AT&T outlines Cingular re-branding plans ahead of iPhone launch

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
AT&T on Monday confirmed plans to accelerate the re-branding of Cingular wireless stores under the AT&T umbrella ahead of Apple's iPhone roll-out, which the carrier is billing as "one of the most highly anticipated wireless products in recent history."



Overnight, AT&T kicked off the final phase of the initiative by replacing the Cingular brand with AT&T on all in-store signage, store kiosks, and point-of-sale materials in approximately 1,800 company-owned wireless retail stores. In addition, key stores in major markets also unveiled new exterior signage displaying the new brand.



The nation's largest wireless carrier said the decision to step up the branding campaign is based on research that indicates that consumer awareness of AT&T is high and ahead of expectations.



"Consolidating BellSouth and Cingular under the AT&T brand was based on extensive market research and is proving to be the right decision," said Randall Stephenson, AT&T's chief operating officer. "Our branding campaign is performing at and above projected levels and customer response has been very positive. We are excited to move into the next phase of transforming AT&T into the only communications provider our customers will ever want."



The San Antonio-based telecommunications firm said the store makeovers are also critical to prepare for the late-June launch of the Apple iPhone, for which it will be the exclusive wireless provider in the United States. Many company-owned stores have also installed kiosks promoting the complete array of AT&T services — wireless, high speed Internet, TV and home phone.



As part of its branding initiative, AT&T said it is also now beginning to replace Cingular with the AT&T brand in voice greetings, on new customer handsets and handset screen displays and on envelopes and statements. In addition, exteriors of most company-owned retail locations are expected to be branded as AT&T by September, with branding of agent-owned retail stores expected to be completed by January 2008.



"Many of the company's high-profile sponsorships such as 'American Idol' and NASCAR will be transitioned soon as well," the company said in a statement.



In terms of advertising, TV, radio and outdoor ads are expected to incorporate transitional elements related to the AT&T and the Cingular brands, but will feature AT&T much more prominently. For example, the transitional phrase, "Wireless from AT&T, formerly Cingular," has begun replacing the phrase, "Cingular is now the new AT&T."



As part of the transition, AT&T said it plans to slowly phase out the use of Cingular's orange "Jack" logo but will continue to use the color orange in conjunction with wireless services from AT&T.



The spot uses a high-tech nesting Russian doll as a metaphor for the company's complete and seamless integration of TV, high speed Internet, home phone and wireless services. Radio, outdoor and online advertisements also reflect the move to make the addition of wireless, the "complete provider" message, and AT&T in general, more prominent.



"The newest phase of our branding campaign communicates that AT&T is a leader in wireless as well as in other communications and entertainment services," said Wendy Clark, senior vice president — AT&T Advertising. "Our goal is to let the public know that AT&T offers perhaps the best choices, values and convenience in the marketplace across our extensive portfolio for the communications services they want and need."



As all operations are moved under a single brand, AT&T said it expects to realize related synergies with an estimated net present value of approximately $2.8 billion.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    AT&T should cover all it's bases and put all of its former logos on their packaging and stores. In 2 years they will just change their name again.



    "AT&T Cingular SBC SouthwesternBell Ameritech"
  • Reply 2 of 18
  • Reply 3 of 18
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,956member
    NPV of $2.8 billion from savings by just consolidating brands!? It takes someone this long to think of doing this?



    Man, sometimes the fat in corporate America just boggles the mind.....
  • Reply 4 of 18
    abster2coreabster2core Posts: 2,501member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by andrewcod View Post


    Digg it



    Why the circumnavigation?
  • Reply 5 of 18
    louzerlouzer Posts: 1,054member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    NPV of $2.8 billion from savings by just consolidating brands!? It takes someone this long to think of doing this?



    Man, sometimes the fat in corporate America just boggles the mind.....



    No, it takes hoards of people this long to think of doing this, getting approvals and permissions on doing this, making sure the SEC, FCC, FTC, etc, all sign off on it, forecasting the short and long term benefits and costs.



    But, in 5 years or so, under new management, I'm sure someone's going to come out and say that the business would be better if these two parts were separate, not together. They always do. Its the cycle of business life. Merge, split, merge, split, merge, split,...
  • Reply 6 of 18
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post


    Why the circumnavigation?



    I think it's to help promote this site. I'm not all that impressed with much of Digg's user base though. The signal to noise ratio is very low on most of their comments.
  • Reply 7 of 18
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,956member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Louzer View Post


    No, it takes hoards of people this long to think of doing this, getting approvals and permissions on doing this, making sure the SEC, FCC, FTC, etc, all sign off on it, forecasting the short and long term benefits and costs.



    But, in 5 years or so, under new management, I'm sure someone's going to come out and say that the business would be better if these two parts were separate, not together. They always do. Its the cycle of business life. Merge, split, merge, split, merge, split,...



    Nah, something like "brand consolidation" won't need approvals from SEC/FTC/FCC..... altho, the unions (assuming they still have any left) may have to sign off on it.



