Monday, September 03, 2007

Mubadala operating in Nigeria as Newco

I did a double-take on p39 of Sunday's Dis Day. New GSM entrant Mubadala - which paid US400m for its licence - is to operate in Nigeria under the brand name Newco. This must surely be a mistake. If not, its an even larger deficit of imagination than calling your company Transcorp. It reminds me of the 1970s cartoons (was it Rocky and Bullwinkle?) where there would always be a van with Acme written on the side, reflecting the John-Brown generic company name of the time. Somebody tell me the journo, Tunmise Adekunle, has got it all badly wrong. Or perhaps Mubadala don't think the market deserves any attention on branding? With murmurs from the NCC that number portability is looming on the horizon, they may have made a big mistake.

Readers, can you suggest an alternative brand name before its too late? Here are some of my suggestions:



tony,  1:25 pm  

How about Mubadala? I think the company's name is spectacular (and funny) in itself. Or maybe Badala, or just Ala? Hee hee. Oh no no, how about... [no name] . I can imagine how that advert will go :D

Ifeanyi,  2:52 pm  

Jeremy, you must take into account the echo of allusions specific to a given culture. (I'm reminded of those who tried to sell a car, by Ford I think it was, in Latin America. Unfortunately, the car was called Nova--which, whatever it evokes in English, means 'it doesn't go' in Spanish. The car sold badly.)

'Acme', for the reasons you mention, would be funny to Brits or Americans. To most Nigerians, 'Acme' is as good a name for a company as any. I don't believe it sounds generic to a Nigerian, except for the few who grew up on Bugs Bunny. As for 'Newco', I think it will be just fine. In fact, it should slot right into our fascination with all things new. We simply don't have the same skepticism for Orwellian-sounding names.

Speaking of which: are you aware that the biggest food genetic-engineering firm is called 'Monsanto'? Doesn't that sound like a villain out of Batman?

Anonymous,  3:40 pm  

but isn't Newco the name giving to a company, when you are still waiting to come up with a name? I feel sorry for who ever gets the branding account sha!

Jeremy, I think there is a mistake somewhere.

Anonymous,  6:24 pm  

C'mon, Acme is as generic as they come and I believe quite a good number of nigerians are aware of that. How about just calling yourself 'the company' or maybe 'the corporation', ooops, I guess transcorp beat them to that. Anyway, who cares what they are called, just start service and bring in some much needed competition - Newco, Badala or whatever floats their boat.

negresse adoree,  6:47 pm  

LTPM (Licence to Print Money)

dam.e,  12:48 am  


Anonymous,  1:44 pm  

Ifeanyi's right. In all likelihood, the name 'Newco' wouldn't evoke any particularly negative or derisive reaction from the Nigerian cultural perspective. Frankly, it would be better than Mubadala.

J may find the name somewhat lacking in imagination, but I believe their branding and marketing comapnies can have a field day with it - until a newer provider comes along and it's back to 'Oldco'.

Illustrating further, 'Monsanto' may sound like a cinema villain to some, but would be perfectly acceptable within Latin cultures.

Anonymous,  9:30 am  

Obviously this is not the real name of the company it is just a generic name used until the operator chooses a name. Most companies do this at startup. The TD journalist has just shown how ignorant he is and worse still has gone ahead to misinform people

About This Blog

  © Blogger templates Psi by 2008

Back to TOP