20050628

The past was bright, the future is Orange Telecom

Once upon a time, France Telecom held a high potential brand and a valuable set of brains in Voila, the pride of the CNET. Then they snatched a bigger brand and another valuable set of brains in Orange, the bride of Hans Snook. As a result, Voila got fired, Orange castrated, and the "France Telecom" brand resurrected as a safety net for gallic customers - an umbrella as disgracious and noxious as a nuclear mushroom some brilliant Kommunikator decided to hide behind a swootch wannabe ; the not-at-all-orious esperluette (the & the self proclaimed net company couldn't even build a website on). As a result too, at the end of year 2004, Hans Snook held a comfortable #950 spot on the UK wealthiest list (£40M) and neither Orange nor even Vodafone were in Interbrand's Best Global Brands Top 100.
Now that rebranding is so passé, France Telecom is considering switching for "Orange Telecom". The metonymy won't be much challenged by the regulatory body which swallowed the FT-Orange fusion without a whisper and almost welcomes its daily anti-competitive abuses.
Will Orange win back its so bright future as easily as the group behind will win back market shares through household shares ? Can the brand that carried so much actually become what it was bound to be - something far beyond the brand of a carrier ?



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