Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Monkey, Dolphin, Canary?

It's been perhaps a year since mobile phone company Orange allocated animal names to their various contract options. While some people were critical, others heralded their avoidance of standard descriptor language as a great piece of imaginative differentiation.

At a superficial level, for sure, Orange are in some sense "different" from the other phone companies. They have a different tone about them. But that isn't always a good thing - especially because they cannot control the dissemination and, more importantly, the context of that information.

Yesterday, that was brought into clear focus in a third-party phone store where details of the various tariffs available from different service providers were listed next to each phone.

These comparisons are never easy to dissect, but with Orange it was impossible. Viewed in black and white, Monkey, Dolphin and Canary are meaningless monikers that repel potential customers and simply emphasise how thin is the line between differentiation and alienation.


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