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Summary:

The brand name football continues in San Antonio. AT&T has been quick to re-brand Cingular as “at&t” which may not be such a good idea, since Cingular is a company most new customers, aka wireless customers, identify with. Many of these customers don’t know a lick […]

The brand name football continues in San Antonio. AT&T has been quick to re-brand Cingular as “at&t” which may not be such a good idea, since Cingular is a company most new customers, aka wireless customers, identify with. Many of these customers don’t know a lick about Ma Bell. What are your thoughts? Our previous poll showed preference for the Cingular brand.

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  1. Actually, I just posted a commentary on the name change over on my blog. http://seanbyrnes.com/blog/?p=136

    I think the rebranding is a mistake and a result of both group think and loyalty to the old days of telecom. The fact that most of the senior management at AT&T are lifelong telecommunications professionals influences all of their decisions.

  2. Eddie LeBreton Friday, January 12, 2007

    All I know is Madison Ave. must be licking their chops for all the advertising dollars AT&T is going to have to throw into the switch.

  3. Jesse Kopelman Friday, January 12, 2007

    I think the pain of acquiring AT&T Wireless took a lot of the shine off the Cingular brand. Anyway, considering that Cingular is the most important component of at&t it doesn’t make sense to keep it as a separate brand. There was no way they were going to rename the entire company Cingular (there would have never been a Cingular if SBC had been able to acquire Bellsouth back in the Clinton days), so what else were they going to do, really.

  4. Michael Markman Friday, January 12, 2007

    With no action on my part, the provider brand on my cell phone mutated from AT&T to Cingular. If it’s about to mutate back, all I can say is.. Somebody should have told Steve Jobs about this before Tuesday. Cingular has had a gazillion brand mentions since the iPhone announcement. Was that all a waste?

  5. Paul Kapustka Friday, January 12, 2007

    I just think it’s pretty funny that I never switched to Cingular billing so my old skool phone still says “AT&T Wireless.” Bet if I wanted a new one today I’d have to sign a Cingular contract, and then re-switch down the road. So not only is there branding expense, but billing and back-end expense too.

  6. I feel the same way. This is a huge mistake. Cingular’s brand is the antithesis of AT&T. It’s personal, individual, young and hip. When I think of AT&T I think of my grandmother, long distance and rotary phones. I have a take on my blog as well (http://technomarketer.typepad.com/technomarketer/2007/01/cingularwillb.html) to follow this move and the impact on the brand. Will be interesting to see if the iPhone can hold those youthful, individualists.

  7. The name Cingular was helping finally shed the image that ATT wasn’t a complete legacy carrier that just fails miserably at every single level.

    Now they’ve gone back to all their issues with ATT. Hey, so much for healthy competition!

  8. When I heard this I thought of the following three questions…answers that may never been known.

    How many billions of dollars have been spent to build the Cingular brand to have it all go the way of the dodo?

    Why take a change with re-branding so soon after the iPhone announcement when the Cingular brand is all over the place?

    How much damage are they doing to their market by this re-branding effort?

  9. Bad move IMO. In my mind, I dont have good respect for AT&T, as someone mentioned, I had the AT&T wireless phone just till couple of months back and for the last one year or so, my feeling was that AT&T was a dying company (with all their problems, losing market share in long distance, dwindling stock price etc). Now, they become hot again because the baby bell monopoly decides to buy back the ma bell. As of now, cingular has things going for them (with iPhone deal etc), they have a sufficiently good brand awareness and loyalty. Why mess up a good thing going? I can understand change from non descript SBC to AT&T (besides, SBC was a monopoly, who cares what the name is), but not the cingular to AT&T. I just dont understand!!

  10. iPhone Wireless

  11. I can’t beleive they are going back to “AT&T”. That brand gives me shivers. “Cingular” has all the current cachet. I don’t see why they couldn’t have called the whole company Cingular. I actually don’t even know what AT&T does.

  12. I don’t understand the purpose of such a move. It’s obvioulsy not marketing… I was excited to finally see the Iphone and was ready to break my contract with my current provider, but now I have some doubts. I guess I have a few months to see what happens.

