Telecom to Spark

February 21st, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

have announced they are changing their name to . This is a bold but risky move.

Telecom is a very well known brand in New Zealand. For quite long periods of time, the brand was fairly negative, but in recent times has been quite positive. Ditching such an established brand is risky.

However they are now a competitive retailer, not a utility company. The new brand can be a good way to move on from their historic role, and be seen as an exciting new company. Vodafone’s brand has slipped in recent years, so the opportunity is there to do well.

Also of interest is this, as reported by the Herald:

Telecom also announced this morning it was moving into the internet TV market, with what it describes as “a standalone and high-quality internet TV brand, ShowmeTV,” which will launch later this year.

“The upcoming launch of ShowmeTV offers all New Zealanders an exciting new choice about how to get their home entertainment, which we think represents the future of how people will access content. It’s a great example of how this company is changing by delivering the sorts of new services our customers want,” said Moutter.

A great initiative. I hope it works.

Tags: ,

25 Responses to “Telecom to Spark”

  1. PaulL (5,446 comments) says:

    A mistake in my opinion. A brand that is well known is valuable, you can invest in making it more positively viewed, but I just don’t see them getting value from becoming “spark”. Glad I’m not an investor, I’d be a bit pissed. Wonder what the brand value is on the books – surely more than zero?

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. edhunter (554 comments) says:

    Just on the internet TV market, how is the premiership coverage going? Does anyone know what sort of uptake there was?
    I’d be fuming & I know there were many many disgruntled Sky subscribers when they lost the rights to the EPL, were there thousands of cancellations? (I’d imagine not)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. NoCash (260 comments) says:

    spark > kraps

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. johnwellingtonwells (137 comments) says:

    Seven spark

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Nigel Kearney (1,095 comments) says:

    Their existing brand can’t recover from the damage the government did to it and they should have rebranded a while ago. Not sure about the name, but these days anything that is not a spelling mistake or otherwise juvenile is better than average.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. slightlyrighty (2,096 comments) says:

    I am always peeved by the number of offers that come up from time to time if you change telco’s, such as new broadband plans, new phones, new everything if you swap from vodaphone to telecom and vice versa.

    Do I get an I-Phone by changing from Telecom to Spark?

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. James Stephenson (2,265 comments) says:

    they should have rebranded a while ago.

    They’ve had that logo since 2009 – it looks to me like this name change has been sitting on the shelf, ready to go, since then.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Ross12 (1,483 comments) says:

    They call it anything they like –it is what they do and how well they do it that counts in the long run. This is especially so now with all the social media around. The corporates have to get their head around the notion that in most cases now the consumer has a lot more if not all the power due to the increased information available and speed at it which it travels.

    A small example –I work from home and last week our Telecom connection ( phone and internet )was lost. Called faults -they did the usual tests , said it was just our property and technician would be around within 24 hrs. 23hrs later no sign of a tech. So rang again and they checked records and said a techy was onto it. The techy rings 5mins later –I had to tell him the issue. He fixed it in 2 mins –we had been disconnected in error.The techy tells me the original test showed the issue was at the exchange , so you’d think testing for connection would be basic. I submit a complaint –several email exchanges later I conclude they were just trying to cover their arse with BS.

    I don’t have a big social media connection/network but I could have been a customer with a large network and could have vented my frustration on there. My point is, a fancy brand does not overcome that sort of potential bad “feedback”

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Elaycee (4,425 comments) says:

    If I was a Telecom shareholder, I’d not be too happy that someone had decided to write off the value associated with the Telecom ‘brand’ to replace it with ‘spark’…. the cost of replacing the signage alone is estimated at $20 Million.

    I know I’ll probably cop flak from Marketing people, but I reckon senior marketing personnel have a 3 year life span. The first year they come in to a new Company with all guns blazing – wanting to change everything. Year two is spent implementing the changes and year three they start looking elsewhere. A generalisation for sure, but I doubt the perception is really wide of the mark.

    Not that long ago (2009?), Telecom ditched their old logo and dreamt up the asterisk. Don’t know the cost but based on the current estimates, it would also have been millions.

    Compare this to Coca Cola. They’ve had the same brand and logo for generations (it is trademarked) and no marketing ‘newbies’ can touch it. And yet Coca Cola would have to be one of the most successful brands of all time. The value attributed to that brand, is massive.

    So what makes Telecom (2009 with box logo) / Telecom (2010 with asterisk) / and now Telecom (Spark 2014), so special they need to change everything every three years?

