EMTS Taps into its Naija Root for 9Mobile, Explores inherent 9ja Winning Spirit
Following EMTS that is Etisalat Nigeria’s severance of its relationship with Etisalat Group and the need to adopt a new name and other brand collateral in place of Etisalat’s, the board and management of Etisalat Nigeria adopted 9Mobile as its new name. This will be complemented with a well crafted logo ‘face’ for the innovative telecoms player.
Beating the odds, to surpass Expectation
The new name and logo which got leaked to the press yesterday came as a surprise. It has the record as “the most astonishing development” in the industry for this week ending. Brandcrunch can authoritatively reveal that the Etisalat Group, the divesting majority owner of the business, issued a 3-week ultimatum and grace period for EMTS to come up with its brand collateral and desist from the use of the Etisalat’s property. To the protagonists and industry watcher, the notice order might have seemed an uphill task, but the Telco bell the cat in record time surpassing bookmakers’ expectations.
Boye on a familiar Terrain
According to sources close to the business, not minding the three weeks “largesse”, the new team at Etisalat Nigeria now 9Mobile led by the new MD/CEO, Boye Olusanya swiftly but painstakingly put together a new, well thought-out brand architecture within four days of the notice. The feat demonstrates good thinking and display of creative ingenuity by the brand team and its agencies managing the brand transformation and identity refresh process.
The feat becomes not surprising though, coming from a team led by Mr. Olusanya. It will be recalled that Boye as DMD at Econet Nigeria led the various brand transformation exercises that the erstwhile Econet Wireless went through before he left the company. He’s on a very familiar terrain and the little seen so far attests to his competence and great speed.
9Mobile! What’s in a Name?
The name, 9Mobile though yet to be officially unveiled appears to be apt. The reason being that it might have originated from the brand’s all time successful market entry and penetration campaign 0809ja. The campaign literally won the consumers’ hearts and pockets for the brand. Through the different adaptations of the 0809ja thematic materials, the campaign developed a life of its own. At its inception 9 years ago, it connected with and resonated so well with Nigerians that the brand’s growth rate as a new entrant became very astonishing in a period the general belief was that the market was saturated. In essence, this translates that the 9ja which became very popular with the brand, has amassed enormous equity overtime as the brand agencies keeps nurturing 0809ja in various forms as a product for the subscribers and property for EMTS.
Brand “war” Chest for Magic Wand
So, dipping into its brand “war” chest to reach for the carefully nurtured “9” Naija which taps into our common Nigerian (Naija’s) origin and merging it with a generic “Mobile” shows a deep connection with the fabrics of the country. It explores well known Naija centric equity and essence built into the brand over the years. It signifies a creative way to keep the connection and explore same for the good of the evolving the brand.
The above is affirmed by a recent statement signed by Ibrahim Dikko, Vice President, Regulatory & Corporate Affairs, “EMTS launched in Nigeria in 2008 with “0809ja” to affirm its “Nigerianness” and sphere of influence”, adding that in the brand’s 9 years of operation, “it has remained a prime driver and avid supporter of the Nigerian spirit of excellence, and will continue to stay true to our ‘Naijacentric identity’ ”.
In some ways, 9Mobile connotes youthfulness, innovation and customers’ centric, all these being core brand essence and associated benefits of the 0809ja and its earlier mother brand.
In the same token, the new CEO at every opportunity does not fail to remind all that Nigeria remains the soul of EMTS’ business and “we have made the brand alluring to our teeming subscribers who see a piece of the spirit and character of Nigeria in everything we do”.
“EMTS is here to stay”, the CEO declares while in same breath assuring customers that the brand’s core values of “youthfulness, customer-centricity and innovation” will remain the pillars on which the Telco operates.
Stick to a winning formula
In football a coach hardly tinker with a winning formula, Etisalat Nigeria has 20 million subscribers, making it the country’s number four mobile operator with a 14 percent market share. “Our mandate is to make sure the business runs as profitably as it can. What is most important now is to ensure that the business runs and meets its obligations,” the company’s chief executive Olusanya reinforces. The 9ja spirit and 0809ja thematic and its aligned campaigns did the magic in the past. Boye and his team is not about to let go of the winning formula! It seems.
New Life 4 9ja thematic Campaign
It is expected that 9Mobile will yield a further out of the box “life” for 9ja hinged on the core essence and value proposition of the brand taking its root from the distinct, well articulated and carefully nurtured brand promise oozing of the 9ja’s youthfulness, innovativeness and resilience spirit.
So far so good, it’s been tremendously fascinating even as events occurred in rapid successions, no one seemed to have let down the ball. The next phase is however up to the brand team, creative and PR agencies and as the 9Mobile name and identity refresh takes the centre stage in the coming week.