The town’s painted red, one can see a plethora of new faces on television, hear people trying to get hold of a new tune and more than anything else stare at new posters with a sense of perplexity. Yup!! You guessed it right. I am referring to the much talked about Airtel rebranding campaign. It has been debated over, discussed and no less than fought over by numerous people. But still there seems to be no solution in sight to the one mindboggling question that’s on top of everyone’s mind – Did Airtel do the right thing by going in for a rebranding?
The first question that crossed my mind on seeing their new look, was WHY?? Why did Airtel have to go in for such a radical change all of a sudden? I dDisliked the logo, felt disconnected with the TVC’s and found the new tune un-AR Rahman-like. L
The common feedback for the TVC’s was that the Indian feel and connect that had come to be synonymous with Airtel ads was no more present. People were definitely missing the oh-so- familiar tune that Airtel owned. Lastly, popular view is that their new logo seems to have been inspired from the Vodafone and Videocon logos.
But then I learnt that the whole idea of going in for such a radical change was because Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal wanted Airtel to raise the bar to the next level and become a global brand. To achieve that he had to make some drastic changes and the results are here for us to see.
An international feel to the commercials, foreign locales and foreign actors to downplay the Indianness of the brand. A contemporary and hip new tune which would appeal to the global audience. And last but not the least a logo which has been designed by a firm of international repute, Brand Union, which looks more attractive, vibrant and “in vogue” compared to their old boring font and logo.
Looks like Mr. Mittal has got his reasons in place for the steps he has taken and only time will tell if his gamble pays off, but one thing I feel Airtel should guard against is to lose out completely on their Indian values and appeal, locally, in its search for global recognition.
Since rebranding is in the air, we though why not write about just that in our cover story. It takes a look at why, how and when a corporate should go in for a rebranding exercise. Real examples have been taken up and analysed to identify what clicks and what doesn’t to ensure a successful transition from one identity to another.
In this issue’s Vartalaap we have Mr. Kiran Khalap, co-founder of chlorophyll, India first end to end brand consultancy firm. He talks to us about why he feels branding has become the most overused term in marketing, how he went about starting his own enterprise, his views on rebranding and much more.
I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome the junior team in to the Markathon fold. We have selected some of the brightest and most creative minds, who have an inclination towards marketing to join us and serve you all, our beloved readers to make Markathon a brand to reckon with.