Friday, January 19, 2007

Branding Mystery: Could Steve Jobs be Behind the Cingular Name Change?

Question: What would you do if Steve Jobs gave your company more free publicity than you could buy with a $100-million-dollar ad budget?

If you answered "Change our name," you must work for Cingular AT&T.

Yes, a few days after Jobs made everybody on the planet aware that the iPhone would be exclusively available from Cingular, the company is changing its brand to at&t.

Mickeleh's Take
: My theory is that Steve Jobs forced the name change to deflect all of the negative reaction to saddling iPhone with the relatively slow EDGE network. First he shows them how easy it is by changing his brand from Apple Computer to Apple, then he gets Cingular to change their brand and, after a decent interval, he's all primed to say, "See, how I listen to my customers? You don't want Cingular on iPhone? OK, we're not using Cingular."

Colbert's Take:: Thanks to frequent commenter, Cogwac, for sending along this clip of the Colbert Report, where Steven traces the rise and fall of the Cingular brand.

Steven Colbert On the Cingular Name Change

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