Odido: creating cheerful distinctiveness in the telecom market

Big news in the Dutch telecom world: T-Mobile and Tele2 – two brands with unrivalled positions – will continue in the Netherlands as one new brand: Odido. For Adformatie, our CEO Michael Dijkstra Taurel was interviewed on his opinion on the new telecom name on the market.

The decision to merge the two brands into one new brand was made a year ago, in consultation with the two investment funds that bought the T-Mobile Netherlands group (including Tele2) for 5.1 billion euros in early 2022. It was already working on plans during that acquisition to fill the need for a new, Dutch brand. The repositioning was worked on in the deepest secrecy for a year and a half.

On the 5th of September Odido went public and then you know; everyone is going to think something about it. The same goes for branding experts. Adformatie asked four specialists, Globrand’s own Michael Dijkstra Taurel, Erwin Wijman, Floris Hülsmann and Bas Kist for their professional opinions.

Michael Dijkstra Taurel – Brand strategist and CEO at Globrands

‘Scrapping the two brands is a good and expected strategic move, because after the acquisition of T-Mobile by Apax and Warburg Pincus, something had to be done with the four brands T-Mobile, Tele2, Ben and Simpel. The T-Mobile and Tele2 combined in Odido had many customers, without much publicity. Both brands were a bit dull and needed a new boost. A lot is about to happen in the telecoms sector and the PE consortium Apax and Warburg Pincus see further growth and opportunities, especially in the rollout of 5G and the opportunities that come from it. Like the booming internet of things, electric and soon self-driving cars and e-health to name a few elements.’

‘In addition, little is happening at KPN and Vodafone and the market seems a bit sluggish, a lot of repetition of moves, while there are new opportunities. Moreover, it is smart to market the new brand strongly now, because it is obvious that something in the future will also happen at VodafoneZiggo.’

Odido: no A-brand look

‘In telecom, the name is definitely distinctive. The name is not particularly powerful. It is cheerful though and clearly aimed at younger customers. That while Odido has many business customers. The new name does not have an A-brand image for that specific target audience, so there is a lot of work to do to properly attack KPN and VodafoneZiggo with more than just low prices. I am curious to find out more about Odido’s positioning, brand promise and first campaign.’

‘Primary associations are positive and cheerful, though a bit childlike like Okido.’

Michael Dijkstra Taurel

Corporate market still requires a lot of work

‘Primary associations are positive and cheerful, well a bit childish like Okido. My first association was the ASC’s sports disco DIDO, but many people might also have an association with “dildo”. In our profession, we see that any new brand name is immediately compared with all sorts of existing words, brands and concepts, but once the brand is placed in context those are quickly gone.’

‘Internationally, Odido is promising, but I expect the brand to be specific to the Dutch market. If its positioning and communication are done well, I do see potential in the brand, although I think it is now mainly consumer-oriented and the business market will still require a lot of work.’

This is what other brand experts think of the new telecom brand Odido.

Erwin Wijman, writer and naming expert:

‘It’s another typical sample of palindrome coercion from the Opperlanse palindrome factory.’

Floris Hülsmann, naming expert:

‘A flat joke with “dildo” will undoubtedly come along too, but this company will survive that.’

Bas Kist, trademark specialist:

‘It is perhaps a little bit exciting that there is an identical European trademark registration ‘odido’ by the German Metro.’

Read the full article (in Dutch) and other opinions here.