Today in a PR release, AT&T announced that beginning Monday of next week it will start to transition “the Cingular brand to AT&T in advertising and customer communications, throughout Web sites and nationwide retail stores, and on company buildings and vehicles.” This re-branding effort should take place over the next several months.
This begs the question. Now that Steve Jobs has showcased the new Apple iPhone and announced that Cingular will provide the cell phone service, how will the “debranding” of Cingular and the emergence of AT&T affect the relationship with the iPhone? Will the AT&T brand be able to keep pace with the iPhone? I think the most telling part of this story may come from the AT&T PR release itself:
AT&T, the standard bearer of communications excellence for more than a century, is getting younger on Monday, when the company folds the six year-old Cingular wireless name into the iconic AT&T brand.
So in other words, the iPhone is a sexy, sleek phone that is well ahead of it’s time and it will be coupled with a tired, century old brand instead of the younger, hipper brand. I don’t think the century old brand image of AT&T meshes with the sexy brand image of Apple. I mean, even my grandma dressed in sexy black dress is still my grandma!
What are your thoughts?