We saw it coming and we have just been waiting to be told when it was going to happen. It came, we saw and now we can say what we think of it and forecast on the strategies which Zain might use in the market.

It was not such a big event though they wanted to make it look big by whatever they had. But the brief of it is that Zain Africa has today formally launched itself as Airtel Africa.  Rene Meza, the CEO of Airtel Kenya, says that their strong entry points will be on affordability and focus on the client.

Their was alot of questions on how much the company spent or is going to spend on the exercise of rebranding. None of the managers, Rene Meza, Henry Njoroge and Jean Acosta- were willing to let us know how much they will spend. But insiders point to around $60 Million.

Key points rom the event are;

  • Zain Zap money transfer service has now been renamed Airtel Money (I found this not well thought out as they should have remained with the Zap Brand for the sake of the consumer who was getting used to the service).
  • The Airtel Brand now has 200 Million clients in 19 operations in Asia and Africa.
  • Airtel is set to rollout the 3G services in the 1st quarter of 2011. Airtel is also in the process of starting to sell subsidised laptops and cellphones in the market.
  • The company will take social media seriously and will get alot more with bloggers and citizen journalist.
  • The company went for the jugular of the competition terming the competitors rates as being extended every month and requiring a Phd to grasp.

The company assures clients that it will give competition sleepless nights and days by offering products and services which are affordable, superior and tailored for the market.

The company’s respective country website pages like for Kenya are up and running. The company also has an Airtel Live portal which will have all the multimedia and downloads just like Safaricom Live.

What do you think of the Zain rebranding to Airtel exercise? Do you think it is worth it? Do you think that the brand is confusing consumers more?

  • That red colour is eye-searing, they should have chosen some other colour for starters. What is that thing they are holding? That is the problem of having a company in many markets, its never easy to make everyone happy. Lets also hope that they will not change the CEO again.

    Am also looking at their marketing behaviour, as hilarious as it may seem, I find it out of taste the subtle insults and rebukes that they have been doing, as much as morality is not an issue here. They should do better than that, and am not the religious type, am just a proponent of clean fights. Let them fight for the clients with their services and not murky and gutter styles. I winder who their PR is as well as their ad-agency,their slogans are unforgiveable, morally or otherwise.

  • Well, rebranding is not something new and Zain changing to Airtel will not mean much. The most important thing is for the company to come up with products that have the consumers needs met. This should include 3G, opening up of agents all over the country for mobile phone money transfer, purchasing of SIM cards and other related services. Further, the company needs to provide social services to the people through CSR to enable the consumers and the larger public have a greater internalization of the company.

    KUDOS to Airtel