    (I was being -- well, trying to be -- sardonic.... )



    PS: You're right though, about what will happen five years from now.... I think you'll get a real chuckle out of this recent op-ed piece by Michael Kinsley:



    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/16/op...16kinsley.html
  • Reply 8 of 18
    abster2coreabster2core Posts: 2,501member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    I think it's to help promote this site. I'm not all that impressed with much of Digg's user base though. The signal to noise ratio is very low on most of their comments.



    Thanks JeffDM. By the way, I posted a reply to you and solipsism on http://forums.appleinsider.com/showt...=1#post1084040 about the TX battery life.
  • Reply 9 of 18
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post


    AT&T should cover all it's bases and put all of its former logos on their packaging and stores. In 2 years they will just change their name again.



    "AT&T Cingular SBC SouthwesternBell Ameritech"



    You forgot BellSouth and Pacific Telesis.
  • Reply 10 of 18
    ahhh, nothing said "old" like the "new" brand of AT&T...
  • Reply 11 of 18
    mitch1984mitch1984 Posts: 55member
    I prefer the name Cingular, it's much better than having initials as a brand IMHO.
  • Reply 12 of 18
    I think the 2.8 bil is business consolidation savings of which branding is a part. Their going to spend a fortune telling us that AT&T is a phone company but that we shouldn't just think that means they are a phone company.



    It is no wonder Apple is maintaining control of the advertising for the iPhone. Just think of the taglines we would of been treated to. "iPhone coming to you now from the company that you know as AT&T but we don't want you to think of us as a phone company, think of us as a big brother listening to all your calls."
  • Reply 13 of 18
    louzerlouzer Posts: 1,054member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 128pluspb100siduo230 View Post


    I think the 2.8 bil is business consolidation savings of which branding is a part. Their going to spend a fortune telling us that AT&T is a phone company but that we shouldn't just think that means they are a phone company.



    It is no wonder Apple is maintaining control of the advertising for the iPhone. Just think of the taglines we would of been treated to. "iPhone coming to you now from the company that you know as AT&T but we don't want you to think of us as a phone company, think of us as a big brother listening to all your calls."



    I don't believe Apple is in full control of the advertising. But why would Cingular bother, if Apple's already ponying up the dough.



    And its not like Apple's any better with the advertising. Are we getting smug people posing as phones? Maybe shadows of people talking? How about their initial ad, people picking up a phone (and not even the one you're trying to sell)? Maybe they could bring back Ellen Fleiss and those stupid 'switcher' commercials.



    One thing you know for damned sure. There won't be a single commercial that actually gives you any clue as to what the iPhone could possibly do. MS might make crappy software, crappy hardware, and, all in all just be crappy, but their little "Guy flying to a business meeting" commercial showed off more of what their who-knows-what could do in one minute then all of apple's ads have done in the last five years.
  • Reply 14 of 18
    josa92josa92 Posts: 193member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mitch1984 View Post


    I prefer the name Cingular, it's much better than having initials as a brand IMHO.



    I much prefer the name Cingular as well. AT&T is shorter, but it's also very corporate. If they want to be consumer friendly, they have to have a nice sounding name. Cingular uses mostly warm-sounding letters, as opposed to AT&T, which uses almost none. (A is slightly warm, but the T's overrule the warmness they provide).

    I hope that made sense.
  • Reply 15 of 18
    louzerlouzer Posts: 1,054member
    And speaking of that MS ad, can the iPhone run Keynote or PowerPoint presentations? And can it do it wirelessly (assuming you had the wireless projector)? Hell. Can you even hook up an external monitor/keyboard? I just don't recall, since Apple's kind of mum on all these things.
  • Reply 16 of 18
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,956member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by josa92 View Post


    I much prefer the name Cingular as well. AT&T is shorter, but it's also very corporate. If they want to be consumer friendly, they have to have a nice sounding name. Cingular uses mostly warm-sounding letters, as opposed to AT&T, which uses almost none. (A is slightly warm, but the T's overrule the warmness they provide).

    I hope that made sense.



    Perfect sense! (Especially the 'warm' part).



  • Reply 17 of 18
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post


    AT&T should cover all it's bases and put all of its former logos on their packaging and stores. In 2 years they will just change their name again.



    "AT&T Cingular SBC SouthwesternBell Ameritech"



    I personally miss Pac Bell Wireless days. Reception and Customer Service was excellent. (I also miss Pac Bell Park. AT&T Park just sounds wrong.)
  • Reply 18 of 18
    I don't see anything exciting about AT&T, shame that Cingular got sold to them, it's the worst company in US, money suckers, welcome to all unjustified charges and taxes on your future bill and nothing to do about that, and finally when you decide to talk to them you will be invited for the conversation with customer support computer so no help, so pay and shut up.

    iPhone is a great thing, I don't get why or how Steve Jobs could sign the contract with the corporation which has so bad reputation, kind of ..., Solution - let's wait when iPhone will be in Europe for T-mobile and get it unlocked here.

    Unless someone wants to give AT&T more money for nothing, somehow the have 2.8 billions for the merge, maybe from those bill funds
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