Friday, June 10, 2011

A Different Kind of Branding

by Michael Orton
@2011 ImageProviders – All Rights Reserved

Richfield, UT -

Jackie Lalor is a very nice lady who works for both Qwest and CenturyLink. That's because the telephone company and broadband service provider was acquired during the second quarter of this year and they're rolling out the communications strategies to make sure the public isn't too confused. Billing will soon bear the combined logostyles, and later will become the "CenturyLink" brand. Okay, but since the 1984 breakup of ATT and the subsequent creation of the "Baby Bells" by Judge Green, the gravitational pull of corporate profit, market share and broadband competition is reversing the trend to be small. Will that be better, or will it eventually lead to more anti-trust regulation?

Jackie Lalor for Qwest – CenturyLink
Footage and edit by

ATT spinoff companies began to be reconsitituted under other names like Southwestern Bell, Pacific Telesis, Ameritech, SBC, and other consolidations going on and on, including the one on your bill more than ten years ago which may have said "US West," remember? That one became Qwest in 2000. All of this is likely at least a little confusing to Mr. and Mrs. MiddleClassAmerica. Nonetheless, these little telco operating companies are becoming bigger again, by means of ongoing mergers and acquisitions, also known as "arbitrage." Gordon Gekko did that (via popular culture, in the Fox motion pictures called "Wall Street").
Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in "Wall Street"
photo © NewsCorp – CBSFox

So preceding another speaker at June's Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Jackie Lalor told a room full of central Utah's business people about regional marketing for the Qwest-to-CenturyLink rebranding, corporate identity changes and corporate culture restructuring. (see accompanying video) She came to rural Utah to make sure that the public was aware of the changes to follow. She didn't happen to say anything about new jobs for Sevier County, or if billing would be cheaper, or if customer service would be intelligible and handled somewhere in America by someone with a pulse, or if the gateway town of Hanksville, Utah could finally get broadband and cellular service.

A few years ago, an emerging markets representative for Qwest stated that broadband and cellular service in rural areas was tough, because they (Qwest) couldn't be "chasing pennies with our dollars."

All this prompts some to wonder if the rebranding will be ¢enturyLink? Someone will likely have to update Wikipedia.

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