Zain is set to embark on a major re-branding exercise from Monday next week. The company will adopt the Airtel brand to as its new mother company, India’s Bharti Airtel. The re-branding will see also the other 14 countries in Africa adopt the Airtel brand.
It might just be the most expensive re-branding exercise for the company considering that it has gone through 3 other major re-branding exercise in the last six years.
In 2004 when Zain Kenya rebranded, the exercise cost $30 million to rebrand from Kencell to Celtel , in 2008 $40 million was spent to rebrand from Celtel to Zain.
Ogilvy Africa is said to have set up a specialist Pan-African business unit, Team Airtel, exclusively dedicated to Airtel’s advertising, media buying, market research and public relations. Team Airtel will also include The Brand Union responsible for brand migration, Millward Brown for market research, Hill & Knowlton & Ogilvy PR for all public relations across all markets.Bharti Airtel is adopting corporate social responsibility (CSR) and community mass market as its entry point. The company is using vendors, hawkers and street traders in rural markets to increase its brand awareness. The company has also a strategy to appeal to the Youth and is set to launch 3G services before the end of the year and fly soccer fans to selected English Premier League matches.
UPDATE: Zain Kenya has sent out a press invite for the rebranding exercise launch on Monday.
The company has been running the “Lets Feel Free” campaign in Print, TV and radio.