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Explaining VI Branding & Positioning

As we all know VI (Vodafone+Idea) merged together and become a unified telecom brand in recent times. Although this merger has been done 2years ago but formally become a single name just recently.

Now instead of getting into why both these brands came together and formed VI may be due to various business reasons and competitions, but let us explain how and in which way they made it a single brand identity, created by their regular creative agency Ogilvy.

1. Risk Analysis:

Now before we start let’s understand with a case study of when Kingfisher Airlines took over Air Deccan and they have started marketing with a new identity as “Simplified Deccan” with the same Kingfisher Red and the result we all know, which led to shutting down its operation later on. Therefore, as a Brand Consulting Agency, we could relate and compare both these cases in a similar kind of situation. Just like Kingfisher, Vodafone was also known as a premium brand in their respective market and both have acquired mass brands like Air Deccan and Idea Cellular respectively. Now if you study more about the timing of both the mergers, you will find both the situation is almost common as unfavourable and volatile in terms of their work segment.

Nowadays the Telecom market in India is no more lucrative in terms of margin but in terms of volume especially after JIO’s entry. Therefore, the acceptability of the brand depends upon the data offered primarily unlike the call rate any more. So in this competitive market, I think deals and offers are more important compared to new brand experience especially in telecom these days, as it takes a huge amount of money to do a rebranding and its execution.

2. Brand Perception Analysis:

We all have to understand except necessary items most of the brands do not cater to all the class for simply fear of losing one particular class. So Vodafone and Idea both did the same thing and created a separate brand Instead of being converted to any of them and positioned in between as “Not a Mass Neither a Class” and packaged as a middle-class oriented brand aim to complete with a mass accepted brand like JIO.

3. Creative Analysis:

Although this new brand is looking minimal, simple, but still I would like to add certain points, which I personally think, maybe missed out or did not consider.

3A. Earlier Vodafone logo has a 2-colour process, where red was primary and white was negative comparing VI, which becomes a 3-colour process where red is primary, and yellow and white respectively as secondary and negative. We know the integration is been done based on their previous brand colour palette but honestly saying the exercise looks too mundane and quick which doesn’t make any justice to Vodafone’s previous unique look which used to stand out in any field, media, background specially the mnemonic one.

3B. If it is positioned as a middle class or mass user brand, then there is another small but major visual confusion that exists, which I would like to point out. If we break down of VI logo, which is supposed to be V+I but it is actually V+! as a part of the integration. However, the same brand wants its users to remember and recall as “V+l” which could play as a trick but can backfire at any time as a critic by the customer at the base.

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Regards, Subhajit Ghosh

Business Director  l    Brand Consultant