You probably heard it by now, as also blogged by Rummy, Nawras is going to be re-branded as ooredoo as part of Qtel Group new global strategy.
Let me start by saying that I’m not a branding guru and I’m not going to judge whether this is a good move since I don’t know the reasons behind it however this has generated some interesting feedback by Nawras’ customers, especially on Twitter, as well as comments from all over the region (there are tons in Arabic too).
Some people think is an old PR trick...
I bet the PR behind #ooredoo going 'we'll drop th bomb & get ppl to talk abt it & wonder what th name means' THEN we'll explain #oldesttrick
— Fatma Alsaleh (@fatewm) February 26, 2013
Someone else pointed out that maybe there should have been an opportunity for internal stakeholders to express their concerns about a re-branding strategy.
The lesson from the #Ooredoo branding fiasco should be that out of touch executives should run ideas by their kids before approving them
— Osamah Al Abdullatif (@muscati) February 26, 2013
But generally people, whether locals or expats, don't seem to get it.
@muscati "Ooredoo" in an Indian language Malayalam (malabari) means Disconnect ! :O
— Kalpak S (@kalpak_s) February 27, 2013
@muscati @khalphan Also I'm an Arab and I don't get the concept. #ooredoo twitter.com/MohammedAlRahb…
— Mohammed Al Rahbi (@MohammedAlRahbi) February 26, 2013
@muscati I am trying to understand the idea behind it .. Forget the logo .. What #ooredoo represents?
— Um Azzan | أم عزّان (@umazzan) February 26, 2013
Some others have just joked about it...
Everybody has got the #ooredoo logo wrong. The company is actually called red and the two "o's" on both sides are just circles.
— OK™ (@o3mer) February 26, 2013
Oreo with an extra O and D in it. OD-operating disorder "@gmrme: What do you think of Qtel's new branding? #Ooredoo"
— Varun Visruthan(@varun_kv) February 26, 2013
Maybe the oo oo are boobies.. We all know that sex sells... And red is a provocative color. Think about it #ooredoo
— Fatma Alsaleh (@fatewm) February 27, 2013
@techonefive one of Oman's home grown brand 'Nawras' needs to be saved from #ooredoo. #savenawras
— Muscat Mobiles (@MuscatMobiles) February 27, 2013
Just Keep repeating this word ( #ooredoo ) slowly , and you will feel relaxed and fall a sleep.
— Abdullah Alhuraizi (@Alhuraizi) February 25, 2013
Most people, across all continents, criticized the authenticity of the logo as it recalls several others in particular Beats by Dr. Dre as also mentioned by the Financial Times too on its blog.
#OOREDOO should ask for their $$$ back from the company that ripped off Dre's logo. How stupid do these branding companies think people are?
— Mohammed bin Hamad (@MbinH) February 25, 2013
I don't think anything has ever failed worse than #qtel rebranding to #ooredoo. Will Dr.Dre sue them ? #wmc13
— Hashmi (@Raxil) February 25, 2013
@sarahmk_ ooredoo ooredoo. Btw the logo is the exact same as Dr dre beats audio. What's up with that. Qtel was much more creative.
— Shaima Sherif (@ShaimaSherif) February 25, 2013
Even nawras’ former Brand Manager, sent out some strong tweets:
Also on Facebook, on Merge 104.8 page, the feedback wasn't particularly great.
It does not look encouraging however social media has given lots of useful insights to Nawras about customers’ feelings. So far Nawras, rightly so, sat back and avoided entering potentially dangerous conversations. All it did was to answer to several people with a general reply.
@shivanimadani Hi Shivani. The name will be changed later this year or during 2014.
— Nawras (@nawras_oman) February 27, 2013
Tough situation to be in; lots of world-wide negative sentiment which could have been avoided. Was ooredoo really poorly created or maybe it's a strategy to initiate online conversations and create a buzz? Or both?