Johannesburg – In April Vodacom Group [JSE:VOD]
will start a massive marketing process to bring the Vodacom brand closer to its British parent, Vodafone, according to industry sources.
On Tuesday the cellphone giant declined to confirm the news and Vodacom chief executive Pieter Uys said the media would have to “wait and see”.
Sake24 has learnt that Vodacom will move closer to the Vodafone brand by, inter alia, starting to use Voda¬fone’s motto Power to you, as well as the distinctive logo of an inverted red comma. The Vodacom brand name will remain.
On Tuesday Andy Rice, who chairs the Yellowwood marketing agency and is well known in marketing circles, reacted by saying the rumours about the name change had been circulating for months.
It would certainly be one of the biggest name changes to date in South Africa. He said that Vodacom had a very strong brand reaching across from the wealthiest to the poorest.
Several studies of brand names have shown the Vodacom brand to be one of the strongest in South Africa.
Vodacom spokesperson Richard Boorman declined to confirm the campaign, but did say the company had indicated in its recent quarterly report that it intended spending money on its brand.
Last Wednesday the company announced that it planned on spending R200m to improve its customer service and brand identity.
Further confirmation also comes from a recent complaint against Cell C that Vodafone submitted to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
Vodafone objected to a television advertisement broadcast by Cell C in December, which contained the slogan Power to you.
Cell C argued that Vodafone’s slogan was not being used in South Africa.
But Vodafone said that it used the slogan worldwide and that it was planning to use it in South Africa. It had also applied to register its slogan as a brand name in South Africa.
The ASA decided in Vodafone’s favour.
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