BT WiFi – Brand focus in action

BT's decision to change kill off the two sub-brands it used for Wi-Fi is a good example of brand focus.

Up to now, BT used "BT Fon" for the network of hotspots provided by allowing residential customers to share their Wi-Fi connection with other customers. It used a different sub-brand, BT Openzone, for hotspots in business locations such as cafes and hotels.

The two brands will be merged using a single name: BT Wi-Fi. Now, this aint rocket science. And I hope too much time and money wasn't spent on the brand naming. But, it makes a lot of sense.

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1. More effective

I was always confused by the rather wierd BT Fon name. And it was confusing to have a different name for hot spots. Andy Baker, chief executive of BT Wi-Fi, is right in his approach when he says: "We wanted to make things simpler for our customers to make it easier to find a hotspot and get online."

2. More efficient

A big benefit of going to a single identity is the saving in time and money this can deliver. When a change is needed, there is only one identity to update. BT only need a single set of identity guidelines. Gone are the fruitless debates about the different positionings of thr BT Fon and BT Openzone sub-brands. And so on.

3. Make the BT brand the star

By doing away with sub-brands and using a simple descriptor, WiFi, the emphasis is back on the BT brand. A sub-brand should only be used when the stretch from the core of the brand is big, for example when targeting a new user group. In this case the sub-brand, such as Breezer for Bacardi, can be "loaded" with some distinctive brand values. However, WiFi is close to the core of BT, and so there is no real stretch to justify one sub-brand, never mind two.

In conclusion, with brand architecture, as with branding in general, less is more.