  13. This really doesn’t make since. What benefit is there to being called AT&T. Someone needs to take out the old Ben Franklin balance sheet. The negatives far outweigh the positives with a rebranding.

  14. I am old enough to remember (and resent) the big telecoms. AT&T Wireless broke off from AT&T partially to escape the negative AT&T branding. Cingular absorbed the remnants of ATTWS and the public had a much more positive reaction to it (from what I have experienced as a Cingular customer and a former AT&T Wireless employee) even though Cingular has plenty of flaws. I am upset that they’re reverting to the AT&T branding because the logo alone leaves me mildly nauseated. I think that a lot of people are going to drop their contracts (when companies merge they should give existing customers a penalty-free drop period, right?) just to avoid the AT&T stigma.

  15. Natali Del Conte Friday, January 12, 2007

    Bad move! They’re like Prince. Make up your mind already!

  16. Dredging up that tired old brand AT&T for Cingular is about as lame as “Fewer Dropped Calls than other carriers..” Real visionaries over there — all that money spent on American Idol will go right into the shitter for Cingular…but Sprint fucked up Nextel so at least the carriers are all consistently stupid…

  17. They are a bunch of idiots – by “they” I mean the folks running that company 10 years ago… since that time theyv’e been ATT, then TCI, then SNET, then SBC, then ATT, let’s go on and on…

    I’m tired of it… My cellphone was ATT, then Cingular, now its ATT again? I don’t really care what now they want to give it, I just want the same name at the top of my bill every month.

    It is silly and foolish to drop the Cingular brand name.

  18. MIxed –

    Going back to AT&T doesn’t add much except in the executive offices of those who think in terms of single bills and quadruple plays… AT&T’s brand is neutral, at best, with anyone under 30.

    AT&T Wireless was toxic with anyone who had the misfortune to use the service. On the other hand, most of the young people I know dislike Cingular for a variety of reasons (no one really loves their mobile provider, which should be telling these guys something).

  19. Island in the Net Sunday, January 14, 2007

    I think the Cingular name is a better know brand for wireless than AT&T.

  20. The rebranding is a big mistake. Just when everyone “got” the Cingular brand, and the week after iPhone is announced for it, yank “Cingular” for fuddy duddy old “AT&T”? Crazy!!!

    I’m still stunned by this, even though the plan’s been known for months.

  21. This is probably a small issue, I don’t really care what they call it. I’ve had very good service with AT&T and Cingular. The best thing about the switch to Cingular was the roll-over minutes and no-roaming charges. At&T allowed you to retro change your calling plan up to the last day of your service period to avoid overage chares but that required paying close attention. Other than that everything has been about equal. I wonder if they are going to make any formal service changes back to AT&T or whether things will stay the same. I’ll be kicking and screaming if they try to eliminate the roll-over plans. I hate counting minutes!

  22. How about firing the entire corporate structure? Can some tell these goons that they will not gain market share by playing a shell game. Focus on products and service!!!!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bj1Mtv9cD0I

  23. Yep, this move back to at&t raises a lot of eyebrows. I suspect there are some unsavory dealings going on. It will be interesting to see how people react to the change. Remember, the way to get a corporation’s attention is to refuse to buy their products/services. For the time being, we do have some choices. I don’t think the marketing strategy for this change is very good at all. Personally, I think there should be just one reasonable monthly charge for unlimited calling – period. Now, there’s a marketing strategy and it doesn’t much matter what you call it.

  24. GigaOM » Going Private: Alltel for $27.5 billion Monday, May 21, 2007

    [...] Chetan Sharma emailed us and pointed out that wireless world is following the rule of three and since Verizon, Cingular and Sprint account for 75% of the total wireless market in the US, the [...]

  25. GigaOM » See ya Cingular, yo AT&T Monday, May 21, 2007

    [...] think Cingular would be a better branding umbrella than the staid phone company-conveying AT&T. Including our readers — 54% of them say Cingular is a better choice, while only 28% like AT&T [...]

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