May 4, 2006
Brand Naming: Cingular Bounces Out
Looks like AT&T is going to ditch the Cingular name after its recent acquisition of the company and, even more egregious for some, it will get rid of the amusing Cingular orange “jack;” (one blogger calls it the “Cingular bouncy guy.”)
According to Advertising Age, this move might cost about $2 billion in communications that will be needed to smooth customers' ruffled feathers when Bouncy Guy gets turned into the AT&T Wireless logo. One blogger says this is a pretty gnarly chapter in product naming history, given that the Cingular name took a cool $4 billion to connect with the consumer. (Yes, that’s $6 million so far...)
Replacing it with AT&T's means taking a nifty, fresh moniker and replacing it with what they feel is a pretty boring example of brand naming.
Seems that AT&T just can’t escape its “Death Star” image.
I think it’s pretty hard to argue with AT&T's logic as outlined in the Advertising Age article: the $4 billion spent to build the Cingular brand name gave AT&T the biggest customer base in the U.S. Taking all that equity and putting it all under the AT&T umbrella is just easier and more “elegant,” as they claim (even when some protest that this heralds the return of the phone monopoly.)
I think that as much as we will miss the Bouncy Guy and all he stands for, AT&T has no choice in the matter. They need to provide customers with a complete telecommunications package under one newly revamped brand.
Or, could AT&T have integrated the Bouncy Guy in its marketing communications? Sprint did that by combining its logo with Nextel's and adding the together with Nextel line.
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