will run separately. To say to Orange it has to give up the Orange brand would be like asking the Queen she must speak French. It won’t happen. The same with T-Mobile, Deutsche Telekom will not give up its brand in the UK.”