Airtel’s new rebranding exercise – a lost Social CRM opportunity?

I have been an Airtel customer for around 10 years and love the company. I loved the company’s tastefully done ads compared to the cheap and loud ads from Aircel.

But of late I get a feeling that the company is slowly losing it’s edge. I happened to see the new Airtel ads and the new logo and also read in the papers about how they spent Rs. 300 crore on the rebranding exercise. I was too busy to be worrying about Airtel, but somehow I did not like the new ad but I did’nt know what I did not like about it.

In order to find out what other users felt I started my search in the social media.
A simple search on Twitter for “airtel logo” clearly showed that several customers hated the new logo.
A consistent opinion was that it looked like a ripoff of the Videocon logo.
Here is a sample from one of the blogs.

Poor attempt by Airtel to target the international audience. I wish instead they would have spent the 300 cr at improving their customer services and infrastructure. Everyone will still go for Airtel because they are still one of the best. But then today they majorly disappointed the country! It looks like in an attempt to please the international audience, they have forgotten about their home country itself!

I found an online poll where more than 50% of the voters said they did not like the new logo.

We all know what happened to the newly designed GAP logo last month. Atleast GAP responded to the customer’s voice and respected their views.

What is surprising to me is the absolute silence from Airtel’s management and marketing departments. They are losing a great opportunity to reach out to their customers and engage in a meaningful conversation with their customers atleast to reassure customers that they are listening.

The irony is the slogan of the new Airtel campaign – “Get closer to your loved ones with Airtel” -

It now seems that the message is appropriate for Airtel itself – Dear Airtel – “Get closer to your loved ones (your customers) through Social media”

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