Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Rebranding: Celtel now Zain

Remmy Nweke in South Africa

In efforts to unify its trading name, management of MTC Group, the owners of pan-African Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) trading as Celtel International has began another rebranding spree and would now be known as Zain in all its operations.

Effective from Saturday, September 8, 2007, Zain is the new corporate master brand name for the Group formerly known as MTC and is already taken the new name in Kuwait, Jordan, Bahrain and Sudan, while in Iraq its currently known as MTC-Atheer, in Lebanon as MTC-Touch whereas in 14 sub-Saharan countries in Africa as Celtel including Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Confirming this development, Media and External Relations Manager at Zain Group, Mr Antoine Aboukhalil, informed that MTC Group “adopted a new name ‘Zain’ to unify its different brands.”

He also said that the telco, which is providing mobile services in 21 countries across the Middle East and Africa (MEA), has chosen Zain as the Group’s corporate master brand “with immediate effect.”

He explained that hitherto, four countries operations in Kuwait and Bahrain, both formerly MTC-Vodafone, Jordan formerly Fastlink and Sudan formerly Mobitel, will immediately be re-branded to Zain.

The Group’s operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would take on the name Zain in early 2008, which is coming after being awarded the third mobile telecommunications licence in July 2007.

Mr Aboukhalil emphasised that the Group’s operation in Iraq, under MTC Atheer, will also re-brand to Zain in the near future after recently winning an extended 15 year nationwide licence.

“All new or acquired operations run by the Group will be branded Zain,” he declared.

Also, a press statement made available to Daily Champion quoted the chief executive officer of the Zain group, Dr. Saad Al Barrak, as saying, that Zain would bring together all its operations under a single, strong and unique identity.

“We believe it is the optimal platform upon which we can build a global brand with the ultimate goal of better serving our customers. It will propel the Group towards becoming one of the top 10 global mobile telecommunications companies in the next four years,” he said.

Mr. Aboukhalil further said that the new pay-off theme of the change of the brand to Zain is now ‘A wonderful world’ stressing that it captured the energy, inspiration and diversity of the group’s customers, employees and other stakeholders.

The new logo and its colourful identity, he said, reflected the Group’s freshness, boldness and vitality with the ‘swirl’ communicating the idea of an aura, something important to human life echoing growth, progression and diversity.

According to him, the new identity was developed in partnership with world leading consulting firms and advertising agencies.

Brand architect and the Group’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), Tito Alai said that the name Zain was selected from “a list of over 400 after extensive research across many countries and cultures validated its broad global appeal.”

The CCO explained that although it was chosen for its simplicity, memorability and ease of pronunciation across the global marketplace, as an added bonus Zain was found to be rich in positive connotations.

Alai explained for example, that in Arabic, Zain means “beautiful, good and wonderful,” in Latin it means ‘dark horse’ and it has many positive meanings in other cultures found in the continents of Africa, Asia, Europe and beyond.

“Zain tested extremely well among cross sections of the potential global audience and with the planned investment will become a formidable brand within a short period,” he said.

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