Even as UK's Vodafone staged a billion-dollar comeback in India by taking stake in Bharti Tele, Hong Kong's Hutchison has taken a strategic decision to redesign the Hutch brand, in the run-up to the Hutch-Essar IPO.
Hutchison Essar will unveil Hutch with its new look across 13 circles by late-November. As the company's existing Orange and Hutch brands have a common colour, “The redesigned Hutch umbrella brand will have a definite colour variation,” Hutchison officials told ET.
There's a tight lid on the new brand design and colour specifics. But it's understood that the world's top brand consultancy firm, the London-based Wolff Olins, may be involved in redesigning Hutch. Wolff Olins is the original creator of Orange.
“It's imperative that Hutchison Essar evolves a single and unique brand identity in India, instead of its twin-brand image. The entry of the world's biggest GSM player into India is likely to expedite unveiling of the new look of Hutch and put the company's brand unification plans on fast track,” sources said.
Significantly, Hutchison's decision to introduce new colour and design to Hutch is in the aftermath of the recent Orange-Hutch tussle over alleged trademark and copyright violations by Hutchison. During the legal battle in Delhi High Court, the Orange Group had alleged that Hutch had created images which were based on Orange's guidelines.
Though the Orange-Hutch legal duel is over, there's a feeling that Hutch and Orange brands are similar, especially as both use the orange colour. “As both brands share a similar philosophy, there's little economic sense in Hutch-Essar managing two separate brands in India,” said sources .
In fact, Hutchison Essar expects a common umbrella brand to trigger media efficiencies, in which the company won't need separate adaptation strategies for both brands. Once DoT clears Hutch-Essar's 100% acquisition of the BPL Mobile circles, the new- look Hutch will be unveiled in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.