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What sparked that?

So Telecom is changing its name to Spark later this year.  But why?

In 2013, Telecom announced their Ultra Mobile plans that come with a number of bonus extras such as Spotify Premium, or 1gb of free WiFi every day from over 700 locations (most of these are from Telecom’s pay phones). Additionally, Telecom have started the rollout of their 4G network, competing with Vodafone for high speed Internet.

This places Telecom as a very good competitor against Vodafone, and this is definitely something they need: between 2010 and 2012 their market share dropped just over 12%; they lost over 500,000 customers.

With the name change expected to cost $20 million the benefits of the name change must far outweigh the negatives. But as telecommunications consultant Jonathan Brewer outlined, changing a name is changing a brand; he said Telecom “…stand to lose a generation of customers who have never known anything but Telecom.”

Telecom, though, said that the new name reflected the company’s “new direction” and said that they had moved far beyond the home line: “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.”

Changing its a name obviously changes the brand. And the brand is certainly changing with Telecom announcing that they are entering the TV market to create a service similar to Netflix overseas. This is called ShowmeTV and is likely to be extremely popular, especially because New Zealanders have to wait a particularly long time for TV shows from the States and the UK to air in NZ. Additionally: linear programming (watching certain shows at certain times) is not the future: watching where and how and whenever you want is the future, and the fact that Telecom is taking advantage of this already seems to suggest the ‘Spark’ name could turn into a flame!


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