There’s been a lot of talk about Telkom dropping the 8ta brand despite pushing millions into marketing the brand. Respected brand journalist Chris Moerdyk essentially says this is the biggest mistake Telkom has made in ages.
Chris is quite patently wrong. Yes, Telkom have plowed tons of money into the brand and it’s now a waste but the truth is that 8ta is actually a terrible brand. It’s confusing, the colours are frankly quite heinous and their stores are clinical.
Telkom is also a crap brand but the truth is that 8ta is actually a decent mobile network. Their data is well priced and they are the cheapest for phones such as the iPhone 5.
In addition, Telkom users can now get add on data or voice contracts on their current account without extra credit checks and hassles. Telkom has suddenly expanded their footprint for walk in stores or, in the case of both stores being in a mall, save costs. Let’s not even get into the concept of business customers who now have the ability to bolt on a cheap contract to their ADSL or voice line.
The Twitterari, tech journalists and marketing consultants might think this a bad idea but they’ve clearly never been into a Telkom store during the day. It’s busy, it’s chaos and it’s an amazing opportunity for Telkom to suddenly tell the general public that they happen to have a mobile network.
I don’t think Cell C will have an issue with 8ta rebranding and it’s going to be Vodacom or MTN that might suffer from this change with a loss of customers.
Yes 8ta may have flushed away tons of marketing money but we have no idea whether they were making any money or were getting better results with putting money into Telkom branding.
Telkom Mobile is going to be a competitor; 8ta was a sideshow.