Telecom liberalization is knocking the UAE’s door. The country’s second telecom operator, which was tentatively called Emirates Integrated Telecommunication Company has revealed its brand: du.
A shockingly simple name and a very abstract design. The logo, as implemented on the company’s launch site is implemented in different colors on different pages, including blue, navy, green and magenta. Presumably the name ‘du’ takes a fragment from the word ‘DUbai’ while sounding like the verb ‘do’ (that my own take, mind you). The multiple color trend in corporate design has been around for a few years as companies try to liberate themselves from static images built on one or two colors. The launch press conference coverage makes no attempt at explaining the name.
The adoption of such a simple name and design signals a change in the Middle East’s branding trends. Companies in the region used to be inclined to ‘prestigious’ or technical-sounding names. But with the increased brand competition in the market and the region’s stronger ties to the global economy, global branding trends are starting to make an appearance in the region. Unusual names are one of those trends.
Dubai, of course, is a very international city, dominated by expatriate consumers. In Jordan, the last big telecom brand launch was that of Umnia (whichh means ‘wish’ in Arabic), which went for an Arabic name to be closer to the mainstream Arab market. So I guess we’re seeing two trends here: one that tries to develop cool and easy Arabic names and another that goes for a more global image.
The new du is positioning itself as a ‘converged’ telecom provider. The icons on the home page and the text launch press release emphasize that this will be a company that provides voice, data and multimedia services across fixed and mobile networks. The company will start service customers in the 2nd half of 2006.
I tried Googling the story to find out which branding agency created the du brand, but could find any information about that.
[Thanks to Desert Pundit for the tip]