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Mobistar becomes Orange

Replacing a local starbrand with an international masterbrand

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Mobistar was Belgium's number 2 mobile provider with strong branding and a local culture built over many years. As a part of the Orange Group, it inevitably faced the decisive point in its evolution: was it more beneficial for Mobistar to keep operating under the current label or become Orange and benefit from its international equity?

We provided the objective parameters that helped make an informed, unbiased decision.

Continue reading to discover the process behind this case.

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Approach and methodology

We conducted strategic research and assessed the opportunities and threats of the alternative scenarios. Further on, we consulted the client on the optimal choices and transition process. Our economically-driven brand valuation helped minimise any potential backlash and reinforce market share and positioning. All this to safely and successfully introduce Orange in Belgium, transferring the maximum of the acquired brand equity from the past to the future.

A Brand Change is typically a risky step, as it wipes out the existing brand equity and requires charging the new brand from scratch. In Mobistar and Orange's case, we were dealing with two strong brands of different sizes, which meant that we needed to carefully weigh the possibilities and choose the most promising, future-proof scenario.

Today Orange is a household name across Belgium.

First, we compared the brand equities. Mobistar was one of the mobile pioneers in Belgium and had a stable position and heritage. Its recognisable brand universe became nearly a part of the landscape, from the coast all the way to the Ardennes. On the other hand, Orange was a brand with a strong international presence, recognisable minimalistic branding, and customer trust built beyond local markets, which is an enormous asset in this sector.

Next to that, we needed to find out how compatible the brands' cultures and positioning were. Finally, we put the potential rebranding impact into a broader perspective, as the change of the master brand would require adjustments to all existing products, services and sub-brands.

Brand Valuation

To provide objective input, we applied mixed methods to measure each brand's marketing value and perception. To quantify, we used our original Brand Valuation tool that helps assess a brand with standardised criteria. Then, to gain a qualitative insight into the cultural impact of the possible brand change, we conducted Expert Interviews with stakeholders in countries where the switch to Orange had already happened, among others in the UK, France, Luxembourg, and Poland. This way, we outlined the best practices for the transition.

From green to Orange

Our research conclusions weighed out positively on the Mobistar brand changing to Orange, seizing the opportunity to become a part of a broad international customer base and an extended product offer that includes internet and TV services. Thanks to a thorough strategic process, we transitioned as smoothly as possible, minimising any backlash that such a complex process may bring. Today Orange is a household name across Belgium.

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