#VI to be pronounced as we the newest #brand born out of Vodafone- Idea merger. The merger itself had come into effect a couple of years ago but the new branding has just been unveiled.

Today the media across channels was flooded with the announcement. There was a wow factor as they had taken front pages in all the major newspapers and high visibility across digital platforms and television.

At the virtual launch of the new brand, #PiyushPandey, Global Creative Officer at the Ogilvy group, said that the brand reflects the spirit of integration and will further endear it with users across the country. Most brand consultants agreed it was the right time, needed to be done, etc. The consumers and aamjanta could not care less. They were more concerned about dropped calls and bandwidth issues. Of late Vodafone, Idea have had terrible service and call drops at unprecedented levels. I am waiting for entertaining memes to hit across all social platforms. Should be fun to see.

Yes, as a practitioner in the branding space I would agree a new brand avatar was in order considering the merged identities. But if you look at the classical definition of a brand – what is a brand? It is a sum total of experiences a consumer would have had with that product or service. So my question is, will this only be a branding exercise —read that as a cosmetic facelift? Or will it truly stand for all the values of what a brand should be for a customer.i.e.

  • Trust
  • Transparency
  • Appropriate communication in the right doses
  • Addressing customer grievances
  • No call drops — basic hygiene
  • Good bandwidth for data
  • Relatively less outage and advance intimation if there is going to be one

In short #customerdelight .
Else this branding exercise is only a temporary facelift albeit with a lot of fanfare and of course money spent.

This is what is missing in all branding exercises. Creating a brand is not only about pretty fonts, colour palette, storytelling. A brand needs to encompass the whole ecosystem from internal stakeholders to customers. It needs to be done from an inside out fashion and not the other way round. Most branding exercises miss this big picture. A new logo creates excitement, gets everybody especially the sales and marketing guys on a temporary high and then what?

Will there be an embodiment of the spirit of the brand at ground level? That is the crucial question one needs to ask at VI. Till then, me as a customer of Vi and as a brand consultant will eagerly wait for the next phase – hopefully of positive customer experiences.

 

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