Did that Spark your attention?


In 1987 Telecom launched as a home phone network. 25 years later they’ve announced a name change to Spark. Since Telecom launched they have built a strong association as a home phone network, but the market has changed and so is Telecom. “Spark better represents what we are today – it is all about digital services, fibre, mobile, data, cloud, entertainment, apps or whatever new technology is around the corner”, says Telecom Chief Executive, Simon Moutter.

Telecom introduced the new brand colour and style refresh in 2009 with the introduction of ‘the spark’ and customers have responded well to the new look. So although the name change itself is big, the icon known as ‘the spark’ will still be a key identifier to customers. Telecom currently have 1.9 million customers in the New Zealand market. One of their key goals with the rebrand is to increase market share by customers choosing them for their services and offerings. Having a CEO who stands so passionately behind the rebrand is a good start. He believes whole-heartedly that the change is for the better. The fact remains to be seen when Spark is officially launched, whether new customers will be drawn in by the old, but new kid on the block.

This $20 million re-branding campaign is the ultimate bid to connect with new customers. By hanging up on Telecom the company hopes to show customers they are serious about change and moving with the times. Their rebranding exercise is timely, as they move into internet tv and movies. Taking on SKY TV, their first real competition in this market, says an online National Business Review article. Moutter says the risks involved in this change are “minor and manageable”. He declined to elaborate further on the risks in a recent interview.

With the new name will come a fresh association with the brand. People will adjust to the change, as they do. Ex- CEO of Telecom, Theresa Gattung said the change was the next, logical shift in the market and thought the new name was “cool”. Maybe exactly the reaction Telecom is after. While the New Zealand population gets used to the new name for Telecom, it will be interesting to see if the ground work done with releasing ‘the spark’ logo will speak for itself as the brand and what we associate with Telecom at the moment. If this is the case, then it should just be a matter of time before Telecom is a distant memory and Spark becomes one of our leading brands in the New Zealand telecommunications industry.

It seems that the jury is out but their verdict is split as to whether the rebrand is a good idea.

Important facts about Telecom:
• Telecom is one of New Zealand’s biggest companies – 5th top listed company
• The company has approximately 6,000 employees
• 2nd biggest mobile phone provider
• Number 1 internet provider

Author: Georgie Butler