    It seems bizarre….

    Vote: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Ashley Schaeffer (535 comments) says:

    I can’t quite put my finger on why, but to me ‘Spark’ makes them seem less imposing as a company. Telecom seems to carry some weight, like “we’re the original big fish in this here pond”, but ‘Spark’ just conjures the image of yet another small startup trying to gain a foothold in the market. A risky move to be sure.

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. emmess (1,398 comments) says:

    I think it is a good move.
    It ditches the last vestiges of the inefficient state owned behemoth and of the post-privatization overpriced near monopoly. The name change says it is normal company operating in a highly competitive market.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. RightNow (7,014 comments) says:

    New name, still the same old sparky

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. big bruv (14,217 comments) says:

    I want to meet the wanker who thinks this is a good idea. There is nothing wrong with the current name, for some reason these corporate types get taken by some marketing firm who manages to convince then that a jazzy new name is the way to go.

    Oh…and then bill them roughly $120,000 for doing so.

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. David Garrett (7,698 comments) says:

    I am with Elyacee…this “rebranding” nonsense was all the rage in NZ in the 90’s…even the goverment departments were doing it.. whereas there are brands which are 100 years old and whose logos havent changed in all that time…As well as Coca Cola think Heinz; Johnny Walker; Gordons Gin; Ford…even where the nature of the product has changed somewhat – think Pentax; Hewlett Packard; Fuji Xerox…

    As someone else has said, I’m glad I’m not an investor..

    Vote: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. alloytoo (582 comments) says:

    This reeks of epic failure

    Not withstanding GM/Holden using the name,

    http://www.holden.co.nz/cars/barina-spark

    And a dating website

    http://www.spark.com

    And university of Auckland entrepreneurial program (10 years old BTW)

    http://www.spark.auckland.ac.nz/

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. tas (654 comments) says:

    Haha. I honestly thought this is a joke and looked for the humour tag.

    What a stupid idea. The marketing team must be under-engaged.

    I still half think it’s a joke.

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Jaffa (101 comments) says:

    Who’s the bright Spark who thought of that??
    Sparky?
    Telecom has some gravitas, Spark has none, it could be a lolly or iceblock!

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Maggy Wassilieff (482 comments) says:

    Telecom signals its way forward with some 19th century technology…

    http://www.sparkmuseum.com/SPKCOILS.HTM

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Akaroa (612 comments) says:

    “Spark”, eh?

    How about this for a live wire connection? (No pun intended)

    “‘Old Sparky’ is the nickname of the electric chairs in Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, New York, South etc., etc.. …”” (Wikipedia)

    And those electric chairs weren’t just comfy seat warmers, y’know!!

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Steve (North Shore) (4,536 comments) says:

    For many years I have said Telecom needed an image change, along with a marketing change and a name change.
    I suggested “Pelican” then they can both stick their bills up their arse

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Southern Raider (1,777 comments) says:

    You don’t see AT&T, Verison, Singtel and Telstra having to change their names to maintain and grow market share.

    Some dickhead commentator said this was the same as when Bell South changed its name to Vodafone and the new branded company took off. Not even in the same ball park. They changed the name because that’s who brought the company and it took off because Vodafone opened the cheque book on marketing and network investment

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. Scott1 (588 comments) says:

    It sounds insane. The millions for rebranding is just the start of what they are throwing away.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. isaac (11 comments) says:

    A Sparky is the generic name for an electricity worker.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. Zebulon (125 comments) says:

    In the Scandinavian languages spark means kick which is what I felt like to doing every time Telecom makes a stuff up with our services.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. Left Right and Centre (3,007 comments) says:

    James Stephenson – You’ve got it. By keeping the same logo – they retain brand recognition. The transition is seamless because everyone recognises the unchanged logo.

    I think the old Telecom name a lot of people associated with pure molten evil… the evil empire… the dark side. If you needed anything they sent round a stormtrooper. Probably not a bad thing to change the name. Telecom. Very serious sounding. Ominous.

    Elaycee – Remember Coke tried to introduce ‘New Coke?’ in the 1980s ? What happened ? They’re not immune to feeling the need to try things and experiencing failure any more so than anyone else. They’ve never changed the name but if it aint broke don’t try to fix it. The acid test would be new players eroding their market share. Probably not in our lifetime hahaha

    Maybe the flash harry name ‘Spark’ will be a flash in the pan ? Flush with cash to flush down the toilet ? Where they will soon find themselves as well ? :